NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia

  • Last updated: 06 Sep. 2021 08:31

The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative is responsible for carrying forward the Alliance’s policy in the two strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

He provides advice to the Secretary General on how best to achieve NATO’s goals in the two regions, and how best to address the security concerns of NATO’s partners. He is responsible for overall coordination of NATO’s partnership policy in the two regions, and works closely with regional leaders to enhance their cooperation with the Alliance. In the Caucasus, NATO works with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia which are effectively the South Caucasus; and in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The Special Representative also provides high-level support for the work of the NATO Liaison Officer for the South Caucasus in Tbilisi, Georgia and for Central Asia based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He worked closely with the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan to ensure NATO’s policy in Central Asia supported NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.

He liaises with senior officials from partner governments in the two regions, and advises them on their overall process of reform and how best to use NATO partnership tools to implement those reforms. He also liaises with representatives of the international community and other international organisations engaged in the two regions in order to ensure coordination of assistance programmes.

The Special Representative also promotes understanding about NATO and security issues more generally through engaging with the media and civil society in the two regions.

The position of Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia was created on an ad hoc basis following the decision taken by NATO Allies at the Istanbul Summit in June 2004 to place a special focus on the strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

A key element of this special focus was enhanced liaison arrangements, including the appointment of the Special Representative and two NATO Liaison Officers, one for each region. (The post of NATO Liaison Officer for Central Asia was later cancelled in 2017, for budgetary reasons. However, NATO continues to maintain and seek to enhance its political dialogue and practical relations with its five Central Asian partners – practical liaison is now being conducted through NATO Headquarters and the NATO military structures.)

The post of Special Representative is currently held by Javier Colomina Píriz, who succeeded James Appathurai in September 2021. Mr Colomina previously served as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Spanish Delegation to NATO from 2017 to 2021. Prior to that, he was Political Counsellor and Head of the Political Section at the Embassy of Spain in Tokyo (2014-2017) and Senior Adviser for multilateral and security issues of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain (2011-2014).

NATO Liaison Officer for the South Caucasus/Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia

162 Tsinamdzgvrishvili
0112 Tbilisi, Georgia
Tel.: +995 (32) 293 38 01