Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
For immediate release
FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE MAKES KEY RECOMMENDATIONS TO STRENGTHEN THE WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY AGENDA
Ottawa, October 06, 2016 -
Today, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development presented a report to the House of Commons entitled: An Opportunity for Global Leadership: Canada and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
The women, peace and security agenda is largely embodied in eight resolutions – including Resolution 1325 – adopted by the United Nations Security Council.
The Committee agreed that renewed commitment to the women, peace and security agenda is needed. Women continue to be significantly under-represented in conflict prevention efforts, peace negotiations, and security institutions, as well as in peacebuilding processes. It does not appear that the Security Council resolutions are having a clear and consistent impact in the places where they are needed the most: fragile and conflict-affected states.
The report emphasizes that the United Nations must do better as an institution if the promise and potential of the women, peace and security agenda is to be realized. More women must be included – and at senior levels – in all UN peace support operations and civilian positions. Moreover, the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse must be eradicated from UN peace support operations.
The Committee believes that Canada should be a leader in pushing for the full implementation of the women, peace and security agenda at the United Nations and in conflict-affected and fragile states. Grassroots organizations working to advance the women, peace and security agenda require financial support, including for their core operations. In general, the report stresses that the individual women, women’s organizations and human rights defenders who are striving for peace and justice on the front lines of the world’s most unstable places need to be prioritized and supported.
The Committee is calling for a new, ambitious and well-resourced national action plan on women, peace and security. In the government’s development of that plan, the Committee wants to see comprehensive consultations with parliamentarians and civil society. To ensure that the plan is treated as a policy directive across government, the Committee is further recommending that it be accompanied with departmental directives to guide implementation.
The full text of the report is available on the Committee’s website.
The report includes a supplementary opinion from the New Democratic Party of Canada.
Quotes:“This report reflects the collaborative work done by all members of the Committee. It’s clear from listening to the testimony of witnesses that we need to ensure that funding reaches those who need it most. I’m proud of the work and the recommendations brought forward by the Committee to help strengthen the women, peace and security agenda – it’s long overdue.”
- Hon. Robert D. Nault, Chair
“After listening to extensive testimony on the subject of women, peace and security, it is clear that there is much more to be done to involve women in the process of building peace. As we conclude this study and table the report, the government should closely examine the recommendations and implement them in a timely manner.”
- Dean Allison, Vice-Chair
“This is a very important study. Ensuring women's full participation in all matters related to peace and security is not only the right thing to do, but also the wise and most efficient thing to do. I hope this report will inspire the government to take a strong stance by implementing a new ambitious and well-funded National Action Plan.”
- Hélène Laverdière, Vice-Chair
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