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The official graphic of member flags and the Nato emblem

What is Nato?
Nato stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Nato is an international organisation which brings
together the armies of various countries,
including Britain and the United States.
It was formed in 1949,
after the end of the Second World War.

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Who is part of it?
There are 26 member countries.

  • Belgium

  • Bulgaria

  • Canada

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • Italy

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Romania

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Turkey

  • United Kingdom

  • United States of America

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Who is in charge?
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is the Secretary-General.

The job of secretary-general is held
by a senior international statesman chosen by
the member nations to chair the supreme
decision-making North Atlantic Council.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer became Nato chief
at the beginning of 2004.
He is a former Dutch foreign minister.

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What is the point of it?
The aim of Nato is to ensure that its
member countries don't fight each other,
and that instead they use their forces
to work together for world peace.

Nato has been used increasingly in
situations where the world has decided
urgent military action is needed.

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What does it do?
Nato member countries agree that if any one country is
attacked, the other countries will come to help them.
It's hoped this will stop military attacks on any Nato country.

Nato countries also join together for international
peacekeeping operations, such as in Bosnia and Kosovo.

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Where is it based?
Nato's headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium.

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