North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord (OTAN)
Organisation des Nordatlantikvertrags

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1949-04-04 Washington DC USA


Established on the basis of the T-XT4905 - North Atlantic Treaty, as a defensive political and military alliance of independent countries in accordance with the terms of the United Nations Charter. It provides common security for members through cooperation and consultation in political, military and economic and in scientific and other non-military fields. Also referred to as North Atlantic Alliance. Original signatories of the Treaty were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Greece and Turkey acceded to the Treaty in 1952 (Protocol 22 Oct 1951, London - UK); the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955 (Protocol 23 Oct 1954, Paris - France). France withdrew from the integrated military command structure in 1966 but remains a member of the Atlantic Alliance. After 1974, Greece withdrew from the integrated military command structure but rejoined Oct 1980. Spain joined NATO in 1982 (Protocol 10 Dec 1981, Brussels); Czech Rep, Hungary and Poland joined 1999; Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia joined 2004; Albania and Croatia joined 2009. Headquarters moved to Paris from London in Apr 1951, and to Brussels in Oct 1967. With the demise of the Warsaw Pact and the end of the Cold War, NATO began a process of fundamental transformation of its structures and policies to meet the new security challenges in Europe. This ongoing process began at the Jul 1990, London, and Nov 1991, Rome Summits, culminating in the Summit Meeting of Heads of States and Government, Jan 1994, Brussels. These changes and innovations include: a new Strategic Concept; a reduced and more flexible force structure; increased coordination and cooperation with other international institutions; active involvement in international peacekeeping operations; intensive cooperation with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union through the establishment, 20 Dec 1991, of 'North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC)', currently, since May 1997, C-XC0004 - Euro Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC); T-XT9203 - Treaty on Open Skies signed 24 Mar 1992, Helsinki (Finland), between NATO and member countries of the former Warsaw Treaty Organization, which will enter into force when ratified by 20 signatory countries; agreement, Dec 1992, with Cooperation Partners to work together and consult in support of peacekeeping operations under UN or F-XF0947 - Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) responsibility; approval of the F-XF3163 - Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative, Jan 1994, and later of its Partnership Coordination Cell (PCC). Current Strategic Concept, 2010.


Safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means; secure a lasting peace in Europe, based on common values of individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.


2024-07-09 | Washington, DC USA – Summit

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E-XK1113 - North Atlantic Council (NAC), established by Article 9 of the Treaty, is the principal political decision-making body within NATO and comprises an Ambassador or Permanent Representative of each member nation, supported by a national delegation. Also meets at level of Heads of State and Heads of Government or Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Defence.

/Civilian Structure:/

'NATO Headquarters' in Brussels (Belgium), acts as political and administrative centre.

'Permanent Representatives and National Delegations'.

'International Staff (IS)':

  • Private Office (PO);
  • Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, comprising: NATO Liaison Office (NLO), Georgia; Office of the NATO Liaison Officer (NLO), Central Asia; Partnership for Peace Documentation Center;
  • Operations Division, comprising: Civil Emergency Planning; E-XE3461 - Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC); NATO Situation Centre;
  • Emerging Security Challenges Division, comprising Science for Peace and Security; Weapons of Mass Destruction Non-Proliferation Centre (WMDC); Defence Against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT POW);
  • Defence Policy and Planning Division, including: NATO Liaison Office (NLO), Ukraine;
  • Defence Investment Division, comprising: Conference of National Armaments Directors; NATO Naval Forces Sensor and Weapons Accuracy Check Sites (FORACS); Air and Missile Defence Committee (AMDC); Aviation Committee (AVC); Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC);
  • Public Diplomacy Division, comprising: NATO Multimedia Library; Co-sponsorship grants; NATO Information and Documentation Centre, Kiev (Ukraine); NATO Information Office, Moscow (Russia); NATO Contact Point Embassies in partner countries;
  • Executive Management, comprising: Archives; Recruitment Service; NATO Internship Programme;
  • NATO Office of Resources (NOR);
  • NATO Office of Security (NOS);
  • NATO Headquarters Consultation, Command and Control Staff;
  • Office of the Financial Controller (FinCon);
  • Office of the Chairman of the Senior Resource Board (SRB);
  • Office of the Chairman of the Civil and Military Budget Committees (CBC/MBC);
  • International Board of Auditors for NATO (IBAN);
  • NATO Administrative Tribunal;
  • NATO Production and Logistics Organisations (NPLO).

/Military Structure:/

'Military Committee'.

'International Military Staff':

  • Plans and Policy Division;
  • Operations Division;
  • Intelligence Division;
  • Cooperation and Regional Security Division;
  • Logistics, Armaments and Resources Division;
  • NATO Situation Centre;
  • Financial Controller;
  • NATO HQ Consultation, Control and Communications Staff;
  • Partner Country Representation;
  • NATO Committee on Gender Perspective (NCGP);
  • NATO Military Audiovisual Working Group.

E-XE2231 - Allied Command Operations (ACO):

E-XE4740 - Allied Command Transformation (ACT):

  • Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT), Norfolk VA (USA);
  • Joint Warfare Centre (JWC), Stavanger (Norway);
  • NATO Training Group;
  • NATO Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC), Bydgoszcz (Poland);
  • NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Center (NMIOTC), Souda Naval Base, Crete (Greece);
  • NATO School, Oberammergau (Germany);
  • Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre, Lisbon (Portugal).

'Other NATO Command and Staff Organizations':

  • Canada-US Regional Planning Group (CUSRPG);
  • Combined Joint Planning Staff (CJPS), Mons (Belgium).

/Organizations and agencies/:


'Communications and information':

  • 'NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency)', comprising: NATO C3 Organisation; NATO CIS Services Agency (NCSA); NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A).

'Science and Technology (S and T)':

'NATO Standardization Office (NSO)':

  • NATO Term - The Official NATO Terminology Database.

'Programme Offices':

  • NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Management Agency (NAGSMA);
  • NATO Helicopter Design and Development Production and Logistics Management Agency (NAHEMA);
  • NATO Medium Extended Air Defence System Design and Development, Production and Logistics Management Agency (NAMEADSMA);
  • NATO Sea Sparrow Surface Missile System Office;
  • NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Programme Management Agency (NAPMA).

'Civil Emergency Planning':

  • Senior Civil Emergency Planning Committee (SCEPC);
  • Civil Emergency Planning Boards and Committees;
  • Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC).

'Air Traffic Management, Air Defence':

  • Aviation Committee;
  • NATO Air Defence Committee (NADC);
  • Military Committee Air Defence Study Working Group (MC-ADSWG).

'Airborn Early Warning':

'Electronic Warfare':

  • NATO Electronic Warfare Advisory Committee (NEWAC).


  • Military Committee Meteorological Group (MCMG).

'Military Oceanography':

  • Military Oceanography (MILOC) Group.

'Education and Training':

'NATO accredited Centres of Excellence'.

'Project Steering Committees/Project Offices':

  • Alliance Ground Surveillance Capability Provisional Project Office (AGS/PPO);
  • Battlefield Information Collection and Exploitation System (BICES);
  • NATO Continuous Acquisition and Life Cycle Support Office (CALS);
  • NATO FORACS Office;
  • Munitions Safety Information Analysis Center (MSIAC).


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

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UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



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* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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