Relations with Colombia

  • Last updated: 06 Dec. 2018 10:21

NATO and Colombia are strengthening dialogue and cooperation to address security challenges in a number of areas of shared concern. Colombia is the Alliance’s only partner in Latin America.

 

  • NATO and Colombia have been engaged in dialogue and cooperation since 2013.  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.
  • An Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme, signed in May 2017, formalised the recognition of Colombia as a partner and opened access to the full range of cooperative activities. It sets out priority areas for dialogue and cooperation.
  • Shared priorities 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; and to build the capacities and capabilities of the Colombian armed forces.

 

Key areas of cooperation

Colombia's cooperation with NATO is mutually beneficial and includes:

Building capabilities and interoperability

  • Through training, education and exercises, NATO Allies and Colombia seek to develop the interoperability of their armed forces, in line with NATO norms and standards. This will facilitate possible future Colombian participation in United Nations-led operations and missions. Colombian personnel regularly take part in courses at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, and the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. Colombia has also participated in a number of high-level military conferences.
  • Colombia also has a lot of expertise to offer in the areas of humanitarian demining, countering improvised explosive devices, counter-insurgency, and counter-narcotics. Work is underway to identify how Colombia's expertise can best support NATO Allies and partners.
  • Colombia's defence ministry also actively participates, since 2013, in the Building Integrity programme, which provides practical assistance and advice for strengthening integrity, accountability and transparency in the defence and security sector.

Support for NATO-led operations and missions

  • In 2015, Colombia supported Ocean Shield, NATO's past maritime operation to counter piracy off the Horn of Africa, with a vessel. Further opportunities will be explored for interaction in the maritime domain to strengthen naval interoperability and information-sharing.

Wider cooperation

  • Colombia and NATO are seeking to develop common approaches to support peace and security efforts including human security, with a particular focus on supporting the implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, as well as protecting children in armed conflict and civilians.
  • Colombia recently started participating in the Science for Peace and Security Programme and an advanced research workshop is due to take place in the capital Bogota in 2019, focusing on counter-terrorism lessons from maritime piracy and narcotic interdiction.