The recent U.S. elections and victory of Donald Trump are expected to be among the key topics of discussion at the annual three-day Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) starting Nov. 18.
“Brexit, populism in continental Europe, the rise of Donald Trump in the United States, and the recent referendum in Colombia turning down the peace deal demonstrate a real disconnect between elites and the public across the democratic world. If local politics forces democracies to look inward, will we be capable of meeting the global security threats ahead? We must have a conversation at Halifax that leads to a better understanding of the challenges in our own democracies, so we are fully equipped to continue to look outward,” said Peter Van Praagh, President of Halifax International Security Forum.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will welcome more than 300 delegates from 60 countries, including politicians, journalists, diplomats and business leaders, to this year’s HISF. He will also host a meeting with defence ministers on UN peace operations.
The goal of the event is to generate ideas for representatives to take back to their respective countries and influence a change in policy to bring about security and stability in the world.
The Halifax International Security Forum is a non-for-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. with a mission to enhance strategic cooperation amongst democracies.
Besides debating what a Donald Trump presidency will mean for the world, some of the other topics for this year’s Forum include: Make Democracy Great Again, Russia: Putin’ the Block Back Together, and Because of Syria: I’m Your Friendly Neighbourhood Terrorist.
Other key areas of discussion are the Middle East, climate security, ISIS, the war on drugs and diplomacy.
It is expected that the Forum will draw bi-partisan attendance from the United States, with attendance from senators on both sides of the aisle.
Notable attendees at this year’s conference include Sir Michael Fallon, UK Secretary of State for Defence, who will speak about Britain’s place in the world after Brexit; the Honorable Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister of Defence, who will speak about issues related to combatting terror; and the Honorable Ömer Çelik, Turkey’s Minister for European Union Affairs, who will speak about Turkey after July’s failed coup attempt.
Also expected to be in Halifax this weekend is U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, who will receive the prestigious Builder Award.
“The Builder Award recognizes individuals who have been instrumental to the success of the Forum and are tireless advocates for global security. Senator Tim Kaine’s commitment to democratic values with regard to foreign and defense policy, humanitarian issues and the environment is an inspiration.
“Senator Kaine co-chaired the Congressional Delegation from 2013 to 2015 and during that time, he brought a record number of colleagues – both Democrat and Republican – with him to Halifax,” stated Van Praagh.
Initiated in 2012, the Builder Award is bestowed on individuals or groups who have made contributions to furthering the HISF mission. Past recipients include previous Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay; U.S. Senators John McCain and Mark Dual; and Gen. Walt Natynczyk, former Chief of the Defence Staff.