NATO Parliamentary Assembly
HomeOUR WORKSessions2011 Spring Session - VarnaCommittee Reports and Summaries

Committee Reports and Summaries

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VIEW THE COMPLETE LIST OF COMMITTEE REPORTS TO BE PRESENTED IN VARNA AND DOWNLOAD WORD VERSION


COMMITTEE ON THE CIVIL DIMENSION OF SECURITY

074 CDS 11 E: Draft General Report. "Information and National Security"
General Rapporteur: Lord JOPLING (United Kingdom)

This report focuses on three facets of the linkage between Information Age and national security. First, it discusses the changing notion of secrecy in international relations. This issue was brought to prominence by the so-called “Cablegate” scandal. Second, social media and other Internet-based communities are creating new, ad hoc and cross-border allegiances that can manifest themselves in a variety of positive and negative ways. Third, the report addresses the challenge of direct cyber threats against states and, in particular, NATO’s role in cyber defence as one of the principal topics for the Euro-Atlantic community, particularly in the wake of the Lisbon Summit.

NATO is not in a position to address all aspects of this challenge, but it does have a significant role to play, not least because it unites nations with the most developed information and communication infrastructure. On the global level, NATO should support initiatives to negotiate at least some international legal ground rules for the cyber domain. The paper urges NATO and its member states to be more pro-actively engaging private sector and establishing closer co-operation with the EU. NATO should incorporate its cyber policies (and encourage its member states to do likewise) into a broader framework for adapting the military to the realities of the Information Age. Cyber security is not a value per se, it must be seen within the context of the developing concept of network-enabled capabilities. In other words, we need to find the right balance between the advantages offered to our armed forces by the new information and communication technologies, and the protection against cyber threats stemming from this information revolution. The application of Article 5 should not be ruled out, given that new developments in cyber weapons such as Stuxnet might eventually cause damage comparable to that of a conventional military attack. In more practical terms, NATO should consider its role in protecting physical infrastructure associated with the cyber domain. Other measures should include reviewing our policies in terms of critical information that is to be stored online. However, all necessary security measures should not cross the line where they would violate the fundamental principles and values cherished by the nations of the Euro-Atlantic community. In order to prevent the abuse by the governments, stricter security rules should be accompanied by measures ensuring democratic oversight.

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075 CDSDG 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Democratic Governance. “Post-Orange Ukraine : Internal Dynamics and Foreign Policy Priorities”
Rapporteur : Lucio MALAN (Italy)

Ukraine has entered a new “post-Orange” stage of its development, with the election of Mr Yanukovych as President in February 2010 in an election widely judged to be free and fair. Civilized transfer of power is a critical step towards mature democracy, but the final test for a country in transition lies in the determination of a new government to maintain the democratic process and to refrain from changing the rules of the political game. This test has yet to be passed by Ukraine. Some of the new developments, particularly in the field of democratic rights and liberties, raise questions about the new administration’s democratic credentials, and a number of observers note that the country is backsliding on some of the democratic achievements since the Orange Revolution. The prosecution of key opposition figures and deteriorating media situation are the issues of particular concern.

The speed and strength of the initial Eastward thrust of President Yanukovych’s foreign policy alarmed the opposition, particularly the extension of Russia ’s lease on Sebastapol for the Black Sea Fleet and the bill which commits Ukraine to “a non-bloc” policy. The Euro-Atlantic community fully respects the right of the Ukrainian nation to make its own strategic choices. However, it is important to ensure that the internal strategic debate and the identity-building process take place in a democratic environment and in accordance with the principles of full freedom of expression. With time, the administration seems to be assuming a more balanced stance in its relations with Russia and the West. While NATO should maintain good relations with Ukraine, the Euro-Atlantic community must redouble its efforts to support democratic processes in Ukraine.

