In the lead up to the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September, it is timely to consider a Private Member’s Motion now before Parliament, that might just gain enough traction for the Justin Trudeau government to take note.
Introduced in February 2018 by MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the key paragraph of Motion 163 reads:
[R]eaffirm Canada’s commitment to build on our recognized accomplishments and enhance our leadership role in advancing the cause of peace domestically and throughout the world by calling on the government to develop a plan to appoint a Women, Peace and Security Ambassador
Prior to its tabling, this motion was the subject of widespread civil society consultations and is backed by groups like the Canadian Peace Initiative and, crucially, by members of the Women, Peace and Security Network, Canada (WPSN-C). Says Coordinator Beth Woroniuk:
We have long called for a high-level champion to lead robust implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on women, peace and security. We have urged the Government to move ahead on this important initiative.
In the view of the WPSN-C, ideally the final mandate of this position will focus on ensuring that Canada is truly a leader on WPS with:
- policy coherence across diplomacy, aid, trade, defence and related policy areas;
- significant investments (including increased support for women peacemakers);
- clear attention to results; and
- accountability ensured
- through direct reporting to the Minister of Foreign Affairs;
- and through building on collaborative relationships with civil society.
The motion is expected to be debated in two different parliamentary sittings, over the next few months, so there is still time to further enhance this forward-looking proposal.
For the full text of Motion 163, click: Women, Peace and Security Ambassador.
For more detail on the WPSN-C recommendations, click here.
Photo credit: UN Women Watch