NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

  • Finland, NATO’s relations with -
    NATO’s relations with Finland NATO and Finland actively cooperate on peace and security operations and have developed practical cooperation in many other areas, including education and training and the development of military capabilities. Finnish cooperation with NATO is based on its longstanding policy of military non-alignment and a firm national political consensus. It is set on developing a political dialogue with NATO, improving operational connectivity and contributing to capability development, selecting areas of cooperation that match joint objectives. An important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. Finland currently works alongside the Allies in security and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan, and has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 follow-on mission – the NATO-led Resolute Support mission - to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces. Moreover, Finland supports the implementation of the United Nation’s Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, and participates in several NATO-led Trust Funds. Finland started cooperating with NATO in 1994 when it joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and has since been reinforcing its relations with NATO through a number of partnership tools, NATO-led operations and exercises, and capability development. Key areas of cooperation Security cooperation Since 2002, Finnish soldiers have been working alongside Allied forces as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Finnish personnel are deployed in the country, primarily with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the north of the country. The focus of the Finnish contribution is gradually shifting towards training and capacity-building of Afghan security forces. Since 2007, Finland has contributed €1.7 million to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund. Finland also contributes to a project conducted under the NATO-Russia Council aimed at training counter-narcotics personnel from Afghanistan and other Central Asian partner countries. Finnish forces have also played significant roles in securing peace in the former Yugoslavia. Finnish soldiers are currently operating with the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) and, in the past, Finland contributed a battalion to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finland started participating in the NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2012 and took part in Exercise Steadfast Jazz in November 2013, an exercise which inter alia was designed to test the different components of the next NRF rotation. Specific participation or involvement in any particular NRF operation requires a sovereign decision by Finland. Finland’s role in training the forces of partner countries, particularly in peacekeeping, is greatly valued by the Allies. In July 2001, NATO formally recognised the Finnish Defence Forces International Centre (FINCENT) in Tuusula as a PfP Training Centre. This centre provides training on military crisis management for staff employed by international organisations such as NATO, the United Nations and the European Union. Finland also regularly participates in NATO and PfP exercises, such as Iceland Air Meet in February 2014. Among other forces, Finland has declared one mechanised infantry battalion group and one combat engineer unit, a coastal mine hunter and a small number of fixed-wing aircraft as potentially available for exercises and operations. Maintaining operational interoperability at the end of the ISAF mission is not only crucial at the military level, but also at the political level. At the political level, consultation and dialogue will be reinforced and flexible formats encouraged with, for instance, meetings at 28 + 6 (28 + NATO’s six Western European partners, including Finland) taking place more frequently. Finland plays an active part in a number of multinational projects for the development of capabilities. It has joined the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) programme, participating along with Sweden and several NATO Allies in the operation of three C-17 transport aircraft based in Hungary. Continuation of a related initiative, the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS), which leases Russian and Ukrainian Antonov transport aircraft beyond 2012, is being evaluated. The country is also working on a multinational cyber defence capability development project with NATO, which will improve the means of sharing technical information and promote awareness of threats and attacks. It is also participating in the establishment of a joint multinational headquarters in Germany, a harbour protection system and a deployable system for the surveillance of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents. Finland is a member of the Movement Coordination Centre Europe (MCCE) and is participating in the Air Transport, Air-to Air Refueling and other Exchange of Services (ATARES), as well as the Air Situation Data Exchange (ASDE). Finland’s close ties with its neighbours Norway, Denmark and Sweden have resulted in Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO), a further practical and efficient way for like-minded states to contribute to regional and international security.  In Finland’s case, this activity is pursued alongside the Nordic Battle Group. Defence and security sector reform Finland has participated in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1995, which – along with participating in the Operational Capabilities Concept – influences Finnish planning and activities. Cooperation in these frameworks is aimed at enhancing Finland’s ability to take part in peace-support operations, as well as allowing Allies and other partners to benefit from Finnish expertise. Finland has developed a new military crisis-management concept as the basis for a revised national pool of forces for crisis-management operations. All of these forces should be evaluated under Operational Capability Concept Evaluation and Feedback programme by the end of 2016. Finland is contributing to the development of the EU Battlegroup concept. It is cooperating with Estonia, Sweden and Norway, among other countries, in the development of a multinational rapid-reaction force for EU-led peace-support operations. Alongside NATO Allies, Finland contributes to NATO’s programme of support for security-sector reform in the western Balkans, southern Caucasus and Central Asia. It is an active supporter of Partnership Trust Fund projects in other partner countries and has contributed to nearly a dozen so far. Currently, it is supporting a project for the repacking, centralising and destruction of chemicals in Moldova; ammunition stockpile management