Canada concludes successful Women Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

News release

September 22, 2018 - Montréal, Quebec - Global Affairs Canada

When women’s rights are respected, their voices heard, and when they are free to exercise leadership, communities are more prosperous, peaceful, secure and united.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today successfully concluded the Women Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (WFMM) in Montréal, co-hosted with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice President of the Commission.

The Minister seized the opportunity to announce the Canadian government’s intention to create Canada’s first ambassador for women, peace and security (WPS). The ambassador will provide advice on the effective implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on WPS.

Canada also confirmed that it will co-chair, with Uruguay, the WPS Focal Points Network in 2020. In this capacity, the two countries have undertaken to host a global conference with the network’s member states, regional organizations and women peacebuilders from around the world.

Minister Freeland announced more than $25 million in funding to strengthen the active and meaningful participation of women in peace processes, support the investigation of sexual and gender-based crimes, build sustainable and inclusive peace, and advance women’s empowerment and gender equality in developing countries. These projects all highlight the powerful role that women’s organizations can play at a grassroots level in the stabilization of their communities and countries.

At the WFMM, Minister Freeland reiterated Canada’s commitment to advancing the critical role of women in foreign affairs. Over the course of the two days of meetings, ministers discussed cementing women’s place at the table and took the opportunity to hear the perspectives of defenders of women’s human rights and civil society leaders. These inspiring women shared their recommendations for advancing a feminist agenda on the world stage.


“Over the past two days, women foreign ministers from around the world came together in Montréal to discuss pressing global issues. Women are powerful agents for change and for peace. I am thrilled to have welcomed my colleagues to Canada, and I look forward to our continued collaboration in the days and months to come.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • The WPS agenda is based on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, adopted in 2000, and seven subsequent resolutions on WPS. The WPS agenda aims to increase the meaningful participation of women in peace negotiations and other peace and security efforts and to protect women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence in conflict.

  • The WPS Focal Points Network is an international forum of 76 member states and six regional organizations working in close collaboration with UN agencies and civil society. Its focus is sharing best practices and helping all member states advance the implementation of all Security Council resolutions on WPS. 

  • On August 26, 2016, the Government of Canada announced the launch of Global Affairs Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs). For the 2016 to 2019 period, the program has a budget of $450 million, and Budget 2018 provided ongoing funding for it. Through PSOPs, Canada is working with allies and partners to stop violent conflicts, provide security and create space for dialogue and conflict resolution.

  • In June 2017, Canada launched its new Women’s Voice and Leadership Program as part of its Feminist International Assistance Policy. Canada committed to allocating $150 million over five years to respond to the needs of local women’s organizations in developing countries that are working to advance the rights of women and girls and to promote gender equality.

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Adam Austen
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Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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