General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff today issued the following statement following the conclusion of the Arctic Chiefs of Defence Meeting in St. John’s:
“I was pleased to host Chiefs of Defence and representatives from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and the United States to share lessons learned from ongoing Arctic operations and to coordinate enhanced cooperation between our nations in the region. Today’s meeting was just one in a series of international engagements through which Canada, alongside our allies and partners, have the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to one another, and to the rules and freedoms that underpin global security and stability.
“The international order is rapidly changing and the strategic importance of the Arctic continues to grow. And as the security environment continues to shift and become more dangerous, continental defence has much broader implications, and we must consider the global context in which we plan and conduct all of our activities and operations.
“The Arctic is at an inflection point where effects from Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and their military build-up in the Arctic, the impacts of climate change, technological advancements, and economic interests are driving increasing interest, activity, and competition in a way that makes this region more strategically important than ever before.
“As the Arctic changes, physically and strategically, our commitment to working collaboratively with like-minded nations is key to safeguarding our sovereignty and upholding the international rules-based order. We have witnessed in Ukraine the belligerence of our Arctic neighbour and we must be vigilant-what happens in Europe and across the globe has implications in our own backyard.
“In a world facing increasing and emerging threats, the stability we enjoy flows from the strength of our alliances, and our relationships with trusted international partners. We must continue to work collaboratively with our Arctic allies and partners to coordinate and face security challenges together, and to advance security and stability in the Arctic and around the world.
“For our part, the Canadian Armed Forces remains committed to defending Canada’s Northern sovereignty, and protecting Canadian interests at home and abroad. We will continue to work closely with our allies and partners in strengthening our domain awareness, surveillance, and command and control capabilities through a wide range of initiatives in the Arctic, including modernizing NORAD, improving the CAF’s capabilities, mobility and presence in the North, and increasing our participation in multinational exercises in the region.”