Government of Canada Response to request for information by UN Secretary-General concerning full implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security
Canada. July 2004
This is the Government of Canada’s response to the letter dated 7 April 2004, from the Secretary-General forwarded to the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, requesting information relating to the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security.
This submission is organized according to those thematic areas and operative paragraphs of Security Council Resolution 1325 (SCR1325) which pertain to actions to be taken by Member States. It includes Canada’s general approach towards implementation of SCR1325 followed by specific examples of this approach. These examples are indicative of the nature of the work done by Canada on this issue, but are not meant to be comprehensive.
A number of Canada’s federal government departments are involved in the implementation of SCR1325, each with a specific area of responsibility. Key departments include Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Department of National Defence (DND), the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). These key departments, are members of the Interdepartmental Working Group on Gender and Peacebuilding, which is chaired by FAC and reviews Canadian initiatives currently underway on gender and peacebuilding, and discusses possible and anticipated developments on the issue.
In line with Canada’s obligations under and commitment to the Beijing Platform for Action, the outcome document of its 5-year review (Beijing+5), and SCR1325, Canada (in conjunction with other state and non-governmental partners) has worked actively to integrate a gender-sensitive approach to peacebuilding and human security activities, and to ensure that women and men equally participate in, and benefit from, efforts to build peace within a range of international and regional organizations. We are proud that Canada was part of the UN Security Council when the landmark resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security was passed unanimously.
Canada takes a multidimensional and multilateral approach to implementing its commitments and obligations under SCR1325. As our world is an increasingly interdependent one in which the safety and security of Canadians at home are inextricably linked to the safety of those beyond our borders, working to enhance the safety and well-being of people abroad has become a reflection of Canadian priorities and a principle which informs our foreign policy. Our human security agenda is founded on the belief that genuine security is only possible by increasing respect for fundamental human rights. That is why Canada is committed to a people-centred approach to security policy that incorporates promoting human rights, alleviating humanitarian crises, supporting international peacekeeping and encouraging disarmament in our human security agenda. This approach complements both existing efforts focussed on ensuring national security, as well as international efforts to protect human rights and promote human development.
Canada’s commitment to a foreign policy focussed on the security of the person is strengthened by the inclusion of women, particularly their full and equal participation, in all stages and aspects of peacebuilding, policy formation and implementation.
National Efforts (General)
Since 2000, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has undertaken numerous initiatives in policy and programming to address issues of women, peace and security which relate to SCR1325, such as the integration of gender perspectives in DDR, the promotion of women’s human rights and support for women’s peace initiatives. This includes programs in which the gender equality dimensions have been integrated, as well as those programs where gender equality and the empowerment of women is a specific objective. In addition, CIDA has produced tools to assist staff and other development practitioners to more effectively address the gender dimensions of humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding.
CIDA’s work overall, through programming in areas such as governance and legal reform, human rights and gender equality also provides broader support that contributes to peace and security. CIDA’s programming also encompasses multiple aid delivery mechanisms beyond bilateral aid – for example, support to UN agencies such as UNDP, UNIFEM, UNHCR, UNRWA and UNICEF as well as small, localized funds in country programs, and additional funding through Canadian partners.
The International Development Reseach Centre (IDRC) recognizes that gender analysis is important in all research, including peacebuilding research, in order to:
- ensure the quality of the research and the effectiveness of any proposed policies;
- to foster a better understanding of the situation and the hidden gender and social impacts of the subject matter;
- to better meet the needs of women and men, boys and girls;
- to promote human rights, equity and justice.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is the Canadian national police service and an agency of the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada. As managers of civilian police deployment on behalf of the Government of Canada, the RCMP is supportive of the goals of SCR1325 through its engagement in protecting the rights of women and other vulnerable groups who are often marginalized and victimized as a result of conflict through advocacy and training of human rights, and involvement in promoting a secure environment for refugee and internally displaced groups.
The Human Security Program of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) is one of Canada’s proactive mechanisms for addressing human insecurity. The Program funds initiatives that strengthen the ability of Canada and the global community to respond to threats to human security and support peaceful governance. It has supported over 300 projects on five different continents. The Program contributes (an average of $50,000) to short-term initiatives in the following areas: Protection of Civilians; Peace Support Operations; Conflict Prevention; Governance and Accountability; and Public Safety. The Program has supported numerous international projects including initiatives to advance women’s rights in Afghanistan, Sudan, and other areas (refer to Sections 2 and 5 for further details on projects in these areas).
