Relations with Colombia
NATO and Colombia have concluded a partnership agreement with a view to strengthening dialogue and cooperation to address shared security challenges. Despite geographical distance, cooperation has been developing progressively since 2013 in a number of areas including military education and training, maritime security, good governance and building integrity.
- Colombia is one of a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area – often referred to as “partners across the globe” – with which NATO is developing relations.
- In March 2013, NATO Allies agreed to a tailored approach to develop cooperation with Colombia in areas of common interest.
- In December 2016, discussions started on developing an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme to set out priority areas for dialogue and cooperation, and concluded successfully on 18 May 2017.
- The objectives of the partnership are to develop common approaches to global security challenges such as cyber security, maritime security, and terrorism and its links to organised crime; to support peace and security efforts including human security, with a particular focus on protecting civilians and children, and promoting the role of women in peace and security; and to build the capacities and capabilities of the Colombian armed forces.
More background information
Practical cooperation has been developing in a limited number of areas in recent years.
Since January 2013, the Ministry of Defence of Colombia has been actively participating in the Building Integrity Initiative, through which NATO works to support Allies and partner countries to promote and implement the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability in defence institutions.
In the area of defence education and training, Colombian personnel have taken part in a number of courses at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, and the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy, since 2013. Colombia has also participated in a number of high-level military conferences.
In 2015, Colombia supported NATO’s maritime operation to counter piracy off the Horn of Africa, with a vessel.
Looking ahead, NATO could provide expert advice focused on developing the interoperability of the Colombian armed forces with those of NATO Allies, in line with NATO norms and standards. This will facilitate possible future Colombian participation in United Nations-led operations and missions. Colombia also has a lot of expertise to offer in the areas of counter-insurgency, counter-narcotics and in countering improvised explosive devices.
In response to Colombia’s interest, the NATO Allies agreed in 2013 to progressively develop cooperation in areas of common interest. An Agreement on the Security of Information was also signed to facilitate this cooperation.
In March 2014, the Vice Minister of Defence visited NATO Headquarters for a meeting with Allied representatives in the Partnership and Cooperative Security Committee, who reaffirmed their support for the progressive development of a cooperative relationship with Colombia.
Building on the experience gained over three years of cooperation, discussions started in December 2016 on developing an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme to set out priority areas for dialogue and cooperation. This programme was agreed upon by NATO Allies and the government of Colombia on 18 May 2017, formalising the recognition of Colombia as NATO’s latest partner and opening access to the full range of cooperative activities NATO offers to partners.