in Tajikistan and the Building Integrity Programme. Finland has also shown an interest in supporting an upcoming Trust Fund project focused on multiplying the possibilities for women to work in the Jordan armed forces. Civil emergency planning Civil emergency planning is a major area of bilateral cooperation. The aim is for Finland to be able to cooperate with NATO Allies in providing mutual support in dealing with the consequences of a major accident or disaster in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) area. This could include dealing with the consequences of incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear agents, as well as humanitarian disaster-relief operations. In line with this, Finnish civil resources have been listed with the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC). Finland has also provided valuable civil emergency training to Allies and partners. Science and environment Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Finland have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics. Topics have included border security and the fight against terrorism, environmental security in harbours and coastal areas, and bioremediation of contaminated soils. Public information In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Finland is the embassy of Denmark. Framework for cooperation An Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period, lays out the programme of cooperation between Finland and NATO. Key areas include security and peacekeeping cooperation, crisis management and civil emergency planning. An important objective in Finland’s participation in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme is to develop and enhance interoperability between NATO and partner forces through a variety of PfP instruments and mechanisms. Finland joined the PfP programme at its inception in 1994. Milestones in relations 1994 Finland joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1995 Finland joins the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 1996 Finland contributes forces to the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1997 Finland joins the newly created Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. 1999 Finnish forces participate in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, KFOR. 2001 The Finnish Defence Forces International Centre in Tuusula becomes a PfP training centre. 2002 Finnish forces begin their contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. 2006 The mine layer Pohjanmaa passed NATO maritime evaluation (MAREVAL) during Exercise Brilliant Mariner 2006. 2008 Finland hosts the June 2008 Uusimaa Civil Crisis Management Exercise. Finland decides that it is open in principle to NATO Response Force (NRF) participation. 2009 Finland and the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) (currently known as the NATO Communications and Information Agency) sign a Memorandum of Understanding on mutual cooperation in key defence technology areas. An F-18 squadron, part of Finland’s Rapid Deployment Force passed a full NATO tactical evaluation (TACEVAL). 2010 Finland co-hosts “NATO’s New Strategic Concept – Comprehensive Approach to Crisis Management” with Sweden in Helsinki. 2011 Following the signature of an agreement in October, senior Finnish officials visit the NATO C3 Agency (currently known as the NATO Communications and Information Agency) in November to discuss the details of a multi-year programme of work for cooperation on advanced technology. 2012 In March, Finnish fighter jets take part in a NATO exercise over the Baltic region aimed at practising air policing skills.   In November, Finland takes part in Exercise Steadfast Juncture, an exercise organised at the Amari Air Base, Estonia, focused on the command and control of a fictitious crisis-response operation involving the NRF; and the Cyber Coalition procedural exercise, focused on cyber defence capabilities.   NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visits Helsinki on 15 November. 2013 In November, Finland takes part in Exercise Steadfast Jazz. 2014 Finland and Sweden participate in Iceland Air Meet 2014, under the command of Norway. This occurred during Norway’s deployment to Iceland to conduct NATO’s mission to provide airborne surveillance and interception capabilities to meet Iceland’s peacetime preparedness needs.
  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, NATO’s relations with the
    NATO’s relations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹ Cooperation between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and NATO takes place across a wide range of areas: operationally in Afghanistan and in support of KFOR, practically with a particular emphasis on defence and security sector reform. The country joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace in 1995 and aspires to become a NATO member. It joined the Membership Action Plan in 1999, a programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the needs of countries wishing to join NATO. At the April 2008 Bucharest Summit, Allies agreed that an invitation to join the Alliance will be extended to the country as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over its name has been reached with Greece. This agreement has been consistently reiterated at subsequent Summits. The Allies are committed to keeping NATO’s door open to Western Balkan partners that wish to join the Alliance, share its values and are willing and able to assume the responsibilities and obligations of membership. Euro-Atlantic integration is seen as the best way to ensure long-term, self-sustaining security and stability in the region. NATO also remains committed to the long-term peace and stability of the region.  At Skopje’s request, the Alliance engaged in operations Essential Harvest, Allied Harmony and Amber Fox (2001-2003), with the aim of creating a safe and secure environment and reducing tension between the country’s ethnic Albanian minority and national security forces. A  NATO military headquarters created in Skopje during the operational period has since been downsized and transformed into a Liaison Office which assists with security sector reform and host nation support to the Kosovo Force (KFOR). Beyond the ongoing work on reform, another important area of cooperation is the country’s support for NATO-led operations. For many years, it has been providing valuable support to KFOR troops transiting the country. It also contributes to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 follow-on mission to train and assist Afghan security forces, after ISAF’s mission has ended. Key areas of cooperation The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was a key partner in supporting NATO-led stabilisation operations in Kosovo in 1999 and NATO forces were deployed to the country to halt the