SKOPJE, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* - An event marking the NATO Anniversary, April 4, was conducted in Skopje, to promote the history, values and objectives of the Alliance, as well as the meaning of Euro-Atlantic integration for the country.
This is an event that is traditionally marked in all member and partner nations.
On April 4, 1949, 12 nations in Washington D.C. signed the treaty which constituted the North Atlantic Alliance. Among the Alliance's charter aims was for NATO to not be just a simple sum of military forces but a family that shares common values and a will to protect those.
NATO is not only a defensive-military organization that ensures the territorial integrity and sovereignty of its member states. It is also an Alliance of fully independent states with a shared value system, which exists and makes decisions by consensus rather than under conditions of limited sovereignty.
NATO has historically been an attractive option for hopeful members, because of the huge potential of the states as members of the Alliance, in terms of available military capabilities, of economic capacity, and of participation in political decision-making. Therefore, over the years and the several enlargement cycles, NATO has now grown to number 28 nations.
Basing on the idea of freedom, democracy and rule of law, today the Alliance face various modern challenges, such as terrorism and migration, which leads the partners to increased cooperation and adjustment to the new circumstances.
This year's anniversary event was organized by the Euro-Atlantic Council Skopje in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense, the NATO Contact Point Embassy (Croatia ) and the NATO Liaison Office Skopje (NLOSk).
During the celebration, the Ambassadors of the U.S., Croatia and Spain, and the Chief of NLOSk, Slovenian Navy Capt. Gorazd Bartol, addressed the audience.
The Minister of Defence, Zoran Jolevski, emphasized that the Euro-Atlantic integration remains to be a priority for the country. NATO membership, he said, is a guarantor for prosperity and security for the country, the region and the world, and because of it, the Alliance shall continue with its "open doors” policy.
Story and photo by NLO Skopje
*Turkey recognises the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name