Defence Minister Concludes NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting
October 5, 2018 – Brussels, Belgium – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
NATO is central to Canada’s international security policy, reflecting the values of democracy, good governance and the rule of law. In today’s complex and evolving security environment, Canada remains committed to strengthening the Alliance and to providing value-added contributions to its operations worldwide.
Yesterday, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, concluded two days of meetings with counterparts at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The meetings provided defence ministers with an opportunity to discuss the global security environment and threats facing the Alliance. Over the two day Ministerial, defence ministers deliberated on a number of issues including the ongoing implementation of the Alliance’s strengthened deterrence and defence posture, cyber defence, and countering hybrid warfare. During the meetings, Allies also expressed their continued support for NATO’s political and security assistance to Georgia.
While in Brussels, Minister Sajjan reiterated Canada’s support for Ukraine, along with other nations providing direct security assistance to Ukraine. He also co-hosted, with his Latvian counterpart, a meeting of nations contributing to the Canadian-led NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battle Group in Latvia.
On the margins of the Ministerial, Minister Sajjan took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with many counterparts, including the Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Germany, and Romania.
“NATO is important to Canada, and Canada is important to NATO. Since its creation in 1949, we have played a strong and active role in missions to advance peace and security around the world. Today, Canada continues to take a leadership role within the Alliance by providing contributions to NATO missions, operations and activities.”
— The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an increase in Canada’s support for NATO on 11 July, 2018, while at the NATO Summit in Brussels. The increased support includes, among a number of initiatives, a renewed and increased commitment to NATO enhanced Forward Presence, the command of the newly launched NATO training mission in Iraq, a personnel commitment to the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), and Canada’s membership in the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.
Operation REASSURANCE is the Canadian Armed Forces’ support to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. As part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada has established its largest sustained military presence in Europe in over a decade by leading a multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Latvia.
Operation UNIFIER is a Canadian Armed Forces mission to provide military training and capacity building assistance to Ukrainian Forces personnel in support of Ukraine’s efforts to maintain sovereignty, security and stability. The training mission occurs in coordination with the Multinational Joint Commission which comprises Canada, the United States, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
The NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) was established in September 2008 and provides a forum for consultation between the Allies and Georgia on the process of reforms in Georgia, NATO’s assistance to that process, and on regional security issues of common concern.
Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, will increase annual cash defence spending from $18.9 billion in 2016/17 to $32.7 billion in 2026/27 – an increase of over 70 percent. Total defence spending over next 20 years will be $553 billion.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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