One of the mechanisms by which Canada works towards the full implementation of SCR1325 is through the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security (CCWPS). In 2001, FAC assisted in the creation of the Committee which is currently chaired by Senator Mobina Jaffer. The Committee is a national coalition comprised of parliamentarians, civil society representatives and government officials whose mission is to work towards the goals established in SCR1325. The Committee’s work has to date focussed on advocacy (cross-Canada consultations with Afghan-Canadian women); capacity-building (developing rosters of qualified Canadian women and gender experts to serve in peace support operations); and training (for civilian and military audiences involved in peace- support operations).
Activities since the Committee’s inception in 2001 include:
- generating a draft discussion paper on the impediments to the participation of women in peace support operations;
- piloting a Canadian version of the Canada-UK gender and peacekeeping course;
- conducting a series of cross-Canada roundtable consultations with Afghan-Canadian women on women’s participation in post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan; publishing a report of the roundtables, entitled A Stone in the Water, which included priority areas for action identified by Afghan-Canadian women, and has been widely distributed nationally and internationally; (see more information in Section 1); creating a follow-up report to A Stone in the Water, discussing a plan of action to be released shortly; and
- organising the first annual symposium, “Conflict, Peace and Security: What have we learned and where are we going?” on October 22, 2003, in Ottawa;
- conducting a series of cross-Canada roundtable discussions with civil society, academics, and non-governmental organizations, on how Canada and Canadians can implement SCR1325;
- conducting a series of roundtables with Sri Lankan women diaspora in Canada using the model of the Afghan roundtables to increase women’s participation in decision-making and peacebuilding efforts, creating a process for which women’s input can be funnelled into the policy making process, and have direct access to parliamentarians and other decision-makers.
International Efforts (General)
Internationally, Canada initiated and coordinates the New York-based “Friends of Women, Peace and Security” group: a coalition of states who discuss priorities for implementation of and build momentum for SCR1325. Key events held by the “Friends Group” include meetings with various UN officials, including the former Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Disarmament Affairs, the Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of political affairs, the Deputy Chief of the Best Practice Unit of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Chief of the Training and Evaluation Services, DPKO, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Coordinator, and various Ambassadorial-level meetings to prepare for open debates on this issue.
Canadian membership in the Human Security Network – a cross-regional grouping of 13 countries committed to promoting issues of human security – allows Canada to promote cutting edge issues and themes within a cooperative partnership among like-minded governments. In preparation for the 2001 Human Security Ministerial Meeting in Jordan, Canada together with Norway and Switzerland commissioned a study on “Gendering Human Security — from Marginalisation to the Integration of Women in Peace-Building”, which was used to further inform the work of the Human Security Network. Canada has recently taken over as chair of the Human Security Network (May, 2004) and will be integrating gender as a cross-cutting priority as well as ensuring that strategic actions are undertaken in this regard.
Canada has also sought to ensure that the women, peace and security initiative is integrated in and complements Canada’s broader efforts to advance the protection of civilians in armed conflict agenda. We have supported a range of research, policy and operational activities aimed at advancing this agenda, including regional workshops in South Africa and Mexico on civilian protection, roundtables in New York with member states and NGOs, and thematic activities aimed at addressing insecurity in refugee camps, humanitarian access and security of aid workers, protection of internally displaced persons, impunity, small arms and light weapons, landmines, economic agendas in civil wars, the humanitarian impact of sanctions and respect for international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law. Within each of these activities, Canada has sought to ensure that an emphasis has be placed on the rights and differentiated needs and perspectives of women and girls.
Canada’s work in multilateral fora, such as the OAS, OSCE, Commonwealth, UN General Assembly, Commission on the Status of Women, and Commission on Human Rights, among others, includes broadening the traditional definition of security and pushing for the inclusion and implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. For example, within the OAS context, Canada played a strong role in successfully engendering some of the security discussions surrounding the 2003 Special Conference on Security, where the outcome Declaration includes very specific mention of the Hemisphere’s commitment to ensuring the participation of women and the inclusion of a gender perspective when dealing with security issues. In addition, as the lead co-sponsor of the annual resolution on the elimination of violence against women at the UN Commission on Human Rights, Canada, with support from likeminded countries, was successful at the past 60th session in gaining a strong reference to the continued efforts towards the full implementation of SCR1325, as it pertains to violence against women.
