Nusrat GHANI (United Kingdom)

19 April 2021

NATO has continuously expanded cooperation with countries that lie outside the geographical scope of the Alliance. Through a series of programmes and initiatives, NATO engages bilaterally with Partner nations which are not part of its regional partnership frameworks but share the Alliance’s values and interests. The draft report stresses that cooperation in the area of Science and Technology (S&T) is part and parcel of NATO’s relations with Partner nations. The rapporteur also notes that Japan and ROK are world leaders in, inter alia, several EDT sectors and science and technology powerhouses more broadly.

The preliminary draft report identifies comparative S&T advantages of NATO’s Asian partners, particularly of Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in key dual-use technologies. Therefore, in recognition of the changing security and technological environments, the Alliance is deepening S&T ties with its Partner nations in Asia-Pacific.

However, though S&T cooperation deepens relations with Partner nations, cooperation in this area is an underexplored pillar of NATO relationships with its Asian Partner nations, the rapporteur concludes.

The rapporteur welcomes the recent decision of the NATO Science and Technology Board to include Japan as a STO-EOP nation. She recognises that deepening and expanding cooperation in the S&T realm will depend on the degree to which Partner nations make use of NATO’s vast network of scientific and technological expertise. In view of maintaining the technological edge in a stepwise approach, the STB might consider inviting other nations to consider becoming a STO-EOP nation.

This preliminary draft report will be discussed by the Science and Technology Committee (STC) at the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

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