Comprehensive Approach – Engaging with other Security Actors

In order to meet the plethora of new and emerging security challenges, NATO must increasingly work in partnership with other international and non-governmental organizations.

Key Questions:

  • What is the nature of current relationship between NATO and the UN – the one of a competition or the one of a cooperation?
  • How can NATO find a balance in the future division of roles between international organizations?
  • How will NATO mobilise civil society and the public of its member and partner countries, in their efforts to secure peace and security?
  • How will NATO shift the focus from collective defence to the concept of human security and collective security?
  • How can NATO, as a part of a network of security actors, better contribute to global civil and military crisis management?


In order to enhance its efficiency, effectiveness and capabilities, NATO’s new strategic concept will have to incorporate the notion of a „comprehensive approach“, with the aim of providing a broad spectrm of instruments to contend with particular security threats. It is generally acknowledged that today’s security challenges cannot be resolved by NATO alone, nor by any other individual institution or a state. It is therefore crucial that NATO strengthens and broadens its existing partnership with the UN (see the Joint Declaration on UN/NATO Secretariat Cooperation of 23rd September 2008), as well as with other international actors, most notably, the European Union. It is not only the large number of member-states that NATO and the EU have in common, but the fact that both organisations stand for the same values and principles, and both strive towards ensuring a safe and stable security environment.

Since new security threats and risks increasingly challenge NATO’s capabilities and operability, a new strategic concept will have to define how the requisite civilian and military means can be applied in a comprehensive, consistent and compatible manner in order to enhance the overall effort of all security actors. NATO’s current partners (i.e. members of the Partnership for Peace Programme, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, respectively), as well other parters around the globe (such as OSCE, the African Union, etc.), will have an important role in further development of a comprehensive approach not only through the military, but also by encouraging interaction with civilian populations and by increasing humanitarian aid.

Further Reading:

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact TransConflict Serbia at the following e-mail address –

The ‘Facilitating Serbia’s Contribution to NATO’s New Strategic Concept’ project has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

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