Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

MONTREAL — Canada will create a new ambassador position dedicated to women, peace and security, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Saturday.

Freeland made the announcement at a meeting of female foreign affairs ministers in Montreal that she co-hosted with Federica Mogherini, the high representative for the European Union.

Freeland did not offer many details but said the new ambassador would help champion feminist-based aid programs and advocate for more female participation in peacekeeping and conflict resolution.

“International and domestic civil society committed to feminism has been telling us that Canada needs to be even more ambitious, and one way to do that is to have a high-level champion for these issues,” she said during her closing remarks.

Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund a number of initiatives aimed at combating gender-based violence and promoting women’s participation in peace processes, and would co-chair a global network on women, peace and security with Uruguay in 2020.

The two-day summit brought together at least half of the 30 women who hold foreign affairs portfolios globally, as well as Japan’s foreign minister, who is male, and civil society actors.

Mogherini said the meetings touched on many issues including conflict prevention, combating gender-based violence, and sustainable development goals.

The summit is believed to be the first official summit of female foreign affairs ministers, but she said it wouldn’t be the last.

Mogherini said the group will keep in touch and is planning to meet again next year, just before or after the annual session of the UN General Assembly.

“Without establishing formal networks or organizations, we will simply work as closely as possible together to advance a foreign policy agenda that makes sure the world uses the full potential of its entire population,” she said.

Mogherini says the group collectively decided to eschew issuing a joint communique or statement at the end of the meeting in order to keep the discussions “as open-ended and real as possible.”

And while the meetings will continue, Mogherini said future iterations may not be as formal, or run under the exact same format.

She also highlighted the presence of Japan’s foreign minister, Taro Kono, pointing out that male ministers were also invited to take part.

“We do not want to create a separate box,” she said.

“We want to make sure that women in foreign policy, first of all are visible, secondly connect to each other, and thirdly work with others in a way that makes things advance for women in the world, because we believe it’s also a way to have men advance in the world.”

Following their closing remarks, Freeland and Mogherini were expected to lay flowers at a memorial for the 14 female victims of the 1989 Polytechnique shooting.

Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is now on the path to grant degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the Canadian government should consider sanctions on the U.S. if they refuse to reconsider the decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Keystone XL officially cancelled, Kenney vows to fight on

U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the presidential permit for the pipeline on first day of office

Problems with vagrancy in downtown Red Deer were behind a push to build a 24/7 shelter in the city. Nearly a year after a $7 million commitment from the province, there is little movement on this "top priority" project. (Advocate file photo).
Little progress on ‘top priority’ 24/7 homeless shelter project for Red Deer

No details can yet be provided by the city or province

Blackfalds RCMP are investigating two suspicious fires that happened in Lacombe County in November. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta man charged for exposing himself in public

The man was charged under similar circumstances in 2019

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said province’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is steadily declining. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
669 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta, 21 additional deaths

COVID-19 test positivity rate down to 4.5 per cent

Adam Hadwin, of Canada, chips to the second green during the first round of the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Matt Slocum
Adam Hadwin hopes to hit reset button in 2021 starting with American Express

Adam Hadwin hopes to hit reset button in 2021 starting with American Express

Japan's Yuto Totsuka competes during the men's World Cup freestyle halfpipe snowboard event in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 15, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Calgary runs out of runway to host world freestyle, snowboard championships

Calgary runs out of runway to host world freestyle, snowboard championships

Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio (21) celebrates his goal during extra time MLS playoff soccer action against the D.C. United, in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Osorio says a lot has changed with the Canadian national team since he first came to camp in 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Jonathan Osorio upbeat about what lies ahead for Canadian men’s soccer team

Jonathan Osorio upbeat about what lies ahead for Canadian men’s soccer team

Calgary Flames' Johnny Gaudreau, centre, celebrates his goal with teammates during second period NHL hockey action against the Vancouver Canucks in Calgary, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. Just three games into a condensed season, the Calgary Flames are already on a break. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
After a strong start, Calgary Flames get early breather in short NHL season

After a strong start, Calgary Flames get early breather in short NHL season

Edmonton Oilers centre Leon Draisaitl (29) hits Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Zach Hyman (11) during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Oilers’ Draisaitl scores winner as showdown with Maple Leafs fails to live up to hype

Oilers’ Draisaitl scores winner as showdown with Maple Leafs fails to live up to hype

Conservative MP Derek Sloan arrives to a meeting in Ottawa on September 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
MP Derek Sloan ejected from Conservative caucus for “destructive behaviour”: O’Toole

MP Derek Sloan ejected from Conservative caucus for “destructive behaviour”: O’Toole

Former truck driver Jaskirat Singh Sidhu walks into the Kerry Vickar Centre for his sentencing in Melfort, Sask., on Friday, March 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2008, file photo, Elliott Broidy poses for a photo at an event in New York. (AP Photo/David Karp, File)
Trump’s pardon largesse a boon for well-connected fraudsters

Trump’s pardon largesse a boon for well-connected fraudsters

Most Read