A further example of Canada’s work to actively integrate gender issues and women’s human rights into a range of peacebuilding and human security activities, includes our work with both governments and non-governmental organizations to support the work of the Security Council. For example, Canada, Chile, the United Kingdom, and the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, with support from the International Peace Academy and Women Waging Peace, has co-sponsored two working roundtables with UN Security Council members - one held on January 27, 2004, and the other on July 1, 2004. The first roundtable, entitled “Towards International Peace and Human Security: Advancing Prevention, Participation and Protection in the Work of the Security Council”, addressed the fundamental areas of convergence and divergence between, and gaps within, five Security Council resolutions, with the aim of examining more holistically the principles of prevention, participation and protection. Small breakout groups comprised of Council members, UN officials and civil society representatives discussed the impact of the resolutions in conflict-affected regions and developed recommendations to further advance the principles underpinning the five resolutions.
The second roundtable, entitled “Peace Support Operations: Consolidating Progress and closing Gaps in the implementation of UNSC resolution 1325”, built on the first roundtable. Using the framework of the “3 Ps” — the principles of conflict prevention, the participation of women in peace and security, and the protection of civilians with consideration to the specific needs of women, men, girls and boys — the roundtable aimed to develop practical tools for advancing the effective implementation of Resolution 1325 into the work of the Council, including resolutions, presidential statements and terms of reference for Missions. The roundtable was also an opportunity to engage in an exchange of views on strategies for advancing the issue of women, peace and security within the work of the Security Council in preparation for Missions in advance of the fourth anniversary of resolution 1325 and the Council’s consideration of the Secretary-General’s report on implementation of resolution 1325 in October 2004.
2. Ensure representation of women in decision-making
The Human Security Program of FAC has provided support for various initiatives to ensure increased full and equal participation and representation of women at all levels of decision-making when dealing with the prevention, management and resolution of conflict. An example of our work in this area is the series of roundtables held with Afghan-Canadian women across Canada in 2003. Through the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security (CCWPS) and its Chair, Senator Mobina Jaffer, this series of roundtables was held with Afghan-Canadian women on the contribution of Afghan women in peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts in post-Taliban Afghanistan. The report of the roundtables, “A Stone in the Water” included recommendations for the Canadian and Afghanistan governments, as well as the international community, on issues such as security, political participation, education, health, freedom of movement, economic empowerment. The report was presented to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, the Cabinet, as well as members of Canada’s Parliament and Senate, and was also presented to senior officials at the United Nations and Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, in preparation for the Loya Jirga (where some of the recommendations were discussed).
Another example of the type of work we do in this area is our participation in and support of various experts meetings on women, peace and security, including the UN Expert Group Meeting on “Peace Agreements as a means for promoting gender equality and ensuring participation of women: A framework of model provisions” which Canada hosted in preparation for the 48th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. This meeting was held in Ottawa at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, November 10-13, 2003. Canada played a strong role in March 2004 at the 48th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) where the Commission adopted by consensus agreed conclusions on “Women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peacebuilding”. Canada’s delegation to the CSW included Senator Mobina Jaffer, Chair of the Canadian Committee on Women, Peace and Security, and General Roméo Dallaire, Special Advisor to CIDA on War Affected Children.
CIDA provided funding to the Afghan Women’s Rights Fund of Rights and Democracy which helped increase participation of women in community-level public and political activities, increased influence of women in national policy-making, planning and resource allocation, and trained women to participate in local and national civil administration. Within the Fund, there was an emphasis on human rights education.
3. Achieving gender balance in peacekeeping and peace support operations
Since the adoption of SCR1325, the Department of National Defence (DND) has continued its already strong commitment and dedication to gender equality. Canada admits female personnel into all military trades and has pushed for the total integration of women in the military. The highest rank currently held by a female member in the Canadian Forces is that of Brigadier-General. Women account for 16.7 percent of Canadian Forces members.
The Canadian Forces is undergoing an Employment System Review. The Review aims at identifying employment barriers that affect members of the four groups designated by the Employment Equity Act: women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities. Once the review is completed, the Canadian Forces will promulgate a new employment equity plan. The Canadian Forces Employment Equity Plan will outline the steps to achieve employment equity in the workplace.
