International Critical Infrastructure Engagement

In today’s interdependent and interconnected world, the safety and security of critical infrastructure requires the concerted efforts of public and private partners around the globe. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) collaborates with international partners to enhance and promote cross-border and global critical infrastructure security and resilience through information sharing so all can benefit from the exchange of best practices, expertise, and lessons learned.

Critical Five

Flags of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United StatesThe Critical Five was established in 2012 to enhance information sharing and work on issues of mutual interest between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. One of the first efforts was to understand how each country addresses critical infrastructure as a basis for clearly articulating and communicating a common message on the value, meaning, and importance of critical infrastructure. The result was shared narrative, “Forging a Common Understanding of Critical Infrastructure,” published in March 2014.

This foundational work led to identification of another topic to explore: the linkage between infrastructure investment and economic growth and prosperity and the similarities in approach among the five countries at the government and owner/operator level. In October 2015, the Critical Five published a shared narrative: “The Role of Critical Infrastructure in National Prosperity.” This paper highlights how resilient infrastructure enhances economic prosperity and provides examples of how each country works to enhance investment in infrastructure; challenges, disruptions, and their impacts to national economies; and the vital role of cyber infrastructure to growing and sustaining national economies.


On July 13, 2010, Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety Canada, announced the "Canada-U.S. Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure" designed to strengthen the safety, security, and resilience of critical infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada through an enhanced cross-border approach.

The Action Plan is part of ongoing cross-border collaboration between the U.S. and Canadian governments. The Action Plan identifies partnerships, information sharing, and risk management as the three key elements. Each area has specific actions that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety Canada will take to enhance coordination and cooperation and to better prevent, respond to, and recover from critical infrastructure disruptions.

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