Rasa Juknevičienė takes up the position of NATO PA President
On 24 September 2018, Rasa Juknevičienė, Head of the Seimas Delegation to the NATO PA, came to office as President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. She succeeded President Paolo Alli upon the expiration of his national mandate as Member of the Italian Parliament, a statement from the Seimas press office reads.
Mrs Juknevičienė thanked the outgoing President for the excellent work and her parliamentary colleagues from different countries for the confidence placed in her.
"NATO is the foundation and guarantor of our nations' and citizens' security. At a time when our countries face an unprecedented set of challenges, strengthening our unique alliance and transatlantic bond is essential, and I will make it one of my top priorities to ensure that the Assembly supports this goal through parliamentary dialogue and diplomacy.
The July Brussels Summit sets clear priorities for further enhancing NATO's response to today's challenges. I will discuss some of these with NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and other top NATO officials tomorrow, and our Assembly will review progress at its upcoming annual session in Canada – our other essential ally in North America.
"I also intend to visit some of NATO's closest partners and aspirants to demonstrate our support for NATO's open door policy and highlight partners' contributions in addressing our common challenges," said Mrs Juknevičienė.
On 24 September 2018, the President of the NATO PA went to Brussels to have meetings, in addition to the meeting already mentioned, with other top officials of NATO and the European Union.
Mrs Juknevičienė has been working as Head of the Seimas delegation in the NATO PA since 1999. She served as Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania in 2008–2012 and was not directly involved in the activities of the NATO PA at that period. She rejoined the NATO PA in 2013 and was elected as Vice-President of the NATO PA in November 2016. In March 2018, Mrs Juknevičienė was nominated as President of the NATO PA by the NATO PA Standing Committee.