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Should NATO have a leadership role in world affairs?

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Should NATO have a leadership role in world affairs?


NATO’s role in world affairs is under scrutiny in this edition of Utalk .

The question comes from Marc in Brussels: “Its seems the international community doesn’t know how to deal with Ukraine and Iraq. Is now the right time for NATO to take a lead on the world stage?”

The answer is given by Jean-Pierre Maulny, Deputy Director of IRIS (Institute for International and Strategic Relations – Paris):

“It’s clear that the paralysis which is currently affecting the United Nations – and which is now reinforced by the new tensions with the Russians – facilitates decisions being taken outside UN bodies by regional organisations such as NATO because NATO is a well structured, militarily effective organisation where decisions can be made.

“==NATO plays several roles==. The organisation has a mission of collective security. It also has a mission consisting of peacekeeping operations. What is certain is that, at its last summit in Newport, NATO clearly put its mission of collective security forward.

“In the case of Iraq, NATO is not going to be on the front line. NATO will provide support to the countries of the coalition, but NATO will not act on its behalf.

“In the case of Ukraine, NATO is more on the front line because this is a question of assuring the security of NATO members, such as Eastern European countries and the Baltic states.

“Now, I would add that the current situation is somewhat risky because we have to bear in mind that NATO is a military alliance that can act against countries which are not part of it.

In the end it could be dangerous to let NATO take decisions in place of the UN because it does not represent all countries.”

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