Newly-appointed Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will be joining international counterparts and experts to discuss international concerns like the threat of ISIS for the seventh annual Halifax International Security Forum on Nov 21 to 22.
The Forum will bring together 300 people representing 60 democracies. Government representatives from all major powers will be present and individuals from countries that don’t have democracies, like China, Iran and Syria, will be in attendance as well.
On the agenda for this year’s forum include both issues plaguing the world today and those on the horizon. Some of these issues include the threat of ISIS, war in Syria, climate change and refugee crisis’ impact on Canada. However, the recent attacks in Paris have jumped to the top of the discussion list.
“Following the attacks on Paris we are really, this weekend, honed in on what to do about the ISIS threat. It will focus our attention. France is a founding nation of Canada a very strong NATO ally. The bond between Canadians and French is very close. So when France is attacked I think everybody in Canada feels France’s pain,” said Peter Van Praagh, President of the Halifax Forum.
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.
Defence Minister Sajjan will be accompanied by Associate Minister of Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs, Kent Hehr. Several leaders from the CAF will also be present including Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance and representatives from each of the branches of the military.
“Indeed, in today’s complex security environment, international partnerships are more critical than ever. In that context, I look forward to meeting with many foreign counterparts at next week’s Halifax International Security Forum, where we will gather together to exchange ideas on how we can collectively address the pressing security challenges facing us all,” said Sajjan.
Since taking office, this will be the Defence Minister’s first major international event. Earlier this month, he met with U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, to reaffirm the importance on the U.S.- Canada defence relationship.
“Together, our two countries are able to provide greater security to our shared continent, we stand unified in our commitment to our European allies through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and our men and women in uniform serve side-by-side in operations around the world. The US remains our most important and trusted ally and defence partner, and I look forward to working in close collaboration with my new counterpart, Secretary of Defense Carter, as we maintain the strong bond between our two defence organizations,” said Sajjan.