The Minister of Defense of Colombia, Diego Molano, signed this Wednesday a new association agreement between the country and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which addresses new areas such as security and climate change, and has concretized with the European Union (EU) greater cooperation in the fight against transnational crimes.
“Colombia, as a global partner of NATO, shares its values for democracy, respect for human rights, the value of security”, Declared Molano at a press conference in Brussels, after signing this new agreement that will allow them“strengthen trust and joint work”.
At NATO headquarters, Molano met with the allied deputy secretary general, Mircea Geoana, with whom he presented the new association program “tailored“, Which marks the beginning of a cooperation”narrower”, As highlighted by the Alliance in a statement.
Colombia became NATO’s newest partner in 2017 and the first in Latin America, and, by virtue of that association, the Atlantic Alliance supports Colombian efforts to develop its armed forces, while Bogotá offers its experience in demining training to both allies and other partner countries.
After a series of high-level meetings throughout this year, Colombia and NATO have given the green light to new cooperation framework, to which the country is the first of the Alliance partners to make the transition.
Specifically, the new partnership encompasses enhanced cooperation in interoperability, training or education, as well as new areas such as climate change and security.
“We have a center of excellence, the humanitarian demining training center due to the entire process that Colombia has undergone, which has become a leading country that exchanges information and training: more than one hundred NATO soldiers have been trained in that center.”, Explained the Colombian minister.
In addition to ongoing practical cooperation in areas such as good governance, military training, interoperability, demining and maritime security, Molano, who also had the opportunity to meet with ambassadors from allied countries, spoke with Geoana about disinformation, strategic communications and cyber threats.
During the visit, Molano and Geoana also inaugurated the virtual exhibition ‘Colombian moors and high mountain ecosystems’, which highlights the active role of the Colombian Armed Forces in mitigating climate change.
Molano highlighted the achievements of the Artemisa military and police campaign, which seeks to “protect and prevent deforestation in Colombia, the second most biodiverse country in the world“, And safeguard the forest”as a strategic asset”.
APPROACH TO THE EU
During his stay in Brussels, Molano also visited the headquarters of the European Union (EU) institutions and met with the Deputy Secretary-General in charge of the Common Security and Defense Policy and Crisis Response, Pawel Herczynski.
According to Molano, the objective is “strengthen relations with the EU, with EU members, in our work agenda against transnational crimes against drug trafficking, terrorism”.
He pointed out that Colombia has the ambition to hold a security summit in Cartagena with the EU and Mexico and other countries in the region to discuss different security threats.
Before arriving in Brussels, Molano visited London, where he discussed with the UK authorities, a “fundamental ally in the fight against transnational crimes”, The cooperation in cybersecurity and the support that Scotland Yard can do in the Police transformation that Colombia has undertaken.