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article imageWorld's top military leaders to meet in Nova Scotia

By Kevin Jess     Nov 20, 2009 in World
Canada will play host to the world's most powerful military figures this weekend in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They will discuss global security, nuclear weapons and foreign policy.
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, and Dr. Robert M. Gates, United States Secretary of Defense will meet November 20 in advance of this weekend's meeting to discuss a variety of issues related to Canada-United States defence relations, says a Canadian government press release.
Mr. MacKay says the group meeting this weekend in Halifax is from a "very exclusive club of countries", reports the Chronicle-Herald.
The defense minister said in an interview with the Chronicle-Herald, "It is a stepping up of Canada’s presence on the world stage. We’ve never hosted a security conference of this nature in Canada, let alone North America. And I believe this is of great significance."
MacKay says he intends to use this opportunity to showcase Canada's contributions to global peace and security.
The conference will last for three days, beginning today.
The organizer of the event, German Marshall Fund(GMF) of the United States, a non-partisan think-tank that focuses on transatlantic issues, is saying the event compares to the Brussels Forum and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, says the report in the Chronicle-Herald.
This weekend's agenda includes issues ranging from Afghanistan to the Arctic, pirates to nuclear proliferation.
The Halifax International Security Forum, the first of it's kind in the world, will have a truly impressive list of speakers.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Katsuya Okada on his arrival to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo
DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison
The line-up will include the defence ministers from the United States (Robert Gates), Germany (Karl-Theodorr Freiherr zu Guttenberg), Brazil (Nelson Azevedo Jobim), Colombia (Gabriel Silva Lujan), the Netherlands (Elmert van Middelkoop), Belgium (Pieter De Crem), New Zealand (Wayne Mapp), and, of course, Canada (Peter MacKay). There will be military brass from Canada, the United States and NATO, among others. A U.S. congressional delegation lead by Senators John McCain and Mark Udall, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Canadian Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin will add depth and breadth to the issues being discussed, says a Chronicle Herald article posted on the GMF website.
Interested parties may watch panel discussions live online at the Halifax Forum website.
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