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NATO Summit offers opportunity to work for "common purpose": Albright

(Xinhua)

15:54, May 03, 2012

CHICAGO, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming NATO summit will be an opportunity for member states to discuss their common purpose and motivate the alliance for the future, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Wednesday.

Albright, who will co-chair the May 20-21 event in Chicago, said such international summits are "very important" because they bring countries together and make decisions that might otherwise be sidelined for individual interests.

"Summits are very interesting because in many ways they are action-forcing mechanisms," Albright told a crowd of over 1,000 people at an event for the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, adding that she felt the summit "motivates the system."

Albright said the 50 or so countries set to attend the summit all come with their own individual talking points, but the idea of being together and making important decisions with the world watching usually works to yield a productive result.

Citing recent world conflicts in Syria and other regions, Albright said she has "never seen the world in quite such discord," so it is now perhaps more important than ever for NATO countries to reach a common consensus.

"There's an awful lot of turmoil, and so I think having the summit is a very important kind of glue discussion and sense of common purpose among countries that are democracies," Albright said.

However, Albright also said international institutions such as NATO should reexamine their working structure and prove to the world that they are still effective, as there is currently a lack of confidence in many governmental organizations.

NATO and other international institutions might need to reexamine their roles so that they can regain the confidence lost by a sometimes disillusioned citizenry, she said.

NATO was originally created as a response to the expanding power of the Soviet Union in 1949. The alliance currently encompasses 28 member countries and many partner nations.

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