The Foreign Secretary has presented Anders Fogh Rasmussen with an honorary KCMG. This is in recognition of his services to UK and international security as Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) between 2009 and 2014. The Alliance faced significant and complex challenges to its security during this period, ranging from steering NATO’s contribution to a more stable and secure Afghanistan to responding to the threat posed by Russian actions in Ukraine. Throughout, Mr Rasmussen was critical to ensuring an effective response from the Alliance.
Commenting on the presentation, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:
The 2014 Wales Summit took place at a time of significant geopolitical challenge. Under Mr Rasmussen’s leadership the Alliance set out an ambitious response, whilst maintaining unity throughout. The achievements of the Wales Summit included a new rapid reaction capability to respond to any threat, as well as an unprecedented agreement by Heads of Government to halt the decline in defence investment. His efforts included the modernisation of NATO to ensure an Alliance fit for purpose to counter 21st century threats, including in cyber and hybrid warfare.
Ahead of the Warsaw Summit in July next year, the UK will continue to play a leading role to ensure implementation of Wales Summit commitments, including strengthening collective defence. With a budget of £34 billion, the UK is the largest European contributor to NATO. Earlier this year, this government announced its commitment to meet the NATO guideline of spending 2% of GDP on defence for the rest of the decade.
Commenting on receiving his honorary KCMG, Mr Rasmussen said:
I am deeply honoured to be appointed as an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael ad St. George (KCMG). This award will further strengthen my ties to the British people.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the UK for its invaluable contribution to the promotion of freedom and peace in the world. The United Kingdom is a staunch NATO ally and a bedrock of the transatlantic security cooperation between Europe and the United States.
I would like to extend a special thanks to the British service men and women in gratitude for their tireless efforts to make the world a safer and better place to live.