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Delegates addressed environmental and industrial hazards and how to best manage those threats. Industry representatives were given an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities in support of CBRN defense procedure. The participants came from NATO Allies and partner nations and they had a chance to participate in open and in-depth debates.

The topics of the meeting included missile defense, cooperation in fighting against terrorism, military-to-military interaction, Afghanistan, the Winter Olympic Games, and UN Security Resolutions and in Libya. However, the two remain at odds on missile defense. Russia has been opposing the deployment of NATO missile defense system near its border but is in favor of deploying a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

NATO, on the other hand, insists on two independent systems that will exchange information.

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On 14 September, The United States and Romania signed an agreement allowing the United States to place anti-missile interceptors on Romanian territory. The whole event lasted about five minutes, demonstrating the validity of the information flow. Overall, this exercise confirmed the capability of the System, and NATO can begin to expand the Missile Defense protection to cover all of its territory and civilians.

Participants addressed topics including missile defense, the Mediterranean Dialogue, disarmament, nuclear nonproliferation, and ballistic missile proliferation. Several speakers argued that NATO should review its force posture, noting the potential withdrawal of sub-strategic nuclear weapons from Germany. There was also a sense that nuclear disarmament requires concurrent progress in conventional disarmament. Several speakers noted that the U.

Others argued those nuclear weapons are a security liability and that the alliance as a whole should work towards their consolidation and removal. In her statement , U. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted the threats of nuclear terrorism and ballistic missile proliferation.

The event sought to strengthen cooperation and facilitate the exchange of best practices for detection, identification, monitoring, and attack recovery. Ministers agreed that NATO must maintain the security of its members with the lowest number of nuclear weapons possible. The importance of maintaining the balance between deterrence and support for disarmament and nonproliferation was highlighted.

Issues relating to missile defense were debated including cost, command and control, and potential Russian cooperation. The Ministers noted that missile defense cannot replace deterrence, but it can complement it. It was announced that a decision on taking on alliance missile defense as a NATO mission will be made at the Lisbon Summit in November.

On 19 July, NATO conducted a theater missile defense exercise to ensure its ability to connect real-time missile defense capabilities with sensors and launchers. The ESCD will improve Alliance monitoring capabilities, allowing NATO to more effectively anticipate international security developments by integrating existing areas of expertise into one division with greater focus and visibility. The speech emphasized the necessity of greater NATO-Russian cooperation, particularly on missile defense, conventional arms control, and nuclear weapons reductions and transparency.

Greater cooperation was discussed on a range of topics including Afghanistan, missile defense, and conventional arms control. The ministers gave final recommendations and advice on a wide range of issues, but discussion focused largely on NATO reform, the new Strategic Concept, missile defense, and relations with Russia. On 20 November, the Lisbon Summit concluded with the adoption a new Strategic Concept for the next ten years.

The Alliance reaffirmed bonds between members to defend one another and identified three core tasks for future security: collective defense, crisis management, and cooperative security. The joint statement also endorsed the first ever Joint Review of 21 st Century Common Security Challenges and agreed upon joint ballistic missile threat assessments. Both countries participated in their first Summit as full members of the Alliance in Strasbourg-Kehl from April.

He will officially assume his duties on 1 August, when the term of the current Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, expires. NATO will continue to play its part in reinforcing arms control and promoting nuclear and conventional disarmament in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as non-proliferation efforts.

On 31 August, NATO published a new strategic policy to combat weapons of mass destruction proliferation and defend against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear CBRN threats. The main topic of this meeting was Afghanistan. Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer made it clear that he expected the application process to be concluded by the Bucharest Summit.

Members also discussed the importance of strengthening ties with the Balkan states and Eastern Europe. The meeting released the " Bucharest Summit Declaration Issued by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest on 3 April ", which contained over 50 points. It reaffirmed missile defense as a response to ballistic missile proliferation and announced its intention to ensure that all NATO allied territory and population will eventually receive coverage.

While the possibility of a US missile defense system based in the Czech Republic was discussed, it was ultimately agreed that the issue is a bilateral matter between the Czech Republic and the United States. Therefore, NATO did not take an official position on the matter. NATO decided to pursue a three-track approach to missile defense: i. On October, a multinational team of 12 experts held an advanced training course for the Ukrainian Border Guard Academy in Varna, Bulgaria, on combating the risk of terrorists acquiring WMD through improved border security.

National delegations included high-ranking officials and experts from capitals. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were the lead countries for the project and Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and two partner countries, Finland and Switzerland, were to contribute. On October, a NATO-sponsored workshop on building cooperative and regional approaches to preparedness and defense against bio-terrorism took place in Bucharest, Romania. The Response Force — due to become fully operational in October — was one of the key elements of the transformation.

On April, at a meeting held in Sofia, Bulgaria, foreign ministers from NATO countries and Russia agreed to a document laying out priorities for NATO-Russia cooperation, including political dialogue, the fight against terrorism, and interoperability.

Participants adopted recommendations for priorities in the further development of NATO-Russia relations. While NATO leaders reaffirmed their military commitments, they also called for more extensive international involvement. View the declaration of the Riga Summit. NATO expects the system will be operable by The goal of the system is to protect deployed troops from short to medium range ballistic missile by intercepting them at the boost phase. Heads of state and government endorsed the importance of giving the Alliance a stronger political role, where political subjects of importance to transatlantic security would be discussed at NATO.

Its aim was to help Ukraine destroy stockpiles of surplus munitions, small arms and light weapons, and Man-Portable Air Defense Systems. The project is the largest single demilitarization effort in the world.

