Security

Halifax hosts international security and defence conference

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine to be honoured at this year's event

Harjit Singh Sajjan addresses the media Friday morning at the Halifax International Security Forum.
Harjit Singh Sajjan addresses the media Friday morning at the Halifax International Security Forum.   Katie Short

Representatives from over 70 countries are in Halifax this weekend to attend the annual Halifax International Security Forum held at The Westin Nova Scotian hotel.

Approximately 345 politicians, academics, military leaders, business leaders, journalists and other experts will discuss international security and defence.

The Builder Award, given to someone who has “been instrumental to the success of the Halifax International Security Forum” will be awarded to Senator Tim Kaine on Friday night.

Tim Kaine was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in last week’s U.S. election where Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States.

Canada’s minister of national defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, is hosting this year’s conference.

“No one nation has all the right answers,” he told reporters Friday morning. “No one nation can deal with all the challenges that we face around the world and that’s why it’s so important for us to be able to work together.”

The forum kicked off Friday afternoon. There are 36 sessions in total that will discuss a number of topics including cybersecurity, democracy, global terrorism and shifting superpowers. Session titles include “Make Democracy Great Again,” “Climate Security, Energy Security and the Politics of Slow Moving Threats” and “Great Continent, Great Responsibility: Finding China’s Role.”

This is the first major international conference since the U.S. election on Nov. 8.

The new Donald Trump administration is expected to be a hot topic, as Trump has expressed criticism of NATO, another important topic of the forum. Trump called it obsolete in an interview earlier this year.

Sajjan isn’t commenting on the effect that Trump may have.

“I look forward to President Trump’s inauguration and I look forward to when his cabinet is not only appointed, but up and running, and we will have a lot of these discussions,” he said.

U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo was slated to attend and could have commented on the future impact of the Trump administration, but is no longer coming because he was recently asked by Trump to become the new director of the C.I.A.

The forum will run until Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

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