Nato extends Jens Stoltenbergs mandate again
Written by First Choice Radio on 4 July 2023
Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg will stay in office for another year, the 31-nation military alliance has decided.
Mr Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, has been Nato’s top civilian official since 2014.
His term was due to expire last year but it was extended after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
US President Joe Biden and his Nato counterparts were due to name a successor when they meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, on July 11-12.
But the world’s biggest security organisation makes decisions by consensus and no agreement could be found on a new candidate.
Most Nato countries were keen to name a woman to the top post, with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen thought to be a favourite after a meeting with Mr Biden last month.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, ruled out her candidacy.
Other possible names floated but never publicly named as in the running were Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
It is the fourth time Mr Stoltenberg has had his mandate extended.
He is the second-longest serving Nato secretary-general after former Dutch foreign minister Joseph Luns, who spent almost 13 years at the helm from 1971.
Quizzed repeatedly in recent weeks over whether he would agree to have his term renewed, Mr Stoltenberg said he was not seeking to stay and had no plans other than to continue to carry out his duties and wrap his time at the helm in September.
Published: by Radio NewsHub