November 20, 2011

Complex Threats, Budget Cuts Require Democratic Nations to Work Together in New Ways

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia—November 20, 2011—Leaders from more than 40 countries concluded three days of discussions at the Halifax International Security Forum, which brought together more than 300 decision-makers and experts to address dozens of topics on the international agenda. Participants discussed the need for greater cooperation and creativity to tackle security challenges at a time when many nations are cutting budgets for defense, diplomacy and development.

“In a time of increasingly complex threats and decreasing military budgets, democratic nations and people with democratic values must work together in innovative ways to create a more secure world,” said Peter Van Praagh, president of the Halifax International Security Forum. “International security is not only important to the decision-makers and experts who gathered here, it is important to people everywhere. Security is the foundation for building a better world—strengthening democracy, creating economic opportunity and promoting peace.”

The 2011 conference was the third gathering of leaders from the military, civilian government, business, academia, think tanks, non-governmental organizations and other sectors. The event provides an opportunity for decision-makers and experts with a wide variety of perspectives to learn from each other, create new ideas and put them into action.

“The discussions held here in Halifax produced insights and ideas that will inform the thinking and decisions of key leaders around the world,” said the Honorable Peter MacKay, Canada’s Minister of National Defence. “Now comes the work of putting those ideas into action. We will move forward with a new spirit of cooperation, and a renewed commitment to creating a more secure world for all.”

Participants discussed dozens of topics affecting nations around the world. Participants included Canadian Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Israeli Defense Minster Ehud Barak, former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, a congressional delegation led by Senator John McCain and Senator Mark Udall, and 300 other leaders from around the world to assess events in 2011 and look ahead to 2012.

Televised plenary discussions generated a wide variety of views on timely issues, which can be viewed along with photos and videos from each session, online.

About The Halifax International Security Forum
Halifax International Security Forum is a forum and a network for thoughtful and engaged decision-makers from governments, militaries, business, academia, and the media to work together to meet emerging threats in a changing world. The Forum is made possible by generous support from the Department of National Defence and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).