A Critical Appraisal of the Activities of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and The Rights of Nations from the Prism of International Law


This paper critically examined the activities of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the rights of member states, from lens of international law viewpoint. NATO is an international alliance of countries from Europe and North America. It is an organization that has provided the link between these two continents for ease of consultation and cooperation, essentially in the field of defence and security, and in the conduct of multinational crisis management operations. The alliance is indeed committed to the principle that an attack against one or several members is considered as an attack against all. This solemn principle of collective defence is expressly captured enshrined under article 5 of the Washington Treaty. The head of the alliance is usually a civilian Secretary-General. The Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, who is also coincidentally, the Commanding-General of the Stuttgart-based U.S European Command, leads the alliance militarily. NATO main function is to primarily ensure the freedom and security of the alliance members through political and military means. Politically, the paper found that NATO promotes democratic values and enables members to consult and cooperate on matters of security and defence to solve various challenges, build trust, and prevent conflict. Militarily, it is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. However, where the diplomatic efforts failed, it has the military capacity always needed to undertake crisis-management operations. This paper adopted the doctrinal method of research, with primary sources of information, including secondary sources of law. The paper found that Africa could benefit from the operations of NATO and its organs in several ways. NATO’s military capabilities could be used to support peacekeeping and humanitarian operations in Africa and promote peace and security in the region. The paper carried out a critical study of the functions of NATO and the corresponding rights of the members of the organization. The paper made some salient recommendations, some of which were that NATO should firmly guard its strength, with an enduring focus on deterrence and keeping the Alliance militarily strong, as well as a renewed commitment to Allied solidarity and democratic principles. To achieve the above, NATO will also need to embrace change, by combining a more holistic understanding of security with a more balanced transatlantic core and a truly global mindset. NATO should provide a leadership to discuss on global issues such as climate security and space governance. Member States should commit themselves to 2% defence target because there is no better way to incentivise allies to spend on areas such as climate security, anti-hybrid warfare ore economic resilience than making it count as a contribution to common defence, NATO must become a Resilience Pathfinder. NATO needs a global partnership for peace with an open horizon to the world and an active approach to partnerships with democratic nations, also outside the North Atlantic region. NATO needs to understand the conflict and instability implications of climate change implications.