Canada to lead design workshop on Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations 

News Release

February 22, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada is committed to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world, a commitment that extends to our contributions to UN peace operations.

On February 22 and 23, 2018, Canada will host representatives from various countries, from the UN, as well as from civil society and academia for a design workshop on the Elsie Initiative on women in peace operations, which aims to increase the number of women in peace operations. The workshop will provide a venue for discussion among experts and stakeholders to ensure the successful implementation of the initiative. The information gathered will add to existing research derived from field visits, academic sources and consultations that Canada is conducting.

On day one of the workshop, Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Brigadier-General Lise Bourgon, Royal Canadian Air Force; and Paula Dionne, Assistant Commissioner Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will deliver keynote speeches. Following the speeches, there will be panel discussions on best practices and lessons learned from women who have served as peacekeepers. On day two, experts will convene to produce recommendations on the implementation of the Elsie Initiative.

Peacekeeping has changed considerably since the time of Lester B. Pearson, and we need to be prepared to adapt and change with it, including by engaging women more meaningfully. Canada’s leadership through the Elsie Initiative will help to create the right conditions for the deployment and full participation of women in UN peacekeeping operations.


“There is overwhelming evidence that increasing the number of women in peace operations has a substantial impact on the success of those missions. Through the Elsie Initiative, Canada is putting that research into practice. We look forward to welcoming experts from around the world to Ottawa as we work together to build a more secure and peaceful future.

- Matt DeCourcey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick Facts

  • In November 2017, at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Elsie Initiative on women in peace operations, which seeks to deploy more uniformed women as military and police peacekeepers, reduce barriers for women who want to benefit from these opportunities and bring about long-term and sustainable peace.

  • In 2015, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2242, which acknowledged the substantial link between women’s meaningful involvement in peace operations and the achievement of long-term, sustainable peace.

  • Resolution 2242 set targets to double the current rate of women’s participation as military and police peacekeepers. Since 2015, the percentage of women deployed in these uniformed roles has only increased by 0.2%, which is due to the increased representation of women in policing roles.

  • As part of the Elsie Initiative, Canada will provide:

  • $6 million in assistance to designated UN missions to improve their ability to support and benefit from women’s increased participation in peace operations; and

  • $15 million of seed money toward a global fund to support the deployment of women peacekeepers.

Associated Links


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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