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076 CDS 11 E: Draft Special Report. "Governance challenges in Afghanistan – an Update"
Special Rapporteur : Vitalino CANAS (Portugal)

This report provides an update on some of the key governance challenges that Afghanistan faces today. Out of the three pillars of Afghanistan reconstruction and stabilisation efforts (security / development / governance), the governance pillar still receives far too little attention, despite some progress in recent years. The Rapporteur pleads for a more balanced approach, elevating governance to the same level of importance as the other two pillars. Instead of quick-fix and short-term policies, a complex and long-term strategy needs to be devised and implemented in order to improve all levels of Afghan governance. To ensure sustainability of governance programmes, the international community and the government of Afghanistan must embrace a more comprehensive approach and build a system which includes the presence of vibrant civil society, unlocks bottom-up initiative, encourages inclusiveness and transparency, promotes widespread literacy and education, and ensures the right balance between various branches of government. These policies need to be continuously employed and assessed well after the 2014 deadline.

The paper also contains a number of more specific proposals, including providing assistance to the newly-elected Afghan parliament, encouraging its independent but constructive role within the country’s political system; replacing the Single non-Transferable Vote system with the one that would encourage development of the party system; holding local and municipal elections at the earliest possible date; increasing funding of training programs for civil servants; protecting independent and pro-active anti-corruption institutions from political pressure; preferring long-term counter-narcotics projects promoting structural change and job creation rather than short-term cash-for-work programmes; and supporting civil society organisations in a way that would gradually make them less associated with foreign actors.

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DEFENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE

078 DSC 11 E: Draft General Report. "Transition in Afghanistan: Assessing the Security Effort”
General Rapporteur: Sven MIKSER (Estonia)

At the November Lisbon Summit NATO announced the beginning of the new phase of transition in Afghanistan. This phase has already seen the handover to full Afghan security responsibility and leadership in some provinces in 2011. This report, prepared for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Defence and Security Committee, is therefore intended to assess, insofar as possible, the evolution of the security situation in Afghanistan. Elements of ISAF strategy covered include the ongoing kinetic operations and their impact on the enemy and on the establishment of zones of stability; efforts to continue to develop of the Afghan National Security Forces, as well as standing up local security forces; the ongoing controversy of the role of Private Security Companies; and efforts to address the narcotics problem. While the report outlines indicators to success, a complete evaluation will only be possible once the fighting season, resuming this Spring, has been assessed. 

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79 DSCFC 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Future Security and Defence Capabilities. "Missile Defence: the Way Ahead for NATO"
Rapporteur : Raymond KNOPS (Netherlands)

NATO’s 2010 Strategic Concept states that “the proliferation of ballistic missiles (…) poses a real and growing threat to the Euro-Atlantic area.”  More than 30 countries already hold or are acquiring missiles that could carry not only conventional payloads but also weapons of mass destruction. In November 2010, Allies took two groundbreaking decisions on missile defence at NATO’s Lisbon Summit: first, they agreed for the first time to “develop the capability to defend our populations and territories against ballistic missile attack as a core element of our collective defence.” And secondly, the Alliance decided to actively seek cooperation on missile defence with Russia.  Hailed as a definitive break with cold war doctrines, this was promoted as perhaps the most important element of a general re-set of relations between NATO and Russia at the Lisbon Summit.
 
This report therefore seeks to offer a factual summary of the decisions taken at Lisbon on missile defence and plans for implementing them. It will analyze a number of areas crucial to its ultimate success or failure, including: types of threats, costs, technology, location, political will and physical capacity within the alliance, as well as prospects for Russian cooperation.   

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080 DSCTC 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Defence and Security Co‑operation. "NATO Operations under the New Strategic Concept and the Implications of the Evolution of the CSDP"
Rapporteur: Nicole AMELINE (France)

This report seeks to articulate the lessons learned from past and ongoing NATO conflict engagement as well as to investigate the management of these conflicts and to shed light on gaps that need to be corrected. To that end, the report first describes the outlines of NATO's current operations; second, it explores some of the key implications of the new Strategic Concept for current and future operations; third, it puts a special focus on the evolving role of the European Union as an operational partner to NATO. 

