Ms. O’Neill will help advance Canada’s feminist foreign policy by championing our women, peace, and security priority commitments at home and around the world. She will also work across all federal departments and with partners to advise on the implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
In addition to providing advice to ministers on this critical challenge, Ms. O’Neill will also recommend actions we can take to protect the rights of women facing insecurity and violence and promote their meaningful participation in our development, humanitarian, and peace and security efforts around the globe.
The Canadian Peace Initiative has been formally in existence since 2004. CPI campaigns for a Department of Peace that would have a public mandate to find nonviolent methods of resolving conflicts nationally and internationally. CPI’s proposed Bill to Establish a Department of Peace has been submitted by multi-party 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.
CPI has fully supported the establishment of an Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security with the following observations and recommendations:
- Although not a Department of Peace as CPI has envisioned, CPI supports the Ambassador as a step in that direction.
- 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.
- 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 be provided with resources to enable a real advancement on her mandate.
- As the leading civil society organization in Canada advocating for a Department of Peace, 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.