Currently a number of policies are being reviewed for improvement within DND. For example, the Canadian Forces is re-examining pregnancy policies in the field and aboard ships (i.e. employment limitations) and enhancement of maternity and parental benefits. Furthermore, the Services are conducting studies on the high attrition rates of women and validation studies on physical standards comprising gender and age free measurement criteria to predict performance.
In exercising its responsibility for civilian police deployment, the RCMP selects professional women police officers from across Canada for deployment to peace support operations to assist multilateral organizations like the UN, EU, and OSCE in establishing/developing the rule of law and indigenous police. The RCMP’s approach includes promoting the benefits of integrating women into the fledgling police organizations through their executive, coaching mentoring, training, and advisory civilian police roles. They also consistently use their own national police model where women have equal status to their male counterparts as a show case of modern democratic policing.
The RCMP prepared a study in 2001 on “Women in Peacekeeping”, to assess the role, level of participation, benefits, and challenges for Canadian women in peace support operations. The study indicated a high level of interest amongst women officers, but also noted that family obligations, domestic career interests, and health and safety were limiting factors.
The RCMP has noted that in the years following the adoption of SCR1325, the percentage of women in Canadian police deployments has been 11.2% (2001-2003 inclusive). This is fairly close to the ratio of men and women represented in Canadian policing institutions across the country.
4. Training on gender issues military and civilian personnel
Canada and the UK have developed a Gender Training Initiative (GTI) for military and civilian personnel involved in peace support operations. The GTI provides material for a three-day course on gender sensitization complete with thematic overview and geographic case studies. The GTI was piloted for a Canadian mixed military and civilian audience in Spring 2002 and has since been used by the UN in the development of their own standard training modules for peacekeepers. Discussions are taking place regarding a more focussed version of the GTI specifically for the peacekeeping community.
All Canadian Forces personnel receive a series of briefings prior to deployment on an international operation. These briefings include topics such as Law of Armed Conflict, Code of Conduct, Human Rights, and Cultural Awareness. During the pre-deployment training, along with the generic briefings, all soldiers receive briefings specific to the mission area where they will be employed. It is during these briefings that specific subject areas are reinforced or focussed upon. This will include areas such as child soldiers, human rights issues concerning special needs personnel, and the concerns of women combatants and victims.
Professional development training within DND is continuously conducted. Attendance on peace support operations (PSO) courses on human rights and humanitarian issues offered at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre (PPC) enhances an individual’s knowledge on gender issues. Since 1995, the Canadian Forces has been sending approximately 250 personnel per year to the PPC for enhanced PSO training. These courses are not specific to gender issues but contain the topic within the syllabus.
The RCMP, as part of their training of civilian police deployed overseas, trains and sensitizes police peacekeepers (male and female) to the vulnerabilities and special needs of women in war-affected areas. The RCMP is also involved in combatting domestic violence in the field through their support, participation and leadership in education, crime prevention, and law enforcement programs.
5. Adopt a gender perspective when negotiating and implementing peace agreements
Canada strongly supports the need for the participation of women from the conflict zone throughout all stages of the peace process and within policy and decision-making bodies in the post-conflict state. Canada also strongly supports that all actors involved in peace processes must be accountable for the participation of women in peace processes and for a gendered approach to peace agreements and their implementation.
In this manner, Canada has supported, particularly through CIDA and the Human Security Program of FAC, a variety of projects with Canadian and international non-governmental organizations, academics and other members of civil society. This form of partnership is at the crux of the Canadian approach to implementing SCR1325 as we are better informed of the issues on the ground through our partnerships with civil society and, in turn, civil society is able to assist us in implementing our policies and programs.
Examples of Projects funded by the Government of Canada:
Through the Human Security Program, Canada has funded work of the Feinstein International Famine Centre to hold workshops on cross-regional analysis of gender, armed conflict, peace processes, and reconstruction. This project in Northern Uganda, Eastern Uganda, and South Sudan brought together research teams to develop a 3-year cross-regional, comparative study on gender dimensions of peace processes, peace accords, and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) processes.
The Human Security Program recently provided funding for the field testing of International Alert’s “Toolkit on Women, Peace and Security” which has been created to strengthen the skills and confidence of women’s groups and other like-minded organisations to undertake their own advocacy and lobbying work at the local, national, regional and international level. The Toolkit will provide a variety of case studies of women’s organisations working in specific ways and on specific issues drawn directly from International Alert’s Gender Peace Audit project and the accumulated knowledge it is already generating. The project will also draw on the extensive expertise of one of International Alert’s field programmes: the Great Lakes Women’s Peace Programme, working in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. Women Waging Peace is producing 15 case studies on women’s participation in various aspects of peacebuilding and these will also inform the toolkit.
