North Atlantic Treaty Organization (or North Atlantic Alliance) is a military organization whose essential purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of its members through political and military means. NATO promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defence and security issues to build trust and, in the long run, prevent conflict. It is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. If diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis-management operations. These are carried out under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty - NATO’s founding treaty - or under a UN mandate, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations. A “NATO decision” is the expression of the collective will of all 29 member countries since all decisions are taken by the principle of consensus.