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Director's Foreword – August 2021

NATO summit meetings provide periodic opportunities for Heads of State and Governments of member Countries to evaluate and provide strategic direction for Alliance activities. Since 1949, there have been 29 NATO summits, which have marked the milestones achieved and set targets for the future.

For instance, at the the Wales Summit in 2014, NATO recognized that the security of the Alliance was closely linked to the stability of our neighbours, resulting in the birth of "The Framework for the South". Subsequently, at the Warsaw Summit in 2016, the Alliance saw fit to create the NSD-S HUB, which was established in Naples and has been fully operational since 2018.

The Summit in Brussels last June was no less important for NATO. The Alliance identified and addressed the challenges facing us today as well as those on the horizon. "NATO 2030: A transatlantic agenda for the future" is a concrete demonstration of NATO's ambitions for the coming years. Integral to this Agenda is NATO's commitment to our neighbours in the South, with the principle of mutual dependence strongly re-affirmed.

In particular, the NATO 2030 Agenda confirms the ambition to continue interaction also to provide assistance to bolster Peace and Security by building Partner capacity in the Southern Regions, across domains such as: fight against terrorism in a wide spectrum of activities, stabilisation, counter-hybrid activities, crisis management, peacekeeping and defence reform. Continued cooperation with the African Union (AU) was specifically highlighted as being of key importance.

I'm proud to say that the HUB has been working diligently towards converting these ambitions into tangible results. This newsletter contains, among other things, two publications which are the result of our continued collaborations with AU entities such as: the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), the primary AU centre of excellence for the analysis of terrorism related information and counter-terrorism capacity; the Committee of Intelligence & Security Service of Africa (CISSA), which assists the AU and all its institutions to effectively address the seemingly intractable security challenges confronting Africa; and the African Police Cooperation Organisation (AFRIPOL), the independent mechanism for police cooperation on the continent.

The immeasurable added value obtained from constant collaboration between the Hub and entities in the South, in which information, knowledge and perspectives are openly discussed, leads to greater shared understanding where all parties involved are presented with different perspectives, a chance to see things through an alternative lens. Consequently, we are building a network together, a network which keeps us closer and more easily available, thereby assisting cooperation between members to face the challenges and opportunities which confront us all, especially in times of need. It is, after all, so much easier to just pick up a telephone and call someone when a bond of trust and confidence has been developed.

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