Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales
As Members know, the NATO Wales Summit will take place at the Celtic Manor on 4/5 September. We understand that this is the largest diplomatic conference ever held in the United Kingdom and by far the largest event of its kind on Welsh soil.
The NATO Wales Summit is first and foremost a working conference to map out NATO’s forward strategic thinking. In the light of recent international tensions this implies a full and weighty agenda of issues for discussion and resolution.
The conference belongs, obviously, to NATO itself and it is the body which makes the decisions about the timetable and format of the summit. The United Kingdom is the host government for the conference and is working with NATO to shape detailed arrangements. Members will readily understand that there are significant security, resilience and logistical challenges to be addressed in order to facilitate the summit. The Welsh Government and public authorities in Wales are co-operating fully and actively with UK colleagues to facilitate the necessary organisational arrangements for the conference.
Including delegates, officials, journalists and support workers it seems there will be several thousand visitors working in and around the summit venue for the short duration of the conference. Although the main focus must, of course, be on the conference outcomes the Prime Minister has been clear from the outset that he intends the conference should reflect a Welsh dimension. My officials are, again, working with UK Government colleagues to help them facilitate this aspect of the Prime Minister’s ambitions for the conference.
There will inevitably be some disruption, driven by logistics and security requirements, in and around venues associated with the conference at critical periods during the summit. The police have established a Gold Command and I have been briefed on developing arrangements. The appropriate authorities will communicate relevant information to the wider public at the right times.
Any disruption will be amply counter-balanced by a global media focus on Wales during the summit. There will also be clear benefits to the local economy through the provision of goods and services. We continue to co-operate with UK colleagues to help ensure a successful summit and a positive experience of Wales for our visitors.