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Updated: 12-Mar-2007 Background information


Background
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March 2002

NATO Military Public Information

Policy

NATO Military Public Information Policy is aimed at ensuring complete, accurate and timely information about NATO's military forces, its Commanders, its staffs, its activities and operations for reporting by external and internal news media. NATO Military Public Information's objective is to provide as much information as possible to the citizens of NATO member, as well as Partner countries, and to other nations when the situation warrants such extension. Its overall aim is ultimately to promote public understanding and support of the Alliance and its activities. Therefore the information is provided in such a way that media representatives and the citizens of the countries concerned are able to make their own judgement as independently as possible, at the same time being consistent with NATO policies and respecting operational security and the privacy of forces and their personnel.

Organisation and responsibilities

The North Atlantic Council and its committees give overall Public Information guidance. NATO's Public Diplomacy Division (PDD) at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, executes Press and Information Programmes and deals with the political aspects of NATO's Public Information activities. PDD is also responsible for providing further, detailed, day-to-day public information guidance to NATO military Public Information officers through the chain of command of the Alliance.

You will find at NATO Headquarters Brussels also the Public Information Adviser of the International Military Staff. He is the daily military spokesperson for the Chairman of the Military Committee and the point of contact for the media on behalf of the Military Committee and the International Military Staff.

At all NATO military headquarters the Commander and is his Chief Public Information Officer are the official spokespersons for their Command. A dedicated Public Information Staff assists them.

Co-ordination

Public Information co-ordination with nations takes place at all levels. At NATO Headquarters, Brussels, the co-ordination takes place through the Committee on Public Diplomacy (CPD). Co-ordination of the military and political PI aspects of operations and exercises is channelled through the International Military Staff to the Military Committee and then to the political decision-making bodies of the Alliance. Further co-ordination takes place on the Strategic and Regional Command level of the Alliance. These Commanders will develop more detailed directives and instructions as well as PI plans, including objectives and policies in accordance with received guidance and information strategies. This will encompass PI plans for training and exercises as well as for operations. Execution of these plans will be in close co-ordination with nations, other NATO Commanders, forces and organisations involved.

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