LOCATION: Westin Lobby
Will Crimea be returned to Ukraine? There isn’t a doubt in former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s mind that the annexed territory will soon belong to his country once more. The post-war era was destroyed in an instant when President Vladimir Putin invaded Crimea in 2014, bringing U.S.-Russian tensions to their highest point since the Cold War.
In spite of the conflict, Poroshenko is grateful for strong bi-partisan solidarity from Canada and still considers the U.S. to be Ukraine’s strongest ally, even with the uncertainty that shadows that relationship today. He issued a call for Ukraine to join NATO. He also urged the Sunday Halifax Chat to remember that the values of democracy that once united the world, will strengthen NATO solidarity. He left the Forum with a warning from the frontlines of the Russia conflict – “Don’t let Putin divide us.” Ukraine is not going anywhere.
Canadian Deputy Defence Minister Jody Thomas recognized that in 2019, women must play an equal and significant role in global security – especially at events like the Halifax International Security Forum. The sector is often exclusionary to women, but the seventh plenary encouraged a discussion on how the barriers to gender equality can be removed. Janice Stein opened the panel immediately to the floor, allowing participants to speak directly to their experiences as women leaders in their field. This showed that women in security do not need anyone to speak for them. Their contributions and solutions speak for themselves.
Having more women in the room changes how we look at conflict zones. It changes our access to communities and it should be fundamental to our values as a nation. Canada has taken a leadership role in gender equality, but the world, the industry, and men can do more to ensure that equality is achieved. Including women in security is not just a moral imperative. It is a strategic security advantage that can bring change desperately needed in an uncertain world.
“We know that women are ‘mentored’ and men are ‘sponsored’ and that word sponsorship matters because I wouldn’t be in the job today if some men hadn’t sponsored me, because five years ago absolutely no one would have seen me as the Deputy Minister of National Defence.”
“We have to encourage more women to do this, it’s not enough to be the first, it needs more than just one”
“As long as you think culture is a soft, female-ish, word, you’ll have a rotten time working for me and you might want to find a different job”
“Talking about being inclusive is only a first step. Real, lasting change takes action. All of us have more to do and all of us can do better”
“Women in the armed forces are not just numbers, they bring a unique perspective. They can do things that men can’t do”
“We need to show people that being different is something that is right, that is okay, that is being sought”
“Diversity is of critical importance. When we talk about peace, we want a peace that is founded on the full, meaningful contributions of all members of society”
“We need a critical mass of diversities”
You say you want a revolution. Well, everybody wants to change the world. From Hong Kong to Lebanon to Chile to Iran, people are taking to the streets. They are frustrated with institutions that are failing to provide their basic social and economic needs. They are embittered by widening levels of inequality and they are fed up with their leaders’ weakness in the face of the existential threat of our day – climate change. As people rise up and raise their voices all around us, what should we make of this moment? Should we be hopeful? Should we be fearful? And what can democracies do to help?
Morgan Ortagus is convinced that democracies have a big role to play. She highlighted the U.S. State Department’s continuous efforts to use communications methods, old and new from telegrams to Instagram, in order to extend its hand to people who are fighting for their freedoms abroad. The U.S. goal is to amplify their voices for the rest of the world to hear. Dr. Joseph Joffe pointed out that while revolutions have local origins, these battles always turn into something larger. The world’s democracies have an obligation to help, but they can no longer do so by dropping bombs and firing bullets. Ambassador Jacqueline O’Neill agreed that democracies need to deliver support, but interventions can only yield long-term results if we encourage revolutionary movements to clear a larger space for women’s voices and leadership.
“Winners tend to go after the losers of the revolution. That is what happened in Georgia. We are lacking American leadership, and seeing an increase of Russian intervention”
“I don’t think we should ever be shy about promoting democracy and promoting the will of people to choose their own destiny”
“Something we see consistently is that women play major roles in a revolution as organizers but when it comes to take power, they are excluded”
“We can’t talk about great powers when people can’t put bread on the table”
LOCATION: Atlantic Ballroom
“There are over 2 million British citizens living in Hong Kong and very many of them are very nervous and anxious about their future,” said Lau, speaking to POLITICO on the sidelines of the Halifax International Security Forum on Friday. “I hope Britain would consider giving them citizenship, real citizenship.”
“Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters Saturday after the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada, that so far there has been no order from the President to stop the process of reviewing Gallagher’s status. Spencer said he would need an order “to act” and added that he does not “interpret (tweets) as a formal order.”
“Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said Saturday at an international security forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that he did not consider a tweet by Trump an order and would need a formal order to stop the Navy review board, scheduled to begin Dec. 2, that would determine whether Gallagher is allowed to remain in the SEALs.”