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Since much of this material is stored in the open, it poses a major security threat to local civilian population and infrastructure. Safe destruction of these stocks would eliminate potential proliferation risk. The Trust Fund project will be executed in four phases, over 12 years. The meeting was the first concrete step towards implementing a decision by heads of state and government in February to strengthen strategic political dialogue in the Alliance. A wide range of issues were discussed, including the peace process in the Middle East and the situation in the Darfur region of Sudan.

The event brought together a number of ministers from NATO and partner countries, as well as senior decision-makers and representatives of think tanks and civil society. The forum gave delegates an opportunity to discuss more openly and in greater depth than is usual in ministerial meetings the key issues in Euro-Atlantic security. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer of the Netherlands, began an initial four-year term in office. He reiterated this on several occasions throughout the first half of , calling for more support for the NATO-led peacekeeping mission there in late February.

On 15 January, Afghani militia forces turned over weapons, including tanks, artillery and other hardware, to the government in a weapons collection program supported by NATO through its International Security Assistance Force. The partnership also will gain in relevance if North Africa, the Maghreb in this case, acquires a minimum of shared views and vision on the form and substance of relations with NATO; by together addressing the NATO leaders, the partners can present their arguments concerning the development of the partnership.

Meanwhile, for geopolitical reasons these countries prefer the bilateral format to the multilateral format. The biggest effort of adaptation is to redefine the MD based on a redefinition of the threat in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the perception of the threat and its location has always been oriented towards the southern shore of the Mediterranean, seen as the only source of instability factors.

The geopolitical and security changes underway are beginning to undermine this certainty, so it is legitimate to speak of a threat on multiple scales: just as it is true that the threat is changing in nature and geography:. First, tensions between the Western countries and Russia cause strategic threats to resurface.

The objective is to rapidly deploy ground, air and naval forces in threatened regions. It is still early to make a comprehensive and thorough assessment, as long as the speed of events fails to enable a clear forecast of what configuration will emerge from this dynamic. However, preliminary indications highlight Russia's desire to position itself as a regulator and referee of the Mediterranean game, as demonstrated by its role in the Syrian crisis. Furthermore, the Southern Mediterranean does not yet have a collective mode of governance to guarantee solidarity and a comprehensive treatment of new asymmetric factors that may cause a crisis.

The Libyan and Malian crises give way to an instability that affects the whole Sahara-Sahel and Maghreb regions through the fragility of some regimes in the region Libya, Mali, Niger and through the mobility of terrorist groups.

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These networks thrive in a vulnerable corridor from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. The stability of the Mediterranean is no longer exclusively linked to considerations inherent in this region. It also became dependent on the stability of other peripheral regions in Africa Sahel-Saharan strip, Atlantic side. Any change, dysfunction or crisis within these peripheral areas has a direct impact on the security and stability of the Euro-Mediterranean region as a whole.

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Next, the terrorist threat is not confined only to the South. In other words, European countries are incubators of radicalism and terrorism just as are North Africa and the Middle East. The series of attacks that hit France informed us about the network of radical Salafists throughout the continent -born in Europe and socialized in European schools — who massively adhere to an exclusive and dogmatic political project.

The rise of these networks is a threat both for Europe and for the Southern shore of the Mediterranean, given the ease with which they can travel between the two sides, especially in the North-South sense. This situation should place the hybrid threat at the center of the MD, since the terrorist networks use unconventional means to achieve their goals by taking advantage of the structural limits of the States and NATO itself.

This is one more reason to guide the fight against terrorism towards the strengthening of border control capacities, cyber defense, and management of terrorist threats, through the transfer of technology solutions to partners. Lastly, the demographic issue provides a challenge to the Mediterranean and globally because of its strategic consequences in terms of conflict and security. If the demographic transition seems underway in the Maghreb with a fertility rate of 2. So, according to these forecasts, Niger's population will increase from 19 million in to 69 million in , in Nigeria will be the third largest globally with million inhabitants, while Egypt could reach a population of million.

Rapid population growth, combined with climate change drought in particular and a sustained weak economic situation, impacts the daily life of the population and promotes the conditions of migration flows to the Mediterranean and beyond. The role played by France and Germany has had a crucial importance in the ensuring of the European security equilibrium. Both countries have an intermediary role, which is useful for the mediation between the European countries. In the case of the Mediterranean, France has a strong position and is able to have an influence on the measures to take because of its historical interest in the area.

The Mediterranean context has changed since the Arab Spring and the French government seemed not to be able to help stabilize the changing regional dynamics. In this context, the French Mediterranean policy seemed old and inadequate.

The future of NATO's Mediterranean initiative : evolution and next steps - Ghent University Library

Moreover, the involvement of Paris in sedating the uprising in Libya, bombing the territory to help defeat Al-Gaddafi, had many consequences in the area as well as on domestic and international politics. In the wake of the Arab Spring and pushed by the need for the European Union to support the political tensions and promote sustainable economic development, two initiatives were launched to reinforce the European Neighborhood Policy ENP.

One of these initiatives has been directed by the Union for The Mediterranean UfM towards concrete operations to promote better regional integration, dialogue and cohesion in the area. The Union was a French project proposed in by Nikolas Sarkozy before his election, and launched the following year. The creation of the UfM emphasized the role of France in the Mediterranean, showing once again to Europe the French grandeur, the heritage of the past, and the commitment of the Country in fostering the stability of the region.

This is true especially for the Mediterranean area, which has always played a key role for France since the southern shore has always been a strategic scenario of considerable interest. In the words Alexandra De Hoop Scheffer a , France has now been playing the part of a swing state in the Alliance. France is pivotal in NATO operations.