The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) is a security alliance of 29 North American and European states, established by the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. NATO’s fundamental role is to protect the freedom and security of its member states. More information is available on the NATO website.
The Parliamentary Assembly on NATO has 266 delegates from Parliaments of the 29 NATO member states. The Assembly’s principal objective is to facilitate mutual understanding between Parliamentarians from Alliance countries and promote debate on key security challenges.
In addition, the Assembly defines its aims as:
- to provide NATO and its member governments with an indication of collective parliamentary opinion;
- to provide greater transparency of NATO policies, and thereby a degree of collective accountability;
- to strengthen the transatlantic relationship;
- to assist in the development of parliamentary democracy throughout the Euro-Atlantic area by integrating parliamentarians from non-member nations into the Assembly's work;
- to assist directly those parliaments actively seeking Alliance membership;
- to increase co-operation with countries which seek co-operation rather than membership, including those of the Caucasus and the Mediterranean regions; and
- to assist in the development of parliamentary mechanisms, practices and 'know how' essential for the effective democratic control of armed forces.
More information is available on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly website.