29 May 2005 - PARLIAMENTARIAN CALLS FOR CLOSER TIES BETWEEN NATO – EUROPEAN UNION (EU) AND UNITED NATIONS (UN)[PRESS COMMUNIQUE]
A leading NATO parliamentarian called today (Sunday) for closer ties between NATO, the European Union and the United Nations in order for the enlarged North Atlantic Alliance to meet the challenges of increasing “out of area” operations.
Bert Koenders (Netherlands), General Rapporteur of the NATO PA Political Committee, said NATO's role in areas from Afghanistan to Kosovo required it to "develop and deepen" its cooperation with other international actors. This was particularly the case if it was to answer calls to become involved in other areas, such as the so-called "Broader Middle East" and even in Africa.
"Although NATO plays a crucial role in security, peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region and beyond, it cannot do everything", he cautioned a meeting of the committee during the NATO PA's 5 day Spring Session in Ljubljana, Slovenia (May 27 to 31).
Presenting a draft report entitled "NATO'S Evolving Role in Post-Conflict Operations", Koenders called for international solutions to universal problems in conjunction with other existing regional and international actors.
"NATO should aim at becoming more political. The most obvious interpretation of this would be that the Alliance once again becomes a key framework in which member countries consult on a broad range of security issues, not only those with a military dimension," he said.
Koenders argued that in addition to its traditional role NATO in future should have three roles:
i) running peacekeeping and other post-conflict operations under its own flag
ii) act as an enabler, or tool kit, to help coalitions of the willing - primarily from among NATO's 26 member states
iii) act as a sub-contractor for peacekeeping or sanctions operations for the UN.
"Learning the lessons of post-conflict operations is crucial to effectively managing NATO's continuing transformation process as they refer to key issues - such as capabilities - relevant to the future of Alliance consensus on NATO's role," Koenders added.
He concluded that despite NATO's military and financial shortcomings, the world demands that it be ready and available at short notice to take on further tasks "as and when the situation demands".