Julio MIRANDA CALHA (Portugal)
23 April 2019
Recent General Reports of the Political Committee have focused on the security challenges that the Alliance faces on its southern flank. Following up on the Committee’s earlier work on the issue, this draft report evaluates the nexus between the continuing instability of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and the security developments further south on the African continent.
The paper suggests that the security situation in the MENA region remains volatile, primarily due to economic, social, and environmental issues and the fact that governance in the area remains generally poor. Moreover, the problems facing the countries in the Sahel zone and the regions south of it are considerable, while state capacities to manage these are very limited. Although NATO as an organisation does not focus on the African continent, several Allies are engaged in mitigating the risks of low security. This draft report argues that the developments in Africa should be on the radar screen of the Alliance. The establishment of the “Hub for the South” in Naples is a step in the right direction as it has the potential to increase awareness of the security not only in the MENA region but also in the areas south of it. Moreover, NATO’s fledgling relationship with African actors, particularly the African Union (AU), should be developed further. The annex to this draft report also provides an update of the security situation in Yemen, which remains of considerable concern for stability in the Gulf and beyond. This draft report will be updated for the Assembly’s Annual Session.