Fonds SG - 02 - NATO Secretary General

US NOMINATION FOR POST OF NATO SECURITY ADVISER TO THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY VISIT OF THE COUNCIL TO NORTH AMERICA VISIT TO NORTH AMERICA VOYAGE EN AMERIQUE DU NORD REORGANIZATION OF THE SECURITY BUREAU TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION AT PRIVATE MEETINGS QUESTIONS A EXAMINER EN SÉANCE PRIVEE CIVIL DEFENCE ADVISERS CONSEILLERS TECHNIQUES POUR LA PROTECTION CIVILE PRIVATE MEETING ON 9TH MARCH 1955 REUNION PRIVEE DU 9 MARS 1955 MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO MEMBER COUNTRIES OF WESTERN EUROPEA... VISIT OF THE COUNCIL TO NORTH AMERICA VISITE DU CONSEIL EN AMERIQUE DU NORD PRIVATE MEETING ON 16TH MARCH 1955 LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE HANSARD SOCIETY LETTRE DU PRESIDENT DE LA "HANSARD SOCIETY" PRIVATE MEETING ON 23RD MARCH 1955 REUNION PRIVEE PROPOSEE POUR LE MERCREDI 23 MARS PRIVATE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL ON 30TH MARCH 1955
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SG

Title

02 - NATO Secretary General

Date(s)

  • 1952 - ? (Creation)

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(1952-04-04)

Biographical history

The Secretary General is the Alliance’s top international civil servant. This person is responsible for steering the process of consultation and decision-making in the Alliance and ensuring that decisions are implemented. The Secretary General is also NATO’s chief spokesperson and the head of the Organization’s International Staff. The function of Secretary General is filled by a senior statesman with high-level political experience in the government of one of the member countries. The person is nominated by member governments for an initial period of four years, which can be extended by mutual consent. In his day-to-day work, the Secretary General is directly supported by a Private Office and a Deputy Secretary General, who assists the Secretary General and replaces him in his absence. The Deputy Secretary General is also the chairman of a number of senior committees, ad hoc groups and working groups. More generally speaking, the entire International Staff at NATO Headquarters supports the Secretary General, either directly or indirectly. Three principal responsibilities: Chairman of the North Atlantic Council and other key bodies. First and foremost, the Secretary General chairs the North Atlantic Council - the Alliance’s principal political decision-making body - as well as other senior decision-making committees. These include the Nuclear Planning Group, the NATO-Russia Council, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Mediterranean Co-operation Group. Additionally, together with a Ukrainian representative, he is the chairman of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, as well as the chairman of the NATO-Georgia Commission. Above and beyond the role of chairman, the Secretary General has the authority to propose items for discussion and use his good offices in case of disputes between member states. He acts as a decision facilitator, leading and guiding the process of consensus-building and decision-making throughout the Alliance. He maintains direct contact with heads of state and government, foreign and defence ministers in NATO and partner countries, in order to facilitate this process. This entails regular visits to NATO and partner countries, as well as bilateral meetings with senior national officials when they visit NATO Headquarters. Effectively, his role allows him to exert some influence on the decision-making process while respecting the fundamental principle that the authority for taking decisions is invested only in the member governments themselves. Principal spokesperson The Secretary General is also the principal spokesman of the Alliance and represents the Alliance in public on behalf of the member countries, reflecting their common positions on political issues. He also represents NATO vis-à-vis other international organizations as well as to the media and the public at large. To this end the Secretary General regularly holds press briefings and conferences as well as public lectures and speeches. Head of the International Staff Third and lastly, the Secretary General is the senior executive officer of the NATO International Staff, responsible for making staff appointments and overseeing its work.

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NATO publicly disclosed information is available for research and education purposes. Any commercial use requires the written permission of NATO. Please credit the NATO Archives should any documents be used for publication. Guidelines for the proper citation of NATO publicly disclosed information can be found on the NATO Archives website (http://www.nato.int/archives).

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