spread of the conflict as well as to provide logistical support to KFOR. The Allies also provided humanitarian assistance as refugees from Kosovo fled into the country. The country continues to provide valuable host nation support to KFOR troops transiting its territory. NATO came to the assistance of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, when violence between ethnic Albanian insurgents and security forces broke out in the west of the country in February 2001. The insurgents had taken control of a number of towns near the border with Kosovo, bringing the country to the brink of a civil war. NATO facilitated the negotiation of a ceasefire in June of that same year, which paved the way for a political settlement – the Ohrid Framework Agreement – in August 2001. In support of the settlement, NATO deployed a task force, “Essential Harvest”, to collect weapons handed over by the insurgents, as they prepared to disband. The NATO-led international monitoring mission continued to operate in support of the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement until 31 March 2003, when the European Union assumed the lead. A key objective of cooperation is to develop the ability of the country’s armed forces to work alongside Allied forces in peace-support and crisis-management operations. Participation in NATO’s PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) has provided a framework for cooperation in this area. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been supporting ISAF in Afghanistan since 2002; it currently contributes some 150 troops. The country has also indicated its willingness to participate in the post-2014 NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces, which will be deployed once the transition to Afghan security lead has been completed and ISAF’s operation is terminated. Defence and security sector reform The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has initiated wide-ranging reforms that NATO is supporting. In the areas of defence and security sector reform, NATO and individual Allies have considerable expertise that the country can draw upon. In consultation with the Allies, the country continues to implement a wide range of reforms in line with its Strategic Defence Review. The country’s participation in the PARP has facilitated cooperation in the area of defence reform. The Allies have assisted in the development of a transformation plan for the country’s armed forces. The plan includes detailed programmes covering logistics, personnel, equipment, training and a timetable for the restructuring of key military units. Other key objectives include improving ethnic minority representation in civil/military defence structures and judicial and police reform. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joined the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) in 2005. The OCC is a mechanism through which units available for PfP operations can be evaluated and better integrated with NATO forces to increase operational effectiveness. The country is working with NATO to promote the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which recognises the disproportionate impact that war and conflicts have on women and children. UNSCR 1325 calls for full and equal participation of women at all levels in issues ranging from early conflict prevention to post-conflict reconstruction, peace and security. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is also working to strengthen good governance in the defence and security sector through participation in the Building Integrity Programme. This Programme seeks to raise awareness, promote good practice and provide practical tools to help nations enhance integrity and reduce risks of corruption in the security sector by strengthening transparency and accountability. Training is an important part of security cooperation with the country and its personnel regularly participate in activities organised under the PfP programme. Moreover, the country’s Public Affairs Regional Centre in Skopje was recognised as a Partnership Training and Education Centre in 2013, opening its activities to Allies and partners. Civil emergency planning The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is enhancing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities in cooperation with NATO and through participation in activities organised by the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. In consultation with NATO, a national crisis-management system has been established to ensure that the structures in place serve effectively and efficiently in the case of a national crisis. Science and environment The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been actively engaged within the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme since 1998. The SPS Programme enables close collaboration on issues of common interest to enhance the security of NATO and partner countries. By facilitating international efforts, in particular with a regional focus, the Programme seeks to address emerging security challenges, support NATO-led operations and advance early warning and forecast for the prevention of disasters and crises. Today, scientists and experts from the country are working to address a wide range of security issues, notably in the fields of cyber defence, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, environmental security and disaster forecast and prevention of natural catastrophes. A hands-on cyber defence training course took place in April 2013. The aim of the training course was to create institutional capability and increase awareness on cyber threats with a view to enhancing the resiliency of national IT infrastructures. Future areas for concrete cooperation were discussed by national government officials, scientists and experts at an SPS ‘Information Day’ held in Skopje in June 2013. Public information Given that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia aims to join NATO, it is important to continue to ensure public awareness of how NATO works and of the rights and obligations which membership brings. Public diplomacy activities also aim to develop and maintain links with civil society actors and to facilitate security-related activities and programmes in the country. NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division plays a key role in this area, as do individual Allies and partner countries. In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The Embassy of Turkey in Skopje acts as a Contact Point Embassy (CPE) for NATO. Framework for cooperation The country cooperates with NATO and other partners in a wide range of areas through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). In the Membership Action Plan (MAP) framework, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia sets out its reform plans and