Minister Cannon to Attend G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, NATO-Russia Council Meeting and Informal OSCE Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

(No. 175 - June 23, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will attend the G8 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Trieste, Italy, from June 25 to 27, 2009.

“The G8 forum is an important catalyst for developing concrete and credible solutions to global challenges,” said Minister Cannon. “I appreciate the initiative by the Italian presidency and the G8 to deal with new destabilizing factors, such as piracy and ongoing critical issues like Afghanistan.”

During the meeting, foreign ministers from the G8 (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the host country of Italy), and the European Union will address international security issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, terrorism, crime and peacebuilding, as well as a range of specific regional situations, including the Middle East, North Korea and Iran. The ministers are planning to meet with their Afghan and Pakistani counterparts to examine regional cooperation in border management and security.

Minister Cannon will also take the opportunity to champion Canada’s values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as key non-proliferation goals in preparation for the May 2010 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Canada’s year-long chairmanship of the G8 will begin on January 1, 2010, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper hosting the G8 Summit in Huntsville, Ont., from June 25 to 27, 2010.

“This year, Italy’s chairmanship has focused the G8 on the rule of law and human rights in countering terrorism,” said Minister Cannon. “As Canadians, we support this direction and we will continue moving forward, as we prepare for next year’s summit in Huntsville.”

On June 27, 2009, Minister Cannon will be in Corfu, Greece, to attend the NATO-Russia Council meeting.

“The NATO-Russia Council is based on the principles of peaceful dispute resolution and shared democratic values,” said Minister Cannon. “We recognize the importance of dialogue and cooperation in addressing security concerns that affect us all.”

On June 27 and 28, while in Corfu, the Minister will attend the informal meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to discuss the security architecture in Europe.

“Canada is a long-standing and constructive partner in Euro-Atlantic security structures, and we support the existing security arrangements in Europe, particularly NATO and the OSCE,” said Minister Cannon. “We are ready to engage substantively on any proposals aimed at enhancing our common security, and I look forward to a constructive discussion on how transatlantic security may be further strengthened in the interests of all OSCE members.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
international.gc.ca