75th anniversary of the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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By Ina Stašević, Zagreb, Croatia: Some anniversaries are bigger than others, and one of them is certainly the 75th anniversary of the founding of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known by its abbreviation NATO. It happened in 1949, with the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty between the twelve countries of the Western bloc. Today, NATO includes 32 members (30 European countries, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America) with headquarters in Brussels. A key provision in the North Atlantic Treaty reads: "The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against all of them". And that is the essence of everything that NATO represents.

  n,mn                                                                    AMBASSADOR OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Today, in a globalized world, security is becoming globalized, so even NATO does not stay only on defending Europe, but also closely monitors the security situation in other parts of the world, for example in Africa, the Middle East, in Asia... because the unstable situation in other parts of the world affects the security and stability of Europe.

In today's challenging, turbulent, very exciting time and a very complicated period in the history of Europe, an individual country can hardly cope alone, which is why Croatia joined the NATO alliance fifteen years ago for security reasons and became a full member. Today, other countries want to do the same because they also want to raise the level of security that we have achieved by joining that military association.

There is a lot of talk these days about the role of NATO. Thus, on April 4, an international conference and round table was held in Zagreb at the Croatian Military Academy on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of NATO and the 15th year since the accession of the Republic of Croatia to NATO, and experts from state, military, diplomatic and academic institutions participated, and the ambassadors of the USA and France.

During speeches, expert presentations, panel discussions, the US Ambassador to the Republic of Croatia, Her Excellency Nathalie Rayes, she said; NATO has withstood political elections on both sides of the Atlantic for 75 years. It is an Alliance based on shared values, and our shared commitment to those principles has made it the strongest and most successful alliance in the history of the world. NATO has ensured historic peace over the past 75 years, not only because of its military capabilities, but also because of its members' unwavering commitment to promoting democratic values, including equality and political freedom, around the world. With the accession of our two new members, Sweden and Finland, we are stronger than ever.

k                                                                    AMBASSADOR OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Spurred on by Russia's ongoing brutal aggression in Ukraine, NATO is moving forward in unity with a growing sense of purpose and action. We will continue to support Ukraine. As Ukrainians choose democracy, equal justice and a European future, we will persevere—not only because it is strategically important, but because it is in line with the values we hold dear. Threatening security and the values-based European order, Russia's brutal war against Ukraine has only strengthened NATO as the primary guarantor of transatlantic security – and stands in stark contrast to the values of openness, tolerance and dialogue that define our NATO creed.

NATO is more than a 32-member alliance – it is also a network of 50 countries in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program, which also includes Armenia and Azerbaijan. This program allows partners to build personalized relationships with NATO and choose their own priorities for cooperation. The Partnership for Peace network strengthens security for the wider international community outside NATO territory, in turn making NATO itself more secure.

Among other manifestations, yesterday the ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia celebrated the historic moments of joining the Alliance and the 75th anniversary of the foundation of NATO. On that occasion, His Excellency Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic said:

"NATO, based on a strong transatlantic relationship, plays a key and irreplaceable role in the European security architecture. The basic mission of the defense alliance is to protect the freedom and security of all its members and to guarantee a just and lasting peace order in Europe based on the common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. NATO's uniqueness lies in its economic strength, strong deterrence potential and treaty-guaranteed collective protection obligation. Russia's unprecedented and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine strengthened NATO. I remind you that this aggression began already in the spring of 2014 with the Russian occupation of Crimea. It is in the vital interest of NATO member states and absolutely necessary for security in Europe and the international legal order that Ukraine succeeds in its struggle for sovereignty and democracy. NATO must do everything it can to help her. At the same time, it must be a catalyst in strengthening alliance deterrence, modernizing defense capabilities and building a permanent presence on the eastern flank. I believe that it is not only true for the Czech Republic that its security and the security of its citizens cannot be ensured outside the collective defense system of NATO and separately from the security of the member states of the European Union".