Relevance of NATO; (Part II)

Article excerpt

Byline: Francis N. Tolentino

IN last week's article, we wrote about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the significant role that it plays in maintaining world peace and order. In war torn Afghanistan, NATO is currently one of the lead organizations that spearhead efforts to rebuild the nation - physically, economically, socially and politically. This particular activity of NATO puts to light why it is indeed timely for the organization to widen its thrusts and to embrace other global challenges aside from those that pertain to security and world peace.

Only last October 19, 2006 in London, the 4th NATO Secretary General's (Jaap de Hoop Scheffer) conference on current security topics entitled "Meeting Global Security Challenges" was held. The conference brought together decision-makers, opinion and business leaders as well as students to discuss NATO's agenda and global security challenges for which the nations of the world should unite and collectively act against. The Secretary General, in the closing portions of the conference encouraged the "international community to take advantage of the opportunities created by NATO's military action in Afghanistan..." by saying: "Military success alone in Afghanistan will not be enough...That is why the wider international community - the UN, the EU, the G8, the World Bank and the NGOs must now step up their game in order to exploit the window of opportunity our military actions has created."

It may be recalled that NATO first stepped into Afghanistan in August 2003 and took command and coordination of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). This was the first peacekeeping mission undertaken by NATO outside the Euro-Atlantic region. United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1510 (passed October13, 2003) extended NATO and ISAF's responsibility from mere military functions to the wider role of assisting the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to "maintain and expand security...support stabilization, reconstruction and nation-building activities. …