We meet once again in uncertain times, when global and regional security are threatened. I will focus on four major issues for Canada: the fundamental principle of territorial integrity, conventional arms control, human rights and respect for diversity.
What an incredible honour to be here tonight as we celebrate His Majesty the Emperor of Japan.
On behalf of Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau, the Government of Canada and all Canadians, I pass along our best wishes for a very happy birthday: O'tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu [We wish you a happy birthday]
I highly appreciate this occasion to speak to such an esteemed group, the brain trust and critical advisers on the resolution of one of the world's most pressing, seemingly intractable and horrifying crises. For the sake of the Syrian people, the Middle East and global security, it is an important moment in time to reflect not only on how to mitigate the current turmoil but also on options for a peaceful resolution in Syria.
It's good to see that support for peace in francophone countries goes beyond francophone countries. I am particularly pleased to see one of our co-chairs, Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, Bangladesh's Minister of Foreign Affairs, whom I had the pleasure to host earlier this week.
At a time when nuclear disarmament is stalled and when Canada, under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's leadership, is re-engaging in the world, I cannot thank you enough for inviting me to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the start of the "Ottawa Process," which led to the Landmine Convention [Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction].
This is the third time in three weeks that I have had the honour of speaking about the North. And I say this from the heart: marking the 20th anniversary of the Arctic Council, representing Canada at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik and now joining you for this conference have been privileges.