International Security Information Service urope
The following itizens Declaration of Alliance Security outlines the basic principles for equipping NATO to meet the different and diverse challenges of this 21st century. It was prepared by NATO Watch and revised in the light of discussions and comments received during a Shadow NATO Summit in Brussels on 31 March April 2009. It is being used to kick-start a NATO-wide, civil society-led public consultation on a new Strategic Concept to be negotiated in 2009-10. The Citizens Declaration of Alliance Security (and Framing Paper) is to be circulated widely throughout NATO Member States, Partnership and Contact Countries. Support for the Declaration and further feedback is being actively courted via the NATO Watch web site www.natowatch.org. Towards the end of 2009 a similar process will be initiated to launch a Citizens Strategic Concept.
The following section is an extract of the Declaration highlighting the Responsibility to Protect
Section II: Putting the mission into action - practical implications
4. Decisions over use of force
NATO is morally and legally obliged to exhaust all other means possible before taking up arms, and force should only be used in accordance with the UN Charter. This either means authorised by the UN Security Council or in self-defence (when there is a real, imminent and severe danger and the UN Security Council is unable to act in time).
5. Upholding humanitarian and international laws of war
NATO must uphold the highest standards of international law, including humanitarian law, when choosing to threaten or use force, and in the application of force.
6. Responsibility to Protect Part I: preventing genocide and mass atrocities
Preventing genocide and mass atrocities should be a priority for NATO and not merely an idealistic add-on to the core collective defence agenda. It is a moral and strategic imperative for the Alliance to implement the UN Responsibility to Protect (R2P) agenda and resources should be directed towards the development of a comprehensive approach to genocide prevention.
7. Responsibility to Protect Part II: civilians during conflict
NATO must move towards a human security approach, contributing to the protection of every individual human being and not focus merely on the defence of territorial borders. This means prohibiting military activities that indiscriminately impact on civilians, safeguarding the economic and social infrastructures of civilian life and accurately accounting for civilian casualties arising from NATO operations.
8. Responsibility to Protect Part III: NATO service personnel
The Alliance should prioritise better equipment, pay and conditions for service personnel as part of a renewed compact between the military and wider society.
Source: full Citizens Declaration of Alliance Security: http://www.isis-europe.org/pdf/2009_conf_25_microsoft_word_-_citizens_declaration__final.pdf