BUDAPEST, March 22 (Xinhua) -- NATO remains a strong alliance, but needs to adapt itself to face new threats, NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller said here on Wednesday.
"NATO faces serious threats, but the alliance can stay strong if it is able to adapt itself to the changes," Gottemoeller said at the opening of a 2-day conference titled "NATO Transformation Seminar".
"The aim of the present seminar is to get a better cooperation between the member countries, so that the alliance can face the challenges in a more efficient way," Gottemoeller explained.
"The security environment is really changing, but NATO had proven many times that is was able to adapt itself to new situations, and its ability to adapt is the key to success," she added.
Gottemoeller stressed that if the neighbouring countries and regions of NATO were stable, it meant a "greater security" for the alliance itself.
She also underlined that NATO needed persistence, unity, innovative thinking and bigger spending for defense purposes. However, she told that the expenditure should not only be bigger, but also wiser, in order to avoid duplication.
General Denis Mercier, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation said that the seminar was an excellent opportunity to discuss about how NATO should adapt itself to the ever-changing security environment, and how it could improve its performance.
"A country by itself cannot overcome all of the challenges, that is why a close cooperation is needed between the member states," he said.
The host of the conference, Hungarian Minister of Defense Istvan Simicsko said that NATO was a "guarantee for security", and that the member countries must find the efficient answers to the new threats together," adding that Hungary was interested in a strong and well functioning NATO.
"New security threats can occur unexpectedly in the whole world, that is why the creation and the assurance of stability is of the utmost importance," he said.
About the security of Europe, he said that it had seriously deteriorated in the past years, listing the increase in the number of instable nations, the problems linked to mass migration, the rise in terror activities in Europe's big cities and the Ukrainian conflict.
He also announced that the Hungarian government backed the proposition of the new American President Donald Trump aiming at increasing the part of NATO played in the fight against international terrorism.
The conference is hosted in Hungary, a NATO member since 1999, with close to 350 participants, including military experts, diplomats and the ambassadors to NATO from its 28 member states.
The conference deals with the challenges of the organizations, including ISIS, terrorism and the cyberspace.