The Human Security Program also provided funding for South Asia Partnership (SAP) to hold a three-day workshop on “Women, Peace and South Asia: Developing Strategies for Regions of Conflict”. The objectives of the workshop include bringing selected South Asian activists, advocates, academics, journalists, and conflict survivors together in Colombo to regional and cross-regional issues of security affecting women and children, identify women’s coping strategies in violent conflict and post-conflict situations including women’s efforts at conflict resolution (women as peacebuilders), strengthen local and South Asian alliances and strategies for reconciliation and conflict prevention, and develop a regional Plan of Action.
CIDA funded a project with UNDP Angola entitled “Community Support to Women’s Reintegration”. In order to contribute to a sustainable reintegration and resettlement of the affected population, the main objective of this project is to strengthen the role of the community in representing their own interests, by empowering women victims of war through a participatory approach, in selected communities in Huambo province. The project’s overall objectives are to contribute towards decreasing gender violence through provision of information to the selected communities, provide information and support to women, that due to their socio-economic situation are unaware of their rights and the laws that protect them, and provide income generating activities to women affected by war.
CIDA also funded a project with Alternatives on Sudanese Women in the Struggle for Peace. The project looked at building consensus among participating groups on a platform for peace, while building a base of support within civil society; strengthening women’s organizations in the struggle for peace; defining a long-term agenda for the empowerment of women within the broader objective of promoting women’s rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); and disseminating to the wider public the platform of women’s organizations regarding peace, democracy, and human rights.
In addition, CIDA funded International Alert for a project on “Women Building Peace – Regional Peace Audits” which was part of International Alert’s international campaign to support the implementation of SCR1325. Country workshops were held in Nigeria, Nepal, the Caucuses, and Thailand. These workshops looked at local resources and strategies for strengthening the involvement of women in peace process and other themes covered in SCR1325.
Inter Pares and Project Counselling Services (PCS) was funded by CIDA for a 4-year project in Colombia, entitled Durable Solutions, with the long-term objective of developing the capacity of Colombian civil society to collaborate in legitimized processes to address both the causes and the effects of the armed conflict and forced displacement, and to facilitate the transition to sustainable peace and development once a resolution to the conflict is achieved. The 4 components are: (i) Response to the humanitarian crisis and forced displacement in the northeast; (ii) Incorporation of vulnerable and displaced populations into peace initiatives; (iii) Protection of vulnerable populations in border zones; and (iv) Capacity building. PCS incorporates a gender analysis in its work and promotes the empowerment of women, in particular those who have been affected by violence and forced displacement. PCS and Inter Pares have developed a two-pronged strategy. The first line of action is the full inclusion of gender as a cross-cutting theme in all levels of the program and as part of every activity. The second line of action for the program involves measures aimed at empowering women affected by the violence, as well as improving organizational aspects.
6. Voluntary financial, technical and logistical support for gender-sensitive training, including those undertaken by relevant funds and programmes
Canada has also taken steps to ensure that its humanitarian responses are gender sensitive, and has continued to promote gender mainstreaming in the work of our humanitarian partners. Canadian representatives have continued to promote gender mainstreaming at various UN Governing Boards and within the framework of bilateral relationships with a number of key partners. For instance, in 2002, CIDA co-financed the ten-year assessment of UNHCR’s policies and guidelines on the protection of refugee women, and provided Canadian expertise to support UNHCR efforts to implement its Code of Conduct in West Africa, following on allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation in refugee camps. In 2001, CIDA supported an evaluation of gender mainstreaming in PAHO’s Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Division. In addition, in 2002, Canada provided technical support for an analysis of gender mainstreaming in the UN Consolidated Appeal Process, as well as for the development of a gender action plan within OCHA. In January 2002, Canada proudly hosted the North American launch of the ICRC’s Women Facing War Study.
Domestically, CIDA has developed a “Gender Equality and Humanitarian Assistance Guide” and provided training for staff and NGO partners to help incorporate a gender perspective in their work. In June 2003, CIDA held a capacity building workshop for staff on “The 3 Ds - Defence, Diplomacy, and Development - What’s Gender Got To Do With It?”.