The 2010 Strategic Concept lays out an ambitious and far-reaching vision for the Alliance. Among other key provisions, it puts an increased emphasis on a comprehensive approach to operations, including greater coordination with other actors, as well as on the enhancement of what this report calls NATO’s “Operations Toolkit” with new capabilities, such as a civilian specialist force. These provisions are eminently sensible given that NATO finds itself engaged in an increasing number of protracted conflicts some of which, like Libya, are conventional in nature whereas others, like piracy, have at its core a challenge as intractable as poverty and underdevelopment.

Nevertheless, the Strategic Concept alone cannot deliver the solutions needed by the organization. Instead, its utility depends on the collective will and commitment of the NATO member states to finance and implement it.   The implementation of the Concept requires a sustained financial investment, which is rendered even more difficult in today’s climate of financial austerity and falling defense budgets. In this context, the ability to prioritize among the Concept’s provisions as well as the need to ensure defence planning transparency and cohesion within the Alliance emerge as vital issues.

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ECONOMICS AND SECURITY COMMITTEE

082 ESC 11 E: Draft General Report. “Confronting a Difficult Fiscal Environment: the Economic and Security Implications of Fiscal Consolidation"
General Rapporteur: Simon van DRIEL(Netherlands)

Over the last three years the global economy has undergone the worst recession since the end of World War II. The impact has been profound, and the fall-out from the crisis is likely to endure well beyond the recovery, which is now tentatively underway in most Western economies.  This report delves into the strategic and political implications of the crisis, in terms of government deficits and debt, fiscal consolidation, economic recovery, employment, and defence spending, all of which could have an impact on the West’s security posture.

There is a tendency to approach recessions as purely economic phenomena but history provides ample evidence that they are also inherently political and strategic in their implications. This crisis has been no different. The apparent effect of the downturn on defence budgets is already obvious. But other effects may take years to register fully. It is highly likely, for example, that the growth trajectory of emerging economies like India and China will remain highly robust while most Western countries now seem to be settling into lower growth orbits. This has long-term strategic implications, and this report explores some of these.

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083 ESCTER 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Economic Relations. "Finding Workable Solutions in Afghanistan : The Work of the International Community in Building a Functioning Economy and Society"
Rapporteur: Jeppe KOFOD (Denmark)

This report notes that the war effort in Afghanistan has been characterized by a series of miscalculations about the very nature of the conflict, the needs of the country, and the ultimate ambitions of the international coalition.  In order to better prepare the Afghan society and its institutions for assuming responsibility for the country’s overall security, the US and its coalition partners have recently adopted a population-centered counter-insurgency strategy and significantly increased foreign assistance with a renewed dedication to better coordinating this aid. This report analyzes the international community’s new approach to Afghanistan with a particular focus on the economic and development dimension.  It discusses the key dilemmas to build a functioning economic system in Afghanistan. These issues include the relationship between development and military efforts; the lack of coordination in development assistance; corruption and opium trafficking; and the dearth of investment.

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084 ESCEW 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on East-West Economic Co‑operation and Convergence. "The Balkan Economies: Regional Roadblocks, Europe ’s Distractions and Global Crisis"
Rapporteur : John SEWEL (United Kingdom)

The global economic crisis has had a negative impact on the economies of the Western Balkans. The countries of the region are less integrated into global financial markets than are their northern neighbors and this helped delay the impact of the financial crisis. But declines in export markets and remittance payments from expatriate workers in Western Europe have decreased the national income of countries which are already dealing with high unemployment and an array of other problems linked to their transition away from centrally controlled economies. In countries with manifold political challenges, weak institutions, and a recent legacy of war, an economic downturn can undermine political stability. At the same time, the sovereign debt crises in the Euro zone and enlargement fatigue in European Union may render the dream of accession to the EU ever more remote. This report addresses the national political and economic challenges confronted by Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. It also explores regional economic trends and the role of the EU in structuring these. Real progress towards improving rule of law and the lives of the people of the Western Balkans will require far deeper reform, genuine regional reconciliation and a more aggressive fight against corruption.

