Previous Events

November 19, 2013 – Afghanistan Post-’14 Networking Conference in Ottawa


The US and its allies have invested a lot of money and lives into Operation Enduring Freedom since the conflict’s inception. In response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, coalition forces ousted the ruling Taliban in 2001, and in 2003 NATO took command of the UN mandated peace-enforcing mission, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in order to help the newly formed Afghan Transitional Authority (ATA) maintain security in Kabul and surrounding areas. International efforts to manage reconstruction processes in Afghanistan subsequently came into effect in the form of what is known as Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), which consist of military and civilian personnel. The goal is to hand over Afghanistan’s security to its own army and police forces. Due to these efforts, Afghanistan is now taking baby steps towards developing itself into a self-sufficient and securitized state.

From deployment to development, the international community has shifted its mandate and after maintaining a presence in Afghanistan for more than a decade, all combat troops will be withdrawn by 2014. No units are being replaced as their tour of duty comes to end. While it is important to look at what has been done to restore law and order, the NATO Council of Canada’s fall conference will also focus on future international engagement in Afghanistan, the challenges and prospects of future elections and the state’s economy, and lastly, the future role of regional players.


November 19, 2013; All-day conference – 8:30 – 17:00
Includes coffee, lunch and reception


The Cadieux Auditorium, Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Drive; Ottawa, Ontario


Non-Member: $75
Regular Member: $65
Student: $20
School Groups of 10 or more: $15 per student

To register, e-mail



Conference Moderator: Col (Ret’d) John C. McKenna, Vice-President, NATO Council of Canada

8:45 – 9:00     Opening Remarks – Senator Hugh Segal, Chairman, NCC

9:00 – 9:30      Opening Keynote:  The Hon. Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Canada (invited)

9:30 – 11:00   Panel I – International Engagement

Moderator: Paul Chapin, Director, NATO Council of Canada

–        NATO and Afghanistan – Nick Williams, Deputy Head of Afghanistan Section, NATO, Operation Division (confirmed)

–        UN role in future – Megan Minnion, UN Transition Task Force Team Leader (confirmed by Video-conference)

–        Foundations laid by Canada’s Training Mission – LCol Roch Pelletier, recent Deputy Commander, Canadian Training Mission in Afghanistan (confirmed)

–        Learning the Limits of NATO: Lessons from Afghanistan – Prof. Stephen Saideman, Carleton University, Ottawa (confirmed)

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 13:00             Panel II – 2014 Elections and Economic Future of Afghanistan

Moderator: Dr. Bernd Goetze, Director, NATO Council of Canada

–        The Political and Economic landscape in Afghanistan – Omar Samad, Former Afghan Ambassador to Canada – confirmed

–        Election preparation in Afghanistan: analysis – Prof. Nasrullah Stanekzai, Head of Political Science and Law Department of Kabul University, by video-conference – tbc

–        The 2014 and Prospects for the Democratic Development of Afghanistan – Sabrina Saqeb, former Member of Parliament (2005-2010), Co-Founder of the Institute for Women, Peace and Security – confirmed

13:00 – 13:45  Lunch

13:45 – 15:15 Panel III – Future Role of Regional Players

Moderator: Wayne Primeau, Vice-President, NATO Council of Canada

–        Pakistan and India – Prof. Julian Schofield, Concordia University, Montreal – confirmed

–        Iran and other Middle East countries – John Mundy, Visiting Associate, Centre for International Policy studies, University of Ottawa, former Canadian ambassador to Iran – confirmed

–        NATO, China and Afghanistan – Prof. Benjamin Zyla, University of Ottawa – confirmed

15:15 – 15:45  Closing Keynote Address: The Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence – invited

15:45 – 16:00  Summation: Col (Ret’d) Brian MacDonald, Past President, NATO Council of Canada – confirmed

Closing remarks: Mrs. Julie Lindhout, President, The NATO Council of Canada

16:00 – 17:00 Reception

NATO Association of Canada
The NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) strives to educate and engage Canadians about NATO and its goals of peace, prosperity and security. The NAOC ensures Canada has an informed citizenry able to participate in discussions about its role on the world stage.