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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 nearly 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.

The establishment of a NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence is an ongoing initiative. This Centre will be a platform through which both military actors and civilians will develop, enhance, and share knowledge on climate change security impacts.

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 nearly 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 in Europe, including in Kosovo and along the Alliance’s eastern flank, as well as air policing and maritime operations. Outside the Euro-Atlantic, NATO operations include NATO Mission Iraq and cooperation with the African Union.

In April 2021, Allies decided to start the withdrawal of NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) forces from Afghanistan. The mission was terminated in September 2021. NATO completed a lessons learned exercise in November 2021. Through Operation ALLIED SOLACE, NATO coordinated the evacuation and resettlement of over 1,000 NATO-Affiliated Afghan contractors and their families.

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 Scott Bishop, 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) is Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada on the North Atlantic Council. He served as Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet, Foreign and Defence Policy, at the Privy Council Office from 2016 to 2019. 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).

Canada’s military representative to NATO

Vice-Admiral Scott Bishop

Vice-Admiral Scott Bishop was promoted to his current rank and appointed as the Military Representative of Canada to NATO in June 2021.

Originally from Vancouver, British-Columbia, VAdm Bishop embarked on a military career by first joining the Naval Reserve at Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship DISCOVERY in 1983. Two years later, he transferred to the Regular Force and joined HMCS RESTIGOUCHE as a bridge watch-keeping officer.

Early on, VAdm Bishop specialized in navigation, and served as the Navigating Officer on HMCS CHIGNECTO, MIRAMICHI, QU’APPELLE, and PROVIDER. He was also the Senior Navigation Instructor at the Naval Officer Training Centre. In 1995, VAdm Bishop was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander and posted to HMCS VANCOUVER as the ship’s Combat Officer. In 2000, he was appointed Executive Officer in HMCSATHABASKAN. After being promoted to the rank of Commander in 2003, he was selected to command the frigate HMCS HALIFAX in 2005.

VAdm Bishop’s operational experience includes Operation FORWARD ACTION to enforce UN Sanctions against Haiti while in HMCS PROVIDERand Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR, NATO's maritime contribution to the campaign against terrorism while commanding HMCS HALIFAX. In 2011, he deployed on Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR as the Chief of Current Operations in the Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters to enforce NATO's no-fly-zone and embargo against Libya. Other Naval command appointments include Commander Maritime Operations Group Five, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, and Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic.

In 2016, VAdm Bishop assumed command of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command, which he led through significant growth and expansion for five years until his promotion in 2021.

Over his career, VAdm Bishop has also worked in many staff appointments, including: member of the Chief of Defence Staff’s capability action teams; Director of Transformation and Strategic Planning for the Chief of Force Development; Special Advisor to the Chief of Defence Staff; Director of Operations with the Strategic Joint Staff; and Director General International Security Policy.

VAdm Bishop holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is a graduate of the US Navy’s War College. He was appointed a Commander of the Order of Military Merit in 2016.

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