NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security and defence policy, and is central to transatlantic security and international stability. Canada is supporting the following initiatives as concrete actions to address future threats and challenges affecting transatlantic security and to strengthen collective security commitments that will keep our people safe.
NATO Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security
In a rapidly changing global security environment, NATO must continue to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to the security impacts of climate change.
The Government of Canada will engage with NATO and our Allies to complete the NATO Centre of Excellence (COE) design and negotiation process from 2021, aiming to establish the COE in 2023 or afterwards. Canada could be joined in this effort by other Allies that wish to contribute to the work of the COE. NATO COEs are international military organizations that are established, run, and funded by individual NATO Allies or groups of Allies. NATO COEs train and educate personnel from Allied and Partner nations on specialized topics of relevance to the Alliance. Canada has been a major contributor to other NATO COEs, including the Cooperative Cyber Defence COE, the Energy Security COE, and the Strategic Communications COE, among others.
Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time, with global impacts affecting all countries. A Canada-hosted COE on Climate and Security would respond to an identified Alliance priority to better understand, adapt to and mitigate the security implications of climate change. This COE would also facilitate the exchange of expertise among Allies, build capacity to address the security implications of climate change, and help advance our ongoing efforts to reduce the climate impact of our military activities.
The response to climate change threats requires collaboration across many sectors and must consider diverse perspectives, including those of women and girls, Indigenous peoples, as well as marginalized, and vulnerable populations. The Government of Canada plans to include, consult and integrate such perspectives as we pursue the establishment of this COE.
Enhancing NATO Cyber Defence
NATO Allies face an increasingly broad and sophisticated range of cyber threats from state and non-state actors. Allied unity and resilience remain critically important in the face of continued cyber threats.
To further contribute to NATO’s cyber defence, the Government of Canada has committed sovereign cyber effects to NATO, on a voluntary basis, joining a group of Allies that also have already committed their effects on a voluntary basis. These sovereign cyber effects will be used to advance NATO mission goals and objectives, as well as promote NATO resilience in the face of cyber threats from adversaries.
Canada fully supports measures that further strengthen the Alliance’s overall cyber posture and its ongoing work to enable NATO to operate freely in the recognized operational domain of cyberspace.
Canada already participates in discussions shaping how sovereign cyber effects will be integrated into NATO missions and operations. Canada will also host the 2022 NATO Cyber Defence Workshop, which will bring over 150 participants from all Allied nations together in Ottawa.
Canada is committed to developing and using cyber capabilities in accordance with domestic and international law. Canada’s cyber capabilities will always remain under Canadian national command and control, even when used in support of NATO.
Support for UN Peace Operations Training
The Government of Canada will contribute $1 million from 2021 to 2023 to NATO’s Trust Fund to increase the safety and security of peacekeepers deploying to United Nations (UN) peace operations around the world.
In partnership with the UN, NATO has developed a training package to help make UN peace operations more efficient. Canada’s funding will support NATO in sharing the Alliance’s expertise with the UN in key areas, such as military performance and evaluation, medical care, countering improvised explosive devices, as well as signals, and information and communications technology, which will contribute to more effective peace operations.