OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 13, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, spoke in Ottawa today at the eighth annual North American Forum, a yearly forum discussing defence and security issues affecting Canada, Mexico and the United States.
"Today, it is increasingly difficult for countries to face challenges to their defence and security alone," said Minister MacKay. "By virtue of our geography, our peoples and trading relationships, our three nations share many defence and security interests. The inter-connected nature of our defence and security makes initiatives like the North American Forum critical in our efforts to strengthen hemispheric defence," he added.
The North American Forum is a not-for-profit trilateral initiative that brings together government, business, academic and not-for-profit leaders from Canada, Mexico, and the United States to discuss political, economic, social, foreign policy and security issues of shared concern.
Minister MacKay took the opportunity to promote Canadian democratic civil-military relations in the hemisphere and stress the importance of enhancing bilateral and regional defence relationships. He also highlighted Canada's ongoing commitment in North American defence and issues of mutual interest, and the important role Canada assumed in hosting the first trilateral meeting of North American Defence Ministers on March 27, 2012.
As part of this hemispheric commitment, Minister MacKay and the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Walt Natynczyk, recently attended the Conference of Defence Ministers of the Americas (CDMA), in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, from October 8 to 10, 2012. Participation in the CDMA is an important component of Canada's defence engagement in the Americas and supports the Canadian Government's renewed commitment to the hemisphere. It provides a unique platform for defence and security ministers in the hemisphere to share ideas and experiences on regional security issues.