It will include a nine-member congressional delegation, led by Senator John McCain, the largest ever to visit Canada.
Some of the other 300 participants include John Baird, Canada’s minister of foreign affairs, Ehud Barak, former prime minister of Israel, National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces president Hadi al Bahra and James Appathurai, deputy assistant secretary general for political affairs and security policy with NATO.
A poll released on Thursday by Ipsos Reid, the leading global market and opinion research firm, found two-thirds of Americans and 60 per cent of Canadians agree the world is more dangerous this year than last and the threat of an armed conflict has spiked dramatically.
The Halifax International Security Forum will deal with the issues at the root of the poll.
Things to watch over the next two and half days:
1. ISIS (also known as ISIL) and the future of the Arab world. Retired general John Allen, the U.S. Department of State's presidential envoy for the global coalition against ISIL, will lead the discussion;
2. Hong Kong, China: One city, two visions.
3. Ukraine, Russia, and the future of Eurasian democracy
There will also be discussion, some on some off the record, about perspectives on the threat of the Islamic State directly to North America, Ebola, and renewed armed conflicts as well as views on Canadian and American leadership to address these crises.
The conference runs Nov. 21-23.