As a founding nation of NATO, Canada remains a dedicated member of the Alliance and partner in the defence of the North Atlantic region. In a rapidly evolving global security environment, multilateral cooperation within NATO and with external partners is essential in keeping the transatlantic community safe, free, and prosperous, while helping to ensure global peace and stability.
Yesterday, the Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan, participated virtually in an engaging panel discussion titled NATO 2030: How to get there? as part of the GLOBSEC 2021 Bratislava Forum. The Minister’s co-panellists included Jaroslav Naď, Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic and Radmila Šekerinska, Minister of Defence of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Minister Saijan and his co-panellists discussed key defence and security issues, including NATO 2030, evolving challenges such as climate change and emerging operational domains like cyber, as well as the role of outside stakeholders in helping NATO respond to current and future security threats.
Minister Sajjan spoke about increasing engagement with industry and academia to strengthen technological innovation, and highlighted Canada’s collaboration with Canadian innovators through the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program. He emphasized the important role of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) in maintaining Canada’s critical infrastructure and resilience, and protecting Canadians from cyber threats. Also, he highlighted the investments made in the Canadian Armed Forces and the Department of National Defence underlining the Government of Canada’s commitment to work closely with industry to provide greater certainty on defence planning and procurement.
Minister Sajjan reiterated Canada’s commitment to helping NATO adapt, strengthening collaboration between Allies, and preserving the Alliance’s unity of purpose. NATO is stronger and more resilient when everyone works together.
“As we look ahead to 2030 and beyond, Canada remains committed to helping safeguard the North Atlantic region in the face of current and emerging threats. We must continue working with our NATO Allies, the international community, and external partners such as the private sector, to ensure the Alliance stays adaptable, unified, and better-equipped to deal with any challenge that comes our way.”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
Canada believes in and steadfastly supports NATO’s principle of collective defence and is providing direct support to NATO missions and operations.
- 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 Secretary General’s vision for NATO 2030, including renewed Alliance focus on resilience, innovation, and the security implications of climate change.
- At the NATO Summit in June 2021, Canada announced its proposal to establish and host a new NATO Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security and work with Allies as the Centre’s framework nation. It would provide Allies with a central location to pool their knowledge and develop effective preparedness and responses to the security impacts of climate change.
- Canada is providing cyber effects to NATO, which will help shape how cyber operations will be integrated into NATO missions and operations. Canada fully supports measures that further strengthen the Alliance’s overall cyber posture and its ongoing work to enable NATO to operate freely in the recognized operational domain of cyberspace.
- At present, Canada is:
o Leading the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia since 2017;
o 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;
o 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; and
o Providing logistical and headquarters support to NATO’s Kosovo Force
- Canada also contributes to transatlantic security through our support for Ukraine’s security and stability, including through our military training mission, Operation UNIFIER.
- 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.
- GLOBSEC is a non-governmental think tank committed to enhancing prosperity, security, and sustainability in Europe. It was established in 1993 and is based in Bratislava, Slovakia.