The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the principal political decision-making body of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. The ...
(NATO), consisting of Permanent Representatives from its member countries.
It was established by Article 9
North Atlantic Treaty
The North Atlantic Treaty, also referred to as the Washington Treaty, is the treaty that forms the legal basis of, and is implemented by, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949.
and it is the only body in NATO that derives its authority explicitly from the Treaty.
Powers and duties
The North Atlantic Treaty gave the NAC the power to set up subsidiary bodies for various policy functions, including a defense committee to implement other parts of the treaty. Since 1952, the NAC has been in permanent session. The NAC can be held at the Permanent Representative Level (PermReps), or can be composed of member states' Ministers of State, Defense, or Heads of Government. The NAC has the same powers regardless of the formation under which it meets. The NAC meets twice a week: every Tuesday, for an informal lunch discussion; and every Wednesday for a decision-taking session. Usually, meetings occur amongst the Permanent Representatives who are the senior permanent member of each delegation and is generally a senior civil servant or an experienced ambassador (and holding that diplomatic rank). The list of Permanent Representatives may be found on the NATO website.
The 30 members of NATO have diplomatic missions to the organization through embassies in Belgium
. The meetings of the NAC are chaired by the
Secretary is a title often used in organizations to indicate a person having a certain amount of authority, power, or importance in the organization. Secretaries announce important events and communicate to the organization. The term is derived fro ...
and, when decisions have to be made, action is agreed upon on the basis of unanimity and common accord. There is no voting or decision by majority. Each nation represented at the NAC table or on any of its subordinate committees retains complete sovereignty and responsibility for its own decisions.
Secretary General of NATO
The secretary general of NATO is the chief civil servant of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The officeholder is an international diplomat responsible for coordinating the workings of the alliance, leading NATO's international staff, ...
NATO Military Committee
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Military Committee (NATO MC) is the body of NATO that is composed of member states' Chiefs of Defence (CHOD). These national CHODs are regularly represented in the MC by their permanent Military Representatives ...
International Military Staff
The International Military Staff (IMS) is an advisory body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) Military Committee (MC), which in turn supports the North Atlantic Council (NAC). Based in NATO's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, the IM ...
North Atlantic Council