NATO allies have agreed to extend Jens Stoltenberg’s term as secretary general by one year.
« Honored by the decision of NATO allies to extend my term as Secretary General until 1 October 2024 », Stoltenberg tweeted. « The transatlantic link between Europe and North America has ensured our freedom and security for nearly 75 years, and in a more dangerous world, our Alliance is more important than ever, » she added.
The decision, ahead of the NATO leaders’ summit in Vilnius next week, is seen as a reflection of how politically delicate the current moment is for the alliance, as well as how difficult it is for allies to find a high-profile candidate who both available and acceptable to all alliance members.
The former Norwegian prime minister has served as head of the defense alliance since 2014, earning widespread respect for his calm demeanor under pressure and ability to juggle the sensitivities of a large and diverse alliance.
In 2017, the allies opted for extend the Secretary-General’s term until the end of September 2020. In 2019, they moved that date to September 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted another extension, which was to last until September 2023.
In recent months, the allies have informally considered a variety of candidates, including Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, before opting once again to extend the mandate of the longtime secretary general.
Clarification: This article has been updated to reflect Jens Stoltenberg’s mandate extension process.