Defence Minister Sajjan participates in virtual NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting
June 1, 2021 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security and the primary forum to engage other nations on transatlantic defence and security. Canada continues working with Allies to ensure the Alliance remains innovative, flexible, and adaptable in the face of current and future security threats.
Today, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan participated in a virtual NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting. This meeting took place on the heels of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and was an opportunity for Allied defence ministers to address a number of key issues in preparation for the upcoming NATO Summit in Brussels on June 14.
During the meeting, the Minister discussed the Secretary General’s NATO 2030 proposals, in particular those relating to deterrence and defence, resilience, innovation, partner training, and the security impacts of climate change. The Minister also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, and tackled other important topics such as strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence posture and advancing the women, peace, and security agenda.
Minister Sajjan thanked the Secretary General for his leadership on NATO 2030 and highlighted Canada’s support for the proposals, which set out an ambitious agenda for a renewed and reinvigorated Alliance. Minister Sajjan also reiterated Canada’s commitment to working with Allies to enhance cooperation and strengthen the transatlantic bond to build a more resilient Alliance.
In a rapidly changing global security environment, NATO must continue to adapt to challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptive technologies, climate change, and disinformation. NATO 2030 is about reinforcing transatlantic unity, as well as ensuring the Alliance remains strong militarily, becomes even stronger politically, and takes a more global approach.
“Today’s productive discussions emphasized Canada’s support for the strategic direction of the NATO 2030 vision, including the need to continue to strengthen the Alliance deterrence and defence posture and the readiness of our forces. Our participation in NATO operations around the world demonstrates our commitment to the Alliance, and we will continue working with Allies to reinforce Alliance unity and solidarity and to ensure NATO remains agile and adaptable in the face of emerging threats.”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
Canada is committed to NATO’s principle of collective defence and providing direct support to NATO missions and operations.
Through the implementation of our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada is making long-term investments in modern tools and capability development to maintain high-quality, adaptable, and agile forces which Canada can deploy as needed.
NATO 2030 is an important opportunity to continue to adapt the Alliance in the face of current and future challenges.
Canada supports the strategic direction of the NATO 2030 vision put forward by the Secretary General, including renewed Alliance focus on resilience, innovation, and the security implications of climate change.
At present, Canada is:
- Leading the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia since 2017;
- Commanding Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG1). Canada will lead the mission until January 2022. HMCS Halifax is currently the flagship for the SNMG1 command team and headquarters staff;
- Deploying Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members to NATO Mission Iraq (NMI), currently led by Lieutenant-General Michael Lollesgaard of the Danish Armed Forces. Canada is a strong supporter of NMI and commanded the mission from 2018-2020;
- Providing logistical and headquarters support to NATO’s Kosovo Force.
From 20 to 30 May 2021, HMCS Halifax participated in NATO Exercise STEADFAST DEFENDER 21, a large-scale maritime exercise in the Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Portugal. This exercise focused on asymmetric multi-threat and conventional maritime warfare operations to improve and demonstrate NATO’s ability to conduct strategic deployment and transatlantic reinforcement between North America and Europe, while strengthening NATO Allied Command Operations structures. Canada participated in this exercise along with 22 NATO Allies and partner nations.
The CAF has taken measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on operations and to protect its force in order to maintain effective support to NATO operations.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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