*   Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name

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POLITICAL COMMITTEE

086 PC 11 E: Draft General Report. "The Rise of China and Possible Implications for NATO "
General Rapporteur: Assen AGOV (Bulgaria)

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) has risen to become a major regional and global power which has begun to pursue a more active foreign policy that impacts directly and indirectly on NATO security concerns.  This report therefore briefly examines the Foreign and Security Policy of the PRC as well as its fledging relationship with NATO.

The author, Assen Agov of Bulgaria, argues that China ’s evolving role in international affairs is largely determined by the complex and continuing change that is occurring within the country.  China is a nation in transition; it is an increasingly complex, partially contradictory country that is outwardly confident and powerful and at times perceived as assertive. Yet it is also an inwardly confused nation which needs to address its internal challenges. 

The author suggests that China ’s foreign policy focuses on furthering domestic economic development through international cooperation and on promoting peace and stability by cultivating ties with other nations on an equal basis.  While the PRC has repeatedly and publicly committed itself to “the path of peaceful development”, it is also rapidly expanding its military capabilities.  The report states that the ongoing expansion and modernisation of the PRC’s military has generated considerable uneasiness among its immediate neighbours, particularly those with whom China has territorial disputes. The PRC’s increased confidence and assertiveness has strained its relationships with regional neighbours, especially Japan, in the last year. 

Noting that contacts between China and the Alliance are a relatively recent development the rapporteur suggests that NATO and China should engage in more regular contact which should primarily be geared towards providing increased institutional transparency and information.  Given the fact that both sides share a range of common security concerns, including the security and stability of Afghanistan, they could explore opportunities for gradual, limited policy co-ordination, possibly also together with other NATO partners. 

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087 PCNP 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on NATO Partnerships. "Belarus  - A Difficult Partner"
Rapporteur : Daniel BACQUELAINE (Belgium)

This report suggests that Belarus plays an important role for European stability because of its geographical position.  Noting that NATO and the EU have in the past considered their relations with Belarus primarily as an appendage to their relationships with Russia, the rapporteur proposes to also recognise Belarus as a country with its own part to play in the European political and security landscape. 

While Minsk continues its participation in the “Partnership for Peace” programme and a number of other NATO activities, Belarus remains a difficult partner for NATO, and the EU in particular.  Relations with the EU are deadlocked since the government’s crackdown on protestors and opposition figures following the disputed presidential elections on 19 December 2010.  

The report states that the 2010 presidential elections and the ensuing political repression have put to an end the cautious steps towards economic and political liberalisation that the government had taken in the second half of 2009.  NATO and the EU remain concerned about the political and human rights situation in Belarus.  The international community has unanimously condemned the actions of the Lukashenko regime and EU and NATO member states have imposed travel restrictions upon President Lukashenko and senior Belarusian officials as well as freezing their assets.

The report argues that NATO and the EU should keep the door open for dialogue.  However, engaging Belarus has to be based on the principle of conditionality.  In this context, Mr. Bacquelaine underlines that democratic countries, of NATO and the EU in particular, must speak with one voice and strongly advocate democratic reform and respect for human rights in Belarus.  However, unless the Belarusian government does a U-turn, terminating its repression and adopting a course that allows for political as well as economic reform, there is little hope that relations between Minsk and the West can be restored to pre-December 2010 levels. 

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088 PCTR 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Transatlantic Relations. "Afghanistan - the Regional Context”
Rapporteur : John Dirby PAULSEN (Denmark)

The report analyses Afghanistan ’s relationships with neighbouring countries and options to positively influence these countries’ policies towards Afghanistan.  The rapporteur stresses that all countries of the region have a stake in Afghanistan ’s well-being and that the latter’s future is likely to have an impact on the region at large.  However, while the importance of regionally-owned solutions is increasingly recognised the situation in the region remains complex and rife with tension.  A viable regional approach to Afghanistan is stymied by numerous complicating factors, including, among others, the Kashmir conflict, Iran ’s nuclear programme and contested border issues.  

