The Riigikogu Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly defends Estonian foreign and security policy positions at the meetings and in the committees of the Parliamentary Assembly. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has five committees that cover the areas which are relevant for NATO member states.
The delegation helps to carry out the main tasks of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which include:
- cooperation between member countries in defence and security issues;
- defending the security policy positions and foreign policy interests of Estonia;
- preparing topical reports and resolutions on security and defence issues;
- participating in the events organised by the Assembly and the work of its committees;
- ensuring the continuity of the Assembly.
NATO Parliamentary Assembly
Estonia became an associate country of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in October 1991, and a full member of NATO on 29 March 2004.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or NATO is a military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty or Washington Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO had 12 founding members: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Great Britain and USA. Now NATO has 28 members. The highest body of NATO is the North Atlantic Council, which is headed by the Secretary General. Since 1 October 2014, the Secretary General of NATO is Jens Stoltenberg.
In 1955, the North Atlantic Assembly was founded at NATO, and renamed the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in 1998. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly also has 28 member states. There are also 17 associate countries, and seven countries have the status of parliamentary observer in all activities of the Assembly.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly consists of 257 delegates who represent 28 member states of NATO.
The Plenary Session of the Assembly, where more than 250 delegates with the right to vote participate, meets twice a year, in spring and in autumn. The headquarters of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly are in Brussels.
The aim of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is to protect pluralist democracy and human rights, and also to ensure the security of the trans-Atlantic space and fight against international terrorism. The Secretary General of NATO gives an overview of the activities and objectives of NATO at the spring and autumn session.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has five committees that cover the areas which are relevant for NATO member states:
- Political Committee;
- Defence and Security Committee;
- Economics and Security Committee;
- Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security;
- Science and Technology Committee.
The head of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly is the President; the current President is Mike Turner. Besides him, five Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer and the Secretary General form the leadership of the Assembly.
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