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Results: 1 - 15 of 445
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I am going to address you in French, Ms. Wallström. First, I would like to thank you for joining us to talk about your mission. It's a relatively new position, since it was just created last year, and you mentioned this in your remarks. You also told us that the resolution—the number escapes me at the moment—gave you tools to prevent perpetrators from committing their offences. You also mentioned five objectives.
I would like to know what you are doing to attain these objectives. How are you managing to coordinate your efforts and your work, given the presence of civil society organizations on the ground in the countries where these conflicts and actions are being committed? How can you have some influence on the government?
Early in the week, we had a representative from an NGO who is currently working in Sudan on the situation with women. She was trying to have changes made to the legislation that does not recognize the rape or assault of women as being criminal offences. It is very difficult for them because they have little or no access to the government. So they are working with the civil society, with the women in the north and south. It is very difficult for them to put pressure on the government. What would be your role with these women?
You also mentioned that you are working with seven countries, or that you have targeted seven countries, five of them in Africa. We are talking about countries in conflict or countries that have been affected by a serious earthquake. For example, the case of Haiti. How are you working with the women in Haiti, particularly women in refugee camps where it appears that there is a great deal of violence against women?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
I will come back later, Mr. Chair.
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for allowing me to get things in order and for giving me an opportunity to ask another question.
I would have been very disappointed if I couldn't have asked it. Ten years after Resolution 1325, the Canadian government has proposed an action plan. That was a few months ago.
Have you had a chance to read the Canadian National Action Plan to Implement Security Council Resolution 1325?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
I could go on a bit.
Aside from the action plan, do you think that Canada could do more internationally?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
So, to conclude, we could give the final word and say that, basically, for Canada to be realistic about its action plan, you need to be given more funding, perhaps long-term funding, as well, so that you can achieve your objectives.
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you very much. I will continue over the next two minutes.
First, I would like to emphasize all the work you did when the earthquake struck. You were front-line respondents, and that work requires a lot of courage and daring.
A year and a few months later, how are the UN stabilization efforts in Haiti being coordinated among soldiers, police officers, civilian staff, counsellors and human rights and rule of law experts? How has all this been done while taking into consideration the events that are currently unfolding? For instance, elections were held last Sunday. You also have to deal with refugee camps that are housing many people. We are constantly being reminded that conditions are still difficult, that there is still a lot of violence and that women and children are most vulnerable to that violence.
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair. I have a lot of questions but I am going to try and choose the most important ones.
I did not understand you clearly when you talked about abortion. Could you go back to that topic?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
You talked about your organization, Inter Pares, which is present over there. Can you tell us about its role and the activities it is involved in the field?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
You are saying that currently this work is being done with the participation of citizens, men and women. How do these representations involve the government?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
It is long-term work. The greater the pressures exerted on the Sudanese population by civil society from other countries, and by organizations such as yours, and the more this situation is visible to the international community, the more pressure will be placed upon the government.
Is the situation in the north and the south different?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
I have a more continental question. It has to do with what is happening currently in Africa. I am thinking among other things of the situation in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. Are any effects being felt from the popular movement in those states, where the populations are demanding a certain freedom, democracy, and want to cast off the yoke of authority?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
In your recommendations, you reiterate what was recommended to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. In fact, the most important recommendation that you mentioned, and that I noted, involves funding.
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
Since I have a little time left, I would like to ask you another question.
Do you think the UNIFEM organization can make a contribution to this?
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to thank our witnesses for being here today. Clearly, we have many questions about the events that have transpired since the earthquake.
I would like to go over a small part of your presentation, Ms. Norton. You said that, when the earthquake struck in 2010, CIDA used all the tools available in its emergency response kit. You also said, and I quote: “Funding for protection services also addressed the heightened risk of abuse, exploitation and sexual and gender-based violence for the most vulnerable in precarious camp environments.”
The Subcommittee on International Human Rights is currently studying the issue of sexual violence against women in countries in conflict or countries affected by a natural disaster.
I don't know whether you are familiar with Concertation pour Haïti, a roundtable on Haiti. This is an organization that brings together NGOs, civil society members and individual Quebeckers involved in international cooperation and human rights promotion. This organization's representatives said that, the day after the earthquake, CIDA called in all of its partners and told some of them that human rights and women's rights projects would no longer receive funding because those issues were no longer a priority in the earthquake's aftermath.
Could you clarify this for me? There seems to be a contradiction between what Ms. Norton is saying and what Concertation pour Haïti reported.
View Johanne Deschamps Profile
BQ (QC)
Another issue making the headlines is the famous police academy, the construction of which was actually announced before the earthquake. I think that it was part of the $550-million five-year plan for 2006-2011. The construction of the police academy was announced three months after the earthquake, and Canada was supposed to provide $18 million for this initiative.
Last March, we learned that the project was not going ahead as planned, since there were several bidders, but none of them met the requirements. Have any other bidders come forward? After all, this project was planned before the earthquake struck. It was the minister's priority a few months after the earthquake.
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