timelines in its Annual National Programme (ANP). Key areas include political, military and security sector reforms. Important priorities are efforts to meet democratic standards and ensure free and fair elections, as well as support for reducing corruption and fighting organised crime, judicial reform, improving public administration and promoting good neighbourly relations. NATO Allies provide feedback on the envisaged reforms and evaluate their implementation. More specific and technical reforms in the defence area are developed through the Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP), which the country joined in 1999. The role of the PARP is to provide a structured basis for identifying forces and capabilities that could be available to the Alliance for multinational training, exercises and operations. It also serves as the principal mechanism used to guide and measure defence and military reform progress. A biennial process, the PARP is open to all partners on a voluntary basis. The NATO Liaison Office, Skopje, plays a role in assisting the implementation of the defence reform plans, including through its NATO Advisory Team, which is located within the country's defence ministry. Milestones in relations 1995 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joins the Partnership for Peace (PfP). 1996 The country hosts its first PfP training exercise ”Rescuer”. 1997 The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia becomes a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). 1999 The country plays a key role in supporting NATO operations in Kosovo, and the Allies provide assistance to ease the humanitarian crisis as refugees from Kosovo flood into the country. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joins NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) and the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP). 2001 Violence flares up in the west of the country. NATO plays a key role in facilitating negotiations on a cease-fire reached in June. NATO Allies deploy a task force to collect arms from former combatants (Operation Essential Harvest) and support the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Subsequently, they deploy a mission to protect international monitors (Operation Amber Fox), which is extended until December 2002. 2002 The country deploys personnel in support of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. NATO HQ Skopje is created, in April, to advise on military aspects of security sector reform. 2003 The NATO-led peace-monitoring mission (Operation Allied Harmony) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is handed over to the European Union. 2005 A combined medical team of the three MAP countries joins NATO-led forces in Afghanistan in August. 2007 The country hosts the EAPC Security Forum in Ohrid. 2008 In April, Allies agree that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be invited to start accession talks as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the issue over the country’s name has been reached. 2010 The Secretary General visits Skopje in June 2010. 2012 Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski addresses the North Atlantic Council on 25 January.   President Gjorge Ivanov attends a meeting at NATO’s Summit, joining counterparts from countries that are supporting the NATO-led stabilisation mission in Afghanistan. Also, Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki joins fellow foreign ministers from the three other countries that are aspiring to NATO membership in a meeting chaired by NATO's Deputy Secretary General.   During a visit to NATO Headquarters of President Gjorge Ivanov on 4 September, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomes Skopje's commitment to continuing reforms and expresses his strong hope that a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the country’s name could be reached as soon as possible within the framework of the United Nations. 2013 In June, the North Atlantic Council accepts the country’s offer to make its Public Affairs Regional Centre in Skopje a Partnership Training and Education Centre, opening its activities to Allies and partners. 2014 In February, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski visits NATO Headquarters in Brussels and in May, the NATO Secretary General visits Skopje.
  • former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia¹, Peace support operations in the -
    Last updated: 05-Mar-2012 14:03 Topics
  • Fundamental security tasks, NATO’s -
    NATO’s fundamental security tasks NATO’s essential and enduring purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Collective defence is at the heart of the Alliance and creates a spirit of solidarity and cohesion among its members. NATO strives to secure a lasting peace in Europe, based on common values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Since the outbreak of crises and conflicts beyond the borders of NATO member countries can jeopardize this objective, the Alliance also contributes to peace and stability through crisis management operations and partnerships. Essentially, NATO not only helps to defend the territory of its members, but engages where possible and when necessary to project its values further afield, prevent crises, manage crises, stabilize post-conflict situations and support reconstruction.  NATO also embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is tied to the security of Europe. It is an intergovernmental organization which provides a forum where members can consult together on any issues they may choose to raise and take decisions on political and military matters affecting their security. No single member country is forced to rely soley on its national capabilities to meet its essential national security objectives. The resulting sense of shared security among members contributes to stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. NATO’s fundamental security tasks are laid down in the Washington Treaty. They are sufficiently general to withstand the test of time and are translated into more detail in strategic concepts. Strategic concepts are the authoritative statement of the Alliance’s objectives and provide the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving these goals; they remain the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole. During the Cold War, NATO focused on collective defence and the protection of its members from potential threats emanating from the Soviet Union. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, along with the rise of non-state actors affecting international security, many new security threats emerged. NATO now focuses on countering these threats by utilizing collective defence, managing crisis situations and encouraging cooperative security, as outlined in the 2010 Strategic Concept.