Canada funded a workshop on sexual abuse and exploitation in humanitarian assistance for members of the Policy Action Group for Emergency Relief (PAGER) and government representatives in January 2003. The purpose of this workshop was to look at international and Canadian human rights norms on sexual violence, discuss the recommendations of the IASC Task Force regarding core principles for Codes of Conduct, note the challenges and barriers to action, and identify steps forward and their implications for Canadian operational NGOs.
7. Put an end to impunity
Canada uses a variety of remedies in dealing with war criminals including; extradition; prosecution in Canada under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act; surrender to an international tribunal; revocation of citizenship and deportation; denial of visas to people abroad; denial of access to our refugee determination system; and removal from Canada.
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) came into force in June, 2002. Provisions of admissibility within the Act govern who may be denied entry and removed from Canada. Section 35 of IRPA ensures that those convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity are inadmissible to Canada and reinforces the notion of sanctions against those acts on the part of Canada. Persons who are inadmissible for these reasons are also rendered ineligible to make a claim for refugee protection.
The regulations supporting Section 35 affirm the recognition on the part of Canada of previous determined findings of fact as conclusive evidence of events in cases of human or international rights violators. This includes findings by Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board in decisions to exclude a person from the Convention Refugee definition on the grounds of committing war crimes or crimes against humanity. These regulatory provisions were introduced with IRPA which came into force in 2002.
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2002) (IRPA) states that:
35. (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of violating human rights or international rights for:
(a) committing an act outside of Canada that constitutes an offence referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act;
(b) being a prescribed senior official in the service of a government that, in the opinion of the Minister, engages or has engaged in terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act; or
(c) being a person, other than a permanent resident, whose entry into or stay in Canada is restricted pursuant to a decision, resolution or measure of an international organization of states or association of states, of which Canada is a member, that imposes sanctions on a country against which Canada has imposed or has agreed to impose sanctions in concert with that organization or association.
Canada strongly believes that international criminal courts and tribunals must be gender-sensitive in order to fulfill their promise of justice. It is for this reason that Canada proposed and supported a number of gender-sensitive provisions within the Rules of Procedure and Evidence and Elements of Crimes of the International Criminal Court (ICC), adopted in 2000. In addition, Canada supported the adoption of a judicial election procedure for the International Criminal Court that resulted in the precedent-setting election of seven highly-qualified women in 2003.
Canada launched its ICC and Accountability Campaign in September 2000, to build on its prominent role in supporting the development and functioning of the ICC. Since the Campaign’s inception, Canada’s Human Security Program has contributed approximately $2.2 million CDN to nearly 70 approved initiatives to: 1) promote the ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute, especially in under-represented regions; 2) ensure the effective operation of the Court; and 3) conduct education and outreach on the ICC. The projects funded by the Campaign are concrete, practical and targeted, and have included sponsoring international and regional consultations on gender issues in the ICC, as well as train-the-trainers events for women’s groups interested in international justice mechanisms. In addition, Canada has funded many projects that have taken gender-sensitive approaches to ICC issues, on topics ranging from victim and witnesses before the ICC to war-affected children. In the 2004-2005 fiscal year, Canada will devote an addition $900,000 CDN to the ICC and Accountability Campaign, which is being used to fund projects such as a gender-sensitive judicial education program at the ICC. Canada’s ICC website, Canada and the International Criminal Court, contains a section on gender-sensitive justice.
Canada has taken a similar approach in its support for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda (ICTY and ICTR respectively), and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. In 2000, Canada strongly supported the adoption of ICC-style wording in the amendment to the ICTY’s Statute, so the ad litem judges must include a fair representation of female and male candidates. In 2001, Canadian Sharon Williams was elected as an ad litem judge. She was among eight women elected at that election, a record for a United Nations tribunal. Similar wording was adopted in 2002, when the ICTR’s Statute was amended to permit the election of ad litem judges.
During its most recent term on the Security Council, Canada was involved in the creation of the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Canada strongly supported the adoption of a Statute for the Special Court that reflected the realities of gender-based crimes that took place during the conflict in Sierra Leone. The Statute ultimately agreed to by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone provides for the prosecution of the crimes against humanity of rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and any other form of sexual violence, the war crimes of rape and enforced prostitution, and crimes under Sierra Leonean law of abuse or abduction of girls. As Chair of the Special Court’s Management Committee, Canada also supports the gender-sensitive administration of the Special Court. Canada has also provided Human Security Program funding for a UNICEF project on children, including girl-children, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Sierra Leone.
