HFX Conversations is HFX’s online publication. HFX Conversations is dedicated to bringing ideas and opinions from democratic leaders to the wider public and will publish essays and interviews when they need to be published.

May 21, 2020

President Peter Van Praagh gives opening remarks at the 2019 Halifax International Security Forum


Seventy-five years ago, the Second World War served as the impetus for creating an international system that worked for a very long time. Instead of another major conflict, let us use this current crisis as the impetus for modernizing the international system today

Seventy-five years to the month after they defeated the Nazis in Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom are numbers 1 and 2 respectively when it comes to coronavirus deaths. At the same time, the U.S., U.K., Canada and all our democratic allies face the real prospect of prolonged economic uncertainty, the likes of which nobody alive today has experienced as an adult.

Just as it was a decade before the Second World War, during the Great Depression, we are also facing the very real potential of another major global conflict. To safeguard against another bloodletting, the post-war architects addressed the tangible causes of war head-on, not the least being the breakdown of international trade that accompanied the Great Depression.

Victory in that epic struggle between good and evil was also a victory for the creation of international structures that maintained peace and brought prosperity, order and good governance to hundreds of millions of people around the world. Every democratic country — Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. included — benefits from an international system that works…

Peter Van Praagh is President of the Halifax International Security Forum.

Read the full article in National Post

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