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Bilateral meetings held at Halifax Forum

Canada's Defence Minister, Anita Anand, participated in the 13th annual edition of the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF), hosted by the President of HISF Inc. Mr. Peter Van Praagh, from November 19 to 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Forum brought together participants from over 80 countries, including defence ministers, senior officials from international organizations, representatives from academia and industry, and defence and security experts, who discussed pressing global security challenges. In today's constantly evolving environment, it is more important that ever to anticipate, adapt, and act in the face of current and emerging threats. Participants voiced commitments to working with allies and partners to protect global peace, stability, and freedom. 

Discussions at this year’s Forum included challenges from the past and future for democracies, the importance of multilateral institutions like the United Nations and NATO, the great power competition, and direct challenges to the rules-based international order among many other topics.

Minister Anand and Acting Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) General Wayne Eyre held several bilateral meetings at the 13th annual Halifax International Security Forum (HISF) on 19 November 2021 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • Minister Anand met with the delegation from the Republic of Kosovo – led by President of the Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, and including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Donika Gërvalla, as well as Minister of Defence, Armend Mehaj. President Osmani-Sadriu and Minister Anand reflected on Canada and Kosovo’s long-standing, positive and productive defence relationship, and reaffirmed Canada and Kosovo’s shared values, commitments to the rules-based international order, and a positive defence ;relationship. The discussion touched on progress that Kosovo has made to date towards increased Euro-Atlantic integration, the importance of promoting the broader security and stability of the Western Balkans, and opportunities for increased areas of defence cooperation through military training and education. On behalf of the CAF, the Minister accepted the Presidential Military Medal from President Osmani-Sadriu as a token of Kosovo’s appreciation of Canada’s contributions.
  • General Eyre met with Admiral John C. Aquilino, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command to discuss our shared security interests in the Indo-Pacific. Minister Anand also joined the discussion where both countries highlighted the importance of our shared security interests in the Indo-Pacific and in continuing to work together to maintain these shared values.
  • Minister Anand, along with General Eyre, met with Kirsten Hillman, the Canadian Ambassador to the United States, to discuss the importance of the United States as Canada’s most valued ally and defence partner. They touched on the value of defence integration between Canada and the United States to support the interoperability between our armed forces. They underlined the value of defence integration between Canada and the United States to support interoperability of our armed forces for both continental defence and operations abroad. Ambassador Hillman introduced Minister Anand to members of the U.S. bipartisan congressional delegation, led by co-chairs Senators Jeanne Shaheen and James Risch. Together, they discussed the importance of the Canada-U.S. defence and security partnership.
  • The Minister also met with a delegation from Ukraine to reinforce the importance of Canada and Ukraine’s bilateral defence relationship. Discussions underscored Canada’s commitment to the security of Ukraine through Operation UNIFIER.

"Canada’s path forward is clear," said Minister Anand. "We will continue to be a reliable partner to our friends and allies, working in support of our highest values – democracy, freedom, and human rights with the goal of bringing to life our shared vision of a better future. In a world that feels increasingly unpredictable and overwhelming, the Halifax International Security Forum has never been more valuable in emphasizing the need for strengthened strategic cooperation among democracies."

During the Forum, Minister Anand affirmed that culture change in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is her top priority, and underscored Canada’s commitment to its military, through the implementation of the Government of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged. The Minister emphasized that Canada will continue to tackle threats at home and abroad, including malicious cyber activity, climate change, and acts of aggression from nations that seek to challenge the rules-based international order.

The Halifax International Security Forum connected more than 300 defence and security leaders from across the world, including senior government and military officials, policymakers, opinion leaders, academics, and members of the business community from like-minded nations.

While in Halifax, Minister Anand also met with the Premier of Nova Scotia, Tim Houston, who welcomed her back to the province where she grew up.