NEW YORK, JANUARY 23 – “At this point in time it’s very important to
strengthen the political dimension of the relationship between the United Nations and NATO”, Italian Member of Parliament, Paolo Alli, told ANSA news agency while in New York in his role as President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA).
Accompanied by the Deputy Permanent Representative Inigo Lambertini, Alli held talks with General Carlos Humberto Loitey of the Department of
UN Peacekeeping Operations and the Under Secretary-General for
Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman. “We tried to figure out the best way to
strengthen the relationship between the Parliamentary Assembly and the UN because NATO is not just a military alliance but has political dimension, with a wider role in the broader peacekeeping, anti-piracy and cyber-security operations: all very important issues for global security”.
According to Alli, who was in Washington last week for the Trump inauguration and later today had an exchange of views on US politics with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a “more structured relation” between the UN and the NATO-PA would benefit both organizations as the latter represents over 60 countries: not just the 28 members of the Alliance but an important audience of observers, from North Africa Sub-Saharan area, and even the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Caucasian countries.
Since its creation in 1955, the NATO-PA has provided a unique specialised forum for members of parliament from across the Atlantic Alliance to discuss and influence decisions on Alliance security. Through its work and activities, the Assembly facilitates parliamentary awareness and understanding of the key issues affecting the security of the Euro-Atlantic area, and supports national parliamentary oversight over defence and security.
Crucially, it helps to strengthen the transatlantic relationship and the values which underpin the Alliance. The Assembly is institutionally separate from NATO, but serves as an essential link between NATO and the parliaments of the NATO nations. It provides greater transparency of NATO policies, and fosters better understanding of the Alliance’s objectives and missions among legislators and citizens of the Alliance.
The NATO-PA is made up of 257 delegates from the 28 NATO member countries. Each delegation is based on the country’s size and reflects the political composition of the parliament, therefore representing a broad spectrum of political opinion. Delegates are nominated by their parliaments according to their national procedures.
In addition to NATO-country delegates, delegates from 13 associate countries, 4 Mediterranean associate countries, as well as 8 parliamentary observer delegations take part in its activities, bringing the total number of delegates to approximately 360. Inter-parliamentary assemblies such as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) also send delegations.
Other parliamentary delegations are invited on an ad hoc basis for certain meetings and activities; in the past, these have included in particular delegations from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean. Cyprus and Malta, as well as a number of parliaments from North Africa and the Middle East, are also invited to seminars of the Mediterranean and Middle East Special Group