Relations with the four Asia-Pacific partners
NATO is developing closer relations with its four Asia-Pacific partners, namely Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. In today’s complex security environment, relations with like-minded partners across the globe are increasingly important to address cross-cutting security issues and global challenges, as well as to defend the rules-based international order.
Ensuring NATO adopts a global approach is central to the NATO 2030 agenda. NATO’s relations with the four Asia-Pacific partners have a key role to play in this.
NATO regularly meets with the Asia-Pacific partners to discuss security topics of mutual interest. In December 2020, the four Asia-Pacific partners participated for the first time in a NATO Foreign Ministerial Meeting. At this milestone event, NATO Foreign Ministers discussed the shift in the global balance of power and the rise of China with the four Asia-Pacific partners, as well as with Finland, Sweden and European Union High Representative/ Vice President of the European Commission.
Regular meetings take place with Ambassadors in the North Atlantic Council (NAC) – the so-called “NAC+4” meetings – as well as at other political and military levels. In 2020, addressing the security implications of the COVID-19 pandemic took centre stage but, in recent years, topics addressed in the “NAC+4” meetings have also included the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and maritime security. At the NATO Brussels Summit in June 2021, Allies agreed to increase dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and existing partners, including the four partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
Political dialogue ensures NATO and its four Asia-Pacific partners can enhance their mutual situational awareness on security developments in the Euro-Atlantic and Asia-Pacific regions. It also sees to it that the partners can contribute their unique perspective to NATO policy discussions on common security challenges, in particular those that are no longer bound by geography, such as cyberspace, space and climate change.
Alongside the “NAC+4” format, NATO has individual partnership cooperation programmes with each of the four Asia-Pacific partners, with cooperative activities focusing on topics of mutual interest including cyber defence, non-proliferation, civil preparedness and Women, Peace and Security.