Canada and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

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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 seven 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 seven 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 has operations and missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Mediterranean, Iraq, Africa, and Europe.

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. Three countries currently seek to join NATO: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, 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 David Angell, the Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council, NATO's highest decision-making body. Canada's Military Representative, Vice-Admiral D.C. Hawco , 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

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

Mr. Angell (BA [Political Science], Yale University, 1986; MA [Political Science], University of Toronto, 1987; MPhil [International Relations], University of Cambridge, 1988) served, most recently, as assistant secretary to the Cabinet, Foreign and Defence Policy, at the Privy Council Office since 2016. He has also served as high commissioner to Kenya (2012 to 2016); as director general for International Organizations, Human Rights and Democracy (2009 to 2012), for International Organizations (2008 to 2009) and for Africa (2007 to 2008); and as high commissioner to Nigeria (2004 to 2007). Mr. Angell was the G8 deputy personal representative (2001 to 2004) and personal representative (2007 to 2012) for Africa and, as such, a principal organizer of the 2002 and 2010 G8 summits at Kananaskis and Muskoka. He has served at the United Nations (1996 to 2001) as alternate representative on the UN Security Council (1999 to 2000), before which he was the advisor to General John de Chastelain on the International Body on the decommissioning of arms (1995) and the Multi-Party Negotiations on Northern Ireland (1996). Mr. Angell has also served at the embassy in Washington, D.C. (1991 to 1993). He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013).

Lieutenant-General Frances J. Allen, CMM, CD

Canada’s military representative to NATO

Lieutenant-General Frances Allen enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1983. After graduation from Queen's University in 1987 with an Honours Degree in Statistics, Lieutenant-General Allen completed her CELE Air training in 1988. Following CELE training, her early operational postings were to 764 Communications Squadron, the Canadian Forces School of Communications and Electronics in Kingston, Canadian Forces Station Carp and 76 Communications Group.

Lieutenant-General Allen has commanded at multiple levels throughout her career including Officer Commanding the National Systems Management Centre in Ottawa, at the Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron in Trenton as well as the Canadian Forces Network Operations Centre and the Canadian Forces Information Operations Group.

Staff appointments have included the Operations Officer for the Information Protection Centre, Executive Assistant to the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, Director Support Operations in the Strategic Joint Staff. On promotion in 2014 to Brigadier-General, she assumed the post of Director General Defence Security at NDHQ. Lieutenant-General Allen also served as Director General Cyberspace, Director General Information Management Operations at NDHQ and Joint Force Cyber Component Commander. She was appointed Deputy Vice Chief of the Defence Staff after being promoted to Major-General in June 2018. She was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General in July 2020.

Since July 2020, Lieutenant-General Allen was appointed to serve as Military Representative of Canada to the NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.

Lieutenant-General Allen is a graduate of Queen’s University, the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College and Canadian Forces College National Security Program. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College and has been invested as a Commander of the Order of Military Merit.

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