CIDA has provided funding for Inter Pares’s project “Indigenous Women’s Participation in the Truth Commission Process in Peru”. This project helps indigenous and rural women affected by violence to come together in safety and mutual support and make public their experiences and perspectives; enhances their capacity to become protagonists in the TRC process and to contribute to its recommendations and findings concerning historical truth, justice, reparation and reconciliation; accompanies the women giving testimony with culturally appropriate social and mental health activities; contributes to develop social monitoring of compliance with the TRC mandate and later the recommendations of its Final Report; and gives women tools and mechanisms through which to urge local authorities to promote and protect human rights and the rights of women.
In June 2004, the Peacebuilding and Reconstruction program and the Gender Unit of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) launched a Call for Proposals in Guatemala and in Colombia, focussing upon Gender Justice in Conflict and Post-conflict Societies. Focussing upon access to mechanisms for justice and eliminating impunity for gender-based violence, the competition will be accepting proposals on four key sub-themes:
(1) Retributive justice (dealing with impunity and criminal justice for gender-based violence);
(2) Distributive justice (dealing with socio-economic equity questions, especially land);
(3) Restorative Justice (dealing with ADR, community justice, traditional justice mechanisms); and
(4) Reparative justice (dealing with forms or reparation, including state sponsored programs).
8. Incorporate gender perspectives in planning for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
A CIDA-funded study entitled “Where are the Girls?” on the subject of girls in fighting forces has produced groundbreaking findings that have already influenced CIDA’s bilateral and multilateral programming. It is now being used to influence other donors including the World Bank and the European Union to address the particular needs of girls in the implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs. This joint initiative was undertaken by Rights and Democracy in Montreal, in collaboration with researchers Dr. Dyan Mazurana, now at Tufts University, and Dr. Susan McKay at the University of Wyoming.
CIDA has also funded a UNICEF project entitled “Rehabilitation of Former Child Soldiers in Somalia” which aimed to provide demobilized former child-soldiers, including former girl soldiers, with meaningful alternatives skills training; to develop a comprehensive conflict resolution model based on indigenous conflict resolution methods, and to facilitate reintegration and acceptance back into communities.
The Peacebuilding and Recontruction Program Initiative (PBR) of IDRC requires the incorporation of gender analysis where possible in all research projects it supports, and also incorporates gender as a cross-cutting theme in its programming. Since the adoption of SCR1325, IDRC - mainly through the PBR - has by way of example provided support for the initiatives which follow:
With regard to the special needs of women and girls in anticipation of repatriation and resettlement, IDRC continues to oversee a multi-donor scholarship fund specifically designed for Palestinian Refugee Women living in Lebanon to carry out undergraduate university degrees. To date, 113 Palestinian refugee women have benefited from the program whose long term goal is to see the economic, political and cultural status of women improved.
IDRC recently supported research which analysed the nature of ethnic conflicts in Kenya and their socioeconomic and political consequences on the lives of women, men and children entitled “Gender and Peacebuilding for Sustainable Development: Ethnic Conflicts in Kenya”. The objectives of the research were to determine the social, economic and political causes of inter-and intra-ethnic conflicts; investigate the latent and manifest roles played by women and men in the propogation and management of ethnic conflicts; and to develop and disseminate information materials aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence between communities with a history of ethnic tensions.
IDRC also recently supported gender-sensitive research (“Repairing the Past: Reparations and Transitions to Democracy”) which assessed and evaluated the relative success or failure of programs and policies for the reparations of human rights violations. Several studies were carried out in different country and situational processes of transition in order to generate new knowledge that can inform the design and implementation of effective reparations programs in the future. One study assessed the dilemmas and challenges of designing reparations for the redress of gender-based violence in the aftermath of authoritarian regimes and violent conflict.
IDRC currently supports a retrospective study of reintegration processes for ex-combatants in Colombia between 1990 and 2003 ,with a view to formulating a series of conclusions and recommendations that might inform and orient future reintegration policies and programs for female combatants.
9. List of additional activities/actions undertaken by Canada to implement SCR1325
Numerous operational tools have been developed to increase the awareness and ability of CIDA staff and partners to program in peacebuilding with a gender perspective:
A short review titled “Gender Equality and Peacebuilding - Lessons Learned” (2000) identifies some key gender dimensions of a sample of CIDA’s peacebuilding projects including: building on the progress and momentum of national organizations and movements, supporting women’s participation in peace negotiations, women’s agency to find common ground between conflicting parties, and dealing with the politics of gender relations.
