Canada shares the global sense of outrage aroused by the findings of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar: the evidence of gross human rights violations and abuses committed in [Myanmar’s] Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states that would, if confirmed and proven, amount to grave crimes under international law.
I would like to welcome everyone to the city of Montréal for this meeting of women foreign ministers. I would like to begin by recognizing that we are on the traditional territory of the Kanien’keha:ka Nation and I would like to thank Elder Annie Konwaronhia:wi Deer, who we just heard, for welcoming us so beautifully and poetically here today. She said to me as we were getting ready to come in that a meeting of women leaders together must be very powerful. She was very keen to get us started and I think she did a wonderful job.
I would like to start by pointing out that we are on the ancestral territory of the Mohawk nations. I would also like to take a moment to note that, while we have talked about different situations around the world, we have also recognized and discussed our relationship with Indigenous communities in Canada, and particularly with Indigenous women. We acknowledged the milestone achieved yesterday in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as well as on criminal justice mechanisms.
Canada and Germany have a long history of working together in multilateral institutions. For example, we helped create the International Criminal Court, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. We are allies in the fight against climate change and in our support for the Paris Accord—a fight lent fresh urgency by the fires this summer in Potsdam here in Germany and in British Columbia in my own country.
Just three months ago I was in Bangladesh to address the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Council of Foreign Ministers, and this is actually my fourth visit to Asia in the past year. It is really great to be back again and I’m looking forward to the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] meetings later this week.
Tonight, I would like to speak about a challenge that affects us all: the weakening of the rules-based international order and the threat that resurgent authoritarianism poses to liberal democracy itself.