Canada and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949, establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This political and military alliance was formed to promote the stability of the North Atlantic area and to safeguard the freedom of its peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

This political and military alliance was formed to promote the stability of the North Atlantic area and to safeguard the freedom of its peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.

The Canadian Armed Forces are among the most engaged, agile, deployable and responsive armed forces within NATO, and Canada is proud to have contributed to every NATO operation since the founding of the Alliance more than six decades ago.

To be an effective political-military Alliance, fit to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century, NATO must pursue cooperation with other partners. In this context, extending regional security through cooperative partnerships continues to be crucial.

The Joint Delegation consists of a political section, a military section and a defence-support section. The Delegation represents Canada at the North Atlantic Council and other decision-making bodies of the Alliance, and reports to the Government of Canada on all NATO-related issues.

Overview of North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington on April 4, 1949, establishing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This political and military alliance was formed to promote the stability of the North Atlantic area and to safeguard the freedom of its peoples, based on the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law. The Alliance is the embodiment of the transatlantic link that binds North American and European security. The Alliance’s latest Strategic Concept sets out three core tasks: collective defence, crisis management and cooperative security.

Canada in NATO

Canada was a founding member of the Alliance and has remained as a member since its inception. NATO is a major contributor to international peace and security and is the cornerstone of Canadian security and defence policy.

Canada’s priority for NATO is to ensure the Alliance remains modern, flexible, agile and able to face current and future threats. This goal drives all of Canada’s efforts on NATO transformation, reform and partnerships with non-NATO countries.

NATO Operations

The Canadian Armed Forces are among the most engaged, agile, deployable and responsive armed forces within NATO, and Canada is proud to have contributed to every NATO operation since the founding of the Alliance more than six decades ago. Canada's participation in NATO operations around the world exemplifies our commitment to the Alliance.

NATO is an active and leading contributor to peace and security on the international stage. It promotes democratic values and is committed to the peaceful resolution of disputes. However, if diplomatic efforts fail, it has the military capacity needed to undertake crisis-management operations, alone or in cooperation with other countries and international organizations.

Currently, NATO is operating in Afghanistan, Kosovo and the Mediterranean.

Partnerships and Enlargement

To be an effective political-military Alliance, fit to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century, NATO must pursue cooperation with other partners. In this context, extending regional security through cooperative partnerships continues to be crucial.

NATO’s partnerships

Visit the NATO website to learn more about NATO partnerships.

Enlargement

Under Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO’s door remains open to any European country in a position to further the principles of the Treaty and to contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic area. Four countries currently seek to join NATO: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Ukraine.

Canada strongly supports NATO’s “open-door policy” and looks forward to fulfilling the commitments made to aspirant countries, as well as to welcoming new members into the Alliance.

Visit NATO's Enlargement webpage to learn more.

Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO

The Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO, located at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, is headed by Ambassador Kerry Buck, the Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council, NATO's highest decision-making body. Canada's Military Representative, Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, represents Canada’s Chief of the Defence Staff on the Military Committee, the Alliance's highest military decision-making body, which reports to the North Atlantic Council.

The Joint Delegation consists of a political section, a military section and a defence-support section. The Delegation represents Canada at the North Atlantic Council and other decision-making bodies of the Alliance, and reports to the Government of Canada on all NATO-related issues. It works to maintain and develop cooperative transatlantic relations and actively contributes to the implementation of Canada’s foreign policy on security and defence matters.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council

Kerry Buck has been appointed as Canada’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council (NATO).

Ms. Buck (BA Hons, Political Science, University of Western Ontario; Common Law and Civil Law, LLB, BCL, McGill University) joined Canada’s then Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1991.

She most recently served as Political Director and Assistant Deputy Minister for International Security and Political Affairs from 2011 to 2015. Prior to that, she held Assistant Deputy Minister portfolios for Africa and for Latin America and the Caribbean, and was the head of the Afghanistan Task Force. She has also served in a number of other senior positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, including Director General for the Middle East and Maghreb (2008-2009), for Afghanistan (2006-2008), and for Public Diplomacy and Federal-Provincial Affairs (2006-2007), and Director for Human Rights (2000-2001). She was posted to the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (1994-1996).

Outside of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Ms. Buck served in the Privy Council Office as Director of Operations for Machinery of Government Secretariat responsible for Cabinet and Ministerial mandates (2003-2005), as Director of Policy and International Programs at the Canadian Human Rights Commission (2001-2003), with the International Development Research Centre and with the Constitutional Law Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General of Ontario.

Ms. Buck speaks English and French. She is married to Michael Pearson and has a son and three step-daughters.

Vice-Admiral D.C. Hawco, CMM, MSC, CD

Canada’s military representative to NATO

Darren Hawco graduated from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, in 1989 with a Bachelor of Administration. Operationally, he has deployed five times. Following initial naval training and employment as a shipborne air controller, he deployed to the Adriatic for OP SHARP GUARD as a member of the NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic staff, enforcing a UN embargo against the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1998, he next joined HMCS OTTAWA for her OP MERCATOR deployment to the Persian Gulf as an integrated unit within the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN Carrier Battle Group, enforcing UN sanctions against Iraq. As Executive Officer of HMCS VANCOUVER and in response to the attacks of September 11th 2001, HMCS VANCOUVER was immediately deployed to the Persian Gulf for OP APOLLO - Canada's commitment to the War on Terrorism - as an integrated unit within the USS JOHN C. STENNIS Carrier Battle Group. As Commanding Officer of HMCS OTTAWA in 2006, he deployed again to the Persian Gulf, this time in support of OPERATION ALTAIR as an integrated unit within the USS BOXER Expeditionary Strike Group, where he was subsequently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by both Canada and the United States. Finally, in December 2010 he was selected for a one-year deployment to Afghanistan as an Advisor to Commander International Security Assistance Force within his Commander's Initiatives Group Staff.

In his career, Darren Hawco's non-operational shore appointments included Royal Canadian Navy training and operational plans staff appointments on the coasts, and strategic plans and capability development appointments on the naval staff in the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. Following promotion to Commodore and Command of the Atlantic Fleet in 2012-2013, he served in successive joint appointments in the National Defence Headquarters, first as Director General Cyberspace and then, on promotion to Rear-Admiral, as Chief of Force Development. In that latter appointment, he was the Canadian Armed Forces staff lead for the development of Canada’s Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, and Engaged, for which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. In 2018, he was appointed Commander of the Order of Military Merit. His academic credentials include a BAdmin from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, a Masters in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a Masters in Defence Policy and Management from the Royal Military College of Canada. In May of 2018, he was promoted to Vice-Admiral.

Since August 2018, the Vice-Admiral was appointed to serve as Military Representative of Canada to NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.

Somewhat handy around the house, his hobbies center on keeping his bride and four delightful daughters content.

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