Mark Rutte Appointed as secretary general of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Context: NATO appointed Mark Rutte as its next secretary-general putting in charge of the world’s biggest security organisation at a critical time for European security as war rages in Ukraine.

About NATO: 

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance of European and North American nations. 
  • Established in the aftermath of World War II, the organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty, signed in Washington, D.C., in 1949.
  • NATO is a collective security system: its independent member states agree to defend each other against attacks by third parties.
  • During the Cold War, NATO operated as a check on the threat posed by the Soviet Union.
  • The alliance remained in place after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, and has been involved in military operations in the Balkans, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.
  • NATO’s main headquarters are located in Brussels, Belgium, while NATO’s military headquarters are near Mons, Belgium.
  • Founding Members: These joined together on April 4, 1949, to form NATO. NATO initially included 12 North American and Western European nations.
    • Belgium
    • Canada
    • Denmark
    • France
    • Iceland
    • Italy
    • Luxembourg
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Portugal
    • United Kingdom
    • United States
    • Most recently, Sweden joined the alliance in 2024.
  • The secretary general of NATO
    • The Secretary General is the chief civil servant of the NATO. 
    • The officeholder is an international diplomat responsible for coordinating the workings of the alliance, leading NATO’s international staff, chairing the meetings of the North Atlantic Council and most major committees of the alliance.
    • The secretary general however, does not have a military command role; political, military and strategic decisions ultimately rest with the member states.
    • Term: Four years which can be extended repeatedly.

Prelims Previous Year Question (2022): 

Q. Consider the following countries:

    1. Armenia
    1. Azerbaijan
    1. Croatia
    1. Romania
    1. Uzbekistan

Which of the above are members of the Organization of Turkic States?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2 and 5 only

(d) 3, 4 and 5 only

Answer: (c)

Practice Question for Prelims: 

Q. Consider the following statements with reference to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO):

1. Belgium, France, Netherlands and Sweden are among the founding members of NATO.

2. The highest political and military decisions are under the command of the Secretary General of NATO.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a)1 only

(b)2 only

(c)Both 1 and 2

(d)Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: (d)

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