On February 1, 2018, Private Member’s Motion 163 entitled Women, Peace and Security Ambassador was tabled by The Honourable Borys Wrzesnewskyi, MP. Mr. Wrzesnewskyi has been a long-standing supporter of the Canadian Peace Initiative, and we appreciate his devoted efforts.
Motion 163 outlines a plan to appoint a Women, Peace and Security Ambassador with the following responsibilities:
- To advocate for research and identification of root causes of conflicts
- To support education, training and counselling in non-violent conflict resolution
- To take all possible actions to reduce and prevent conflict, empower women and girls, and further the cause of developing and maintaining conditions conducive to peace
- To lead the implementation of the Canadian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security
- To promote gender equality and the integration of gender perspectives into peacebuilding and peacekeeping
The Canadian Peace Initiative has been formally in existence since 2004. The CPI has been campaigning for a Department of Peace that would have a public mandate to find nonviolent methods of resolving conflicts nationally and internationally. The CPI’s proposed Bill to Establish a Department of Peace has been submitted by multiparty representatives in 2009 (Bill C-447) and 2011 (Bill C-373). The department would:
- develop early conflict detection and rapid response processes,
- establish a civilian peace service composed of peace professionals that can be deployed as an alternative to armed intervention (civilianpeaceservice.org),
- advise the government on domestic and international peace issues, and
- start building a domestic culture of peace that includes supporting peace education.
The CPI fully supports this motion with the following observations and recommendations:
- Although not a Department of Peace as the CPI has envisioned, the CPI supports Motion 163 as a step in that direction, with alignment on many of the motion’s principles.
- The CPI recommends that the scope of this Ambassador be expanded to include all priority peace issues that Canada faces, such as indigenous issues, disarmament, and peace operations.
- The CPI suggests that it would be most effective to locate this Ambassador’s position with a strong link to the Prime Minister’s Office and that she or he be provided with resources to enable a real advancement on her or his mandate.
As the leading civil society organization in Canada advocating for a Department of Peace, the CPI looks forward to engaging with all relevant stakeholders in the months ahead, as the details related to this new Ambassador evolve and become more concrete.
Yours sincerely, in the cause of peace,
Furquan Gehlen and Theresa Dunn
National Co-chairs for Canadian Peace Initiative (613-897-5055)