THUNDER BAY – International News – On December 10 2012, two hundred experts, including representatives from academia, the media, and national government departments, will gather in Brussels to discuss a very particular aspect of emerging security challenges – the protection of critical infrastructure. The conference will be held in cooperation with the Brussels Office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“This event will provide a good opportunity to learn about, as well as challenge or advise on, NATO’s role in meeting these very real challenges,” says Ambassador Gabor Iklódy, Assistant Secretary General for ESCD.
[pullquote] NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division (ESCD) will hold its second annual conference entitled “The World in 2020 – Can NATO Protect Us? The Challenges to Critical Infrastructure”. [/pullquote]
In Canada, “Critical infrastructure refers to processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government. Critical infrastructure can be stand-alone or interconnected and interdependent within and across provinces, territories and national borders. Disruptions of critical infrastructure could result in catastrophic loss of life, adverse economic effects and significant harm to public confidence”.
Three panels will address NATO’s role in emerging security challenges from different angles. First, practitioners and researchers will discuss the nature of the problem and how it affects our security. Second, decision-makers on the international and national level, as well as from the private sector, will talk about the responsibilities and the need for interaction. Finally, political experts, including two former Defence Ministers, will examine how NATO can address these issues.
A look at a very real and important challenge will kick off the conference: harbour security. The Portmaster of Rotterdam, Europe’s most important port, will outline the challenges from his perspective.