These countries develop cooperation with NATO in areas of mutual interest and actively contribute to NATO operations. Individual global partners choose the areas where they wish to engage in and cooperate with NATO in a spirit of mutual benefit and reciprocity.
Over recent years, NATO has developed bilateral relations with each of these countries. Global partners now have the same access to partnership activities as those in formal partnership frameworks. Activities range from joint exercises and operations, to strategic-level training on issues of intelligence, information and technology. The importance of reaching out to countries and organisations across the globe was underlined in the Strategic Concept adopted at the November 2010 Lisbon Summit. At Lisbon, Allied leaders declared their intention, as part of a focused effort to reform NATO’s partnerships policy, to better engage with global partners, contributing significantly to international security. Following up on the Lisbon decisions, Allied foreign ministers approved a new partnerships policy at their meeting in Berlin in April 2011.
In line with the new policy, all partners will be treated in the same way, offering them the same basis of cooperation and dialogue. Moreover, there are now more opportunities for meetings in flexible formats, bringing together NATO members and partners with other countries, which NATO may have no bilateral programme of cooperation. These include China, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Colombia. Such meetings have taken place to consult partners on different issues, such as counter piracy and countering narcotics in Afghanistan.1. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.