NATO Secretary General accepts Halifax Builder Award, hails transatlantic bond
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accepted the Halifax Builder Award on behalf of NATO in the margins of the Halifax International Security Forum on Friday (17 November 2017). The award is presented annually to individuals or organisations which have made an outstanding contribution to strengthening cooperation amongst democracies. Mr Stoltenberg called the award “a great recognition for all those who have worked tirelessly for peace and security within the NATO Alliance”.
The Secretary General underscored that in times of evolving threats, "the transatlantic bond remains as important as it has ever been," adding that allies are stepping up on both sides of the Atlantic. Pointing to US and Canadian deployments in Europe, Mr Stoltenberg welcomed that the North American Allies "are strengthening their contributions to European security". He further welcomed that European Allies are investing more in defence, and raising the readiness of their forces. Calling the transatlantic bond "the backbone of our mutual security", the Secretary General stressed that NATO "ensures our democracy, our prosperity and open societies".
Earlier on Friday, the Secretary General participated in the opening of the Halifax International Security Forum, together with Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Mr Stoltenberg stressed that NATO is history’s most successful alliance because of its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. He further welcomed efforts to mainstream gender perspectives throughout peace and security work, saying that empowering women "is not just the right thing to do – it’s the smart thing to do". The Secretary General also thanked Minister Sajjan for Canada’s many contributions to the Alliance, including its leadership of a multinational NATO battlegroup in Latvia.
On Saturday, the Secretary General will hold bilateral meetings in the margins of the Forum, and participate in plenary sessions.
The Halifax International Security Forum, of which NATO is a partner, is a leading peace and security conference which has taken place annually in Nova Scotia, Canada since 2009.