Defence Minister Sajjan participates in NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting


June 18, 2020 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Canada is dedicated to maintaining and strengthening its multilateral relationships with allies and partners and understands the important role NATO plays in Trans-Atlantic security. By maintaining this unique link between the two continents, Canada and other NATO Allies are able to collectively address both traditional and emerging threats to stability and peace.

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today concluded a successful virtual NATO Defence Ministers’ Meeting, where he participated in discussions on a number of issues including NATO’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, deterrence and defence, and NATO operations and missions.

During the Defence Ministers’ Meeting, Minister Sajjan reiterated that the engagement of the international community is crucial to mitigating the security and stability consequences of COVID-19. He discussed the importance of continued communication, coordination and collaboration at all levels to contain and reduce the spread of the virus, and the need to continue to share best practices and risk assessments. We are supportive NATO’s efforts to better prepare the Alliance for pandemic related needs, including stockpiling of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and streamlining NATO’s procurement processes.

Minister Sajjan outlined Canada’s response to address the COVID-19 pandemic both domestically and internationally. He also underscored the vital role that NATO continues to play in supporting Allies, partners and the entire of global community in their response to the pandemic.


“These extraordinary times remind us of how crucial it is to maintain positive and constructive relationships with our friends and allies. Continued cooperation and sharing best practices are key to our successful preparation for an uncertain future. We remain committed to providing assistance wherever and whenever we can on the interna­tional stage. We will continue to protect our values and support our allies.”

 The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

Quick facts

  • Hundreds of thousands of Allied troops have been supporting civilian efforts across the Alliance. Allies are working together to prepare and enhance resilience in preparation for a possible second wave of COVID-19. 

  • NATO is a cornerstone of Canada’s international security policy. It provides an important international forum in which to engage other nations on defence and security. 

  • Canada has contributed to every major NATO mission since the Alliance was founded more than 70 years ago.

  • While the CAF has taken measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on operations and protect our force, allies, and partners, by implementing operational pause, and repositioning personnel and equipment, CAF members remain fully committed to provide direct support to NATO missions.

  • While the CAF has taken measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on operations and to protect our force, we remain fully committed to providing direct support to NATO missions.

  • At present, Canada is:

    • Leading the multinational NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia;
    • Periodically deploying CF-18 fighter aircraft to conduct surveillance and air policing activities in Europe;
    • Commanding NATO Mission Iraq and contributing up to 250 Canadian Armed Forces’ personnel to the mission; and
    • Deploying HMCS Fredericton under Operation REASSURANCE as part of Standing NATO Maritime Group (2). 
  • Operation IMPACT is the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. In addition to operations in support of Coalition efforts in Iraq, it also includes NATO Mission Iraq, and bilateral training and capacity building in Jordan and Lebanon.