NATO Parliamentary Assembly


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presented by the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security

The Assembly,

1.     Recognising that terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to Allied and Partner countries alike;

2.     Concerned in particular by the prospect of terrorists acquiring chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons;

3.     Stressing that the protection of civilian populations against acts of terrorism and natural and technogenic disasters is primarily a national responsibility;

4.     Acknowledging, however, that terrorism is a borderless phenomenon, which can only be defeated through a multifaceted and co-ordinated action;

5.     Convinced that solidarity and co-operation are also essential in preparing for and responding to natural and technogenic disasters;

6.       Recognising that the Atlantic Alliance, which relies on the collective defence of its members and on the principle of solidarity, can greatly contribute to enhancing the protection of civilian populations in Allied and Partner countries; 

7.       Commending the major efforts that Allies and Partners have initiated since the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States, to deter, prevent, protect against and respond to terrorist attacks and natural and technogenic disasters;

8.      Praising in particular  the Atlantic Alliance for the steps already taken to be prepared to come to the assistance of a stricken nation, when requested, following acts of terrorism and natural and technogenic disasters;

9.     Welcoming the Riga Summit Declaration, in which Allied governments “reiterate [their] determination to protect [their] populations, territories, infrastructure and forces against the consequences of terrorist attacks”;

10.   Noting that the Alliance’s actions for the protection of civilian populations against terrorism and natural and technogenic disasters encompass a broad variety of tasks, activities and operations;

11.   Convinced that the efficiency of these actions could be further enhanced by clarifying the goals and objectives of the Alliance ’s engagement and streamlining its policies and instruments accordingly;

12.    Emphasising also that the Alliance ’s actions need to be closely co-ordinated with other relevant international organisations, in particular the United Nations and the European Union;

13.     URGES governments and parliaments of member and partner countries of the North Atlantic Alliance:

a.      to intensify their individual and collective efforts to defeat the threat posed by terrorism;

b.      to step up preparations to be able to identify the nature of a CBRN attack at the earliest moment after such an attack;

c.      to recognise that the fight against terrorism requires a long-term commitment, and that popular support is a vital condition for the success of this endeavour;

d.      to acknowledge that the Alliance provides an effective framework for promoting a concerted approach to civil protection and building consensus on co-ordinated or joint actions;

e.      to include a discussion of NATO’s role in civil protection as part of ongoing reflections on NATO’s transformation and on a future strategic concept;

f.       to promote greater clarity of purpose and a streamlining of the Alliance’s contribution to the protection of civilian populations against terrorism and natural and technogenic disasters, building on the guidelines set in the Riga Summit Declaration and the Comprehensive Political Guidance; 

g.      to ensure that the Alliance ’s role in civil protection is policy-driven rather than capacity-driven and that its actions are based on needs;

h.      to encourage further field exercises, like the IDASSA exercise held in Croatia in 2007, to train international civil and military personnel to respond to a request from a stricken country for assistance in coping with a terrorist attack or natural and technogenic disaster;

i.        to clarify the use of NATO’s military assets in support of civil protection tasks, and consider the opportunity of adopting a doctrine on this matter;

j.        to identify the civil protection tasks that the Alliance could be led to conduct in operations, such as for instance the protection of critical infrastructures in the areas of operation, and develop appropriate plans;

k.       to consider additional roles for NATO in protecting critical infrastructures, particularly in the fields of energy and information;

l.        to ensure that the Alliance’s actions do not duplicate existing efforts but focus on those policy areas where the Alliance brings added value;

m.      to promote closer co-operation with other international organisations, particularly with the United Nations and the European Union, including the European Commission;

n.       to ensure that the necessary procedures would be followed for registering and keeping the inventory of munitions and weapons, provided to local security forces by NATO during its missions, in order to prevent the acquisition of the said weapons by members of terrorist organisations;

o.       to consider the possibility of creating international financial mechanisms to provide for efficient response to terrorist attacks, as well as natural and technogenic disasters.