Today, on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we honour the women and men who serve and have served in peace operations around the world.
This year, I want to emphasize the crucial role that women play in prevention and resolution of conflict.
Canada has had a role to play in enhancing women’s contribution to the United Nations — two decades ago, we co-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
We recognized then, as we do now, the importance of getting more women involved in peace operations around the world, because when diverse groups of women are at the table, they bring unique skillsets and lived experiences that enhance operational effectiveness.
They help build more sustainable and enduring peace agreements by working in partnerships with all actors within a conflict, and they foster new ways of thinking to make their communities more cohesive and resilient.
That is why Canada launched the Elsie Initiative to help identify and overcome barriers to achieving women’s full meaningful participation in peace operations.
One way we are contributing is through The Canadian Training and Assistance Team in Jordan. We are delivering training to Jordan’s women military members as part of Operation IMPACT.
A few years ago, we also launched the Vancouver Principles that aims to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
In 2019, we took on the Chair of the Women, Peace, and Security Chief of Defence Network.
We’re doing a lot, we’ve come a long way, but there is still a lot more to do.
Today, let us further reflect on ways we can do peacekeeping differently, as we stand together in appreciation of all United Nations peacekeepers and the work they do to make our world a better place for all.