The rapporteur states that NATO has systematically underscored the need for regional co-operation in Afghanistan.  However, achieving this has proven to be far more difficult.  Co-operation has grown and improved in some cases, such as with Russia, but progress with key countries such as Pakistan has remained uneven.  Although all neighbouring states have a vested interest in a stable and secure Afghanistan, they neither wish NATO to fail nor to succeed in its task.  The neighbours have different, in part conflicting, interests in Afghanistan and some neighbours consider NATO with suspicion. 

The rapporteur suggests that NATO member states need to align their policies vis-à-vis Afghanistan ’s neighbours.  In this context, NATO should expand its existing partnerships with neighbouring countries.  Moreover, the Alliance should initiate political dialogue with the countries with which it currently has no formal contacts, Mr Paulsen proposes. 

The report argues that the UN is likely to take on a more prominent role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of ISAF forces and that the UN must also have a leading role in the efforts directed at engaging Afghanistan ’s neighbours.  Given the complexity of the task and the different, in part conflicting interests and agendas of its neighbours, developing a common, positive approach towards Afghanistan among the neighbouring countries will be a cumbersome, long-term process. 

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

090 STC 11 E: Draft General Report. "Countering Biological and Chemical Threats: The Way Forward"
General Rapporteur : David SCOTT (United States )

Chemical and especially biological weapons remain a serious threat.   They could be used by terrorists to kill large numbers of civilians, and several sovereign states retain biological and chemical weapons programs.   This General Report catalogues the current frameworks governing biological and chemical threats, discusses their potential weaknesses and suggests some ways forward to strengthen the relevant disarmament and non-proliferation regimes.  It also turns to the question of crisis response in case of a WMD‑related incident, whether intentional or accidental.  In particular, this report focuses on the biological weapons nonproliferation regime because of recent advances in dual-use technology in the life sciences – for instance, deadly viruses can now be synthesized in laboratories – and because strong mechanisms to assure compliance with international law against biological weapons do not exist.   In light of the upcoming seventh review conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in December 2011, Alliance and partner nations should therefore take steps to make the world safer from biological weapons.

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091 STCEES 11 E: Draft Report of the Sub-Committee on Energy and Environmental Security. "Food and Water Security : Implications for Euro-Atlantic Security"
Rapporteur : Philippe VITEL (France)

During the 2007/2008 food crisis, when much of the developing world was suddenly impacted by high food prices, major riots broke out in about 30 countries.   In 2011, the spectre of a major food crisis is rearing its head once again, with food prices reaching levels similar to those three years ago.  Food and water security have a direct impact on political security and have already become a defining factor in the landscape of security politics. This report offers an analysis of the longer-term trends regarding food and water security and the shorter-term risks to global food security as well as current policies, the role of science and technology and the prospects for better managing our limited resources.   Some of the topics examined are the evolving global food and energy demands, the international financial and trade framework and the effects of climate change.  The report also presents a variety of solutions to ward off future worst case scenarios for food and water insecurity.

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092 STC 11 E: Draft Special Report. "Countering the Afghan Insurgency: Low-Tech Threats, High-Tech Solutions"
Special Rapporteur: Pierre Claude NOLIN (Canada)

This Special Report addresses the low- and high-tech challenges and solutions to the military task of countering the insurgency against the government of Afghanistan.  One of the biggest challenges facing the Alliance and its partners in Afghanistan is the threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).   This report outlines this low-tech threat to Afghan and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops as well as to Afghan civilians and highlights the high-tech countermeasures that NATO is developing to negate it.  Furthermore, the contribution of unmanned aerial and ground vehicles (UAVs and UGVs) to the wider effort to disrupt and defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan is examined.  This includes an analysis of drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  In particular, the controversies surrounding the latter, which are not part of the ISAF mission, but nevertheless have an impact upon it, are covered in depth.  The report thus outlines how technology is continually changing the battlefield and shows that NATO must remain technologically flexible and advanced to maintain operational prowess.

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