Security Forum

Minister of National Defence speaks at international security forum

Topics include Syrian refugee crisis, terrorism and Asia-Pacific security

(Left to Right) Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan and Peter Van Praagh opened the security forum with a press conference.
(Left to Right) Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan and Peter Van Praagh opened the security forum with a press conference.   Alexander Quon

In the shadow of the Paris attacks, over 300 politicians, military officials and policy analysts from more than 60 countries gathered at the Halifax International Security Forum (HISF).

The Canadian Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, and the President of the HISF, Peter Van Praagh, opened the forum with a press conference Friday.

“This forum is about listening as much as it is about sharing opinion,” Sajjan said.

Van Praagh, who is coordinating the seventh security forum said that this event isn’t just about speeches.

“We are here to listen to each other, project ideas and walk away with decision makers having smart options going forward,” Praagh said. “Very senior people are here taking notes and listening and that’s really the atmosphere we create here in Halifax.”

Much of the press conference focused on the government’s refugee crisis and the Canadian government’s plans to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada by the end of the year.

“We’re looking at bringing the most vulnerable to Canada,” Sajjan said. “When it comes to refugees, they’re not fleeing poverty. They’re fleeing war.”

While information is slowly coming out on the plan, Sajjan stressed that the final details of the governments strategy are still being worked out.

“By doing our part for this, we are actually hitting ISIS in a different way,” Sajjan said.

While there is a large focus on the western response to terrorism, at the conference other subjects will include Asia-Pacific security and biotech weapons.

The conference will continue throughout the weekend.

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