CIDA was one of the funders of a “cutting edge pack” (which contains analysis, resources, case studies) on “Gender and Conflict” produced by BRIDGE (IDS Sussex) in the UK.
CIDA has developed a short “tool” to assist Peacebuilding Unit programme officers to assess whether project proposals have effectively addressed gender equality issues.
Development of a webpage on gender and peacebuilding on the CIDA Peacebuilding Unit’s webpage — under themes.
Using SCR1325 as its foundation, IDRC supported an exploratory workshop in November 2002 on Gender Equity and Peacebuilding which brought together some 30 Northern and Southern experts in the field to take a critical look at gender and peacebuilding research done to date and to consider possible areas requiring further specific research. As a direct result of this workshop, a literature review was prepared by International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and IDRC (see the document on Gender Equality and PeaceBuilding) and a cross-regional comparative analysis of DDR, justice, and post-conflict development in northern Uganda and southern Sudan is slated to begin later in 2004. One of its aspects will be an attempt to understand the interplay of gender, ethnicity, political economy and transnationalism in conflicts.
CIDA funded a project of United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) for the development of Guidelines for integrating gender dimensions into Mine Action Programmes (January 2004).
CIDA, as chair of the OECD-DAC’s Conflict, Peace and Development Cooperation Network, worked with the Gender Equality Network of the DAC to promote the integration of a gender perspective in all conflict prevention/resolution activities including the 2001 Ministerial statement and document, Helping Prevent Violent Conflict: Orientations for External Partners, to supplement the 1997 DAC Guidelines.
Canada advocates strongly at the UN (including in the Security Council) and in other international or regional bodies, for efforts to ensure enhanced consideration of gender dimensions of small arms and light weapons. For example, in the UN Security Council’s open debate on small arms (January 2004), Canada noted that small arms and light weapons are a major cause of human suffering around the world, accounting for over half of casualties in modern conflicts, and that their impact is felt first and foremost at the individual level, affecting girls, boys, women and men in different and drastic ways. Canada called for strategies aimed at mitigating against the proliferation and misuse of small arms to recognize these varying needs, citing the imperative of working locally with those coping with the scourge of small arms on a daily basis, involving civil society, including women’s organisations, in the design of programmes. In a Department of Disarmament Affairs panel discussion held on the occasion of DDA’s Gender Mainstreaming Action Plan (April 2003), Canada called for UN Member States to tackle the challenge of ensuring greater representation by women in the decision-making process related to the questions of international peace and security and non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament, including with regards to small arms and light weapons.
CIDA, through the Voluntary Sector Initiative, funds a policy development project of the Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee, which enables policy dialogue between civil society groups and federal government departments. It focusses on three emerging and interrelated peacebuilding and human security policy areas - small arms, children and conflict, and gender and peacebuilding.
Canada has supported the publication of a report prepared by the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, entitled, “Women in an Insecure World: A Handbook on Violence Against Women”.
10. Future challenges for advancing gender mainstreaming and the women, peace and security agenda
In general terms, our challenges internationally and multilaterally continue to remain the same. The nature of armed conflicts and international responses result in little space to influence outcomes of peace operations and peacebuilding efforts so that they include a gender perspective. In addition we need to make more conscious efforts to focus on further concrete actions which look to implement collaboratively Council resolutions on women, peace and security, civilian protection, children and armed conflict and conflict prevention, all of which are mutually reinforcing. Generating greater synergies between these various agendas will ensure long-term sustainability in our aims of building peace and development.
Specifically, at the international level, future challenges include:
ensuring better accountability mechanisms and reporting of Member States on progress made to implement SCR1325;
creating more systematic reporting by the UN Secretariat to Security Council members on issues related to 1325 and related resolutions;
ensuring that the resulting practical tool of the Expert Group Meeting, held in preparation for the 48th session of the UN Commission on Status of Women, on “Peace agreements as a means for promoting gender equality and ensuring participation of women – A framework of model provisions” is disseminated and applied as part of standard practices to ensure the equal participation of women in peace agreement negotiations and processes;
ensuring further and continued gender training for all peace-keeping personnel and others involved in peace support operations;
ensuring women’s participation in political processes and democratic institution building.
Domestically, Canada’s challenges in the future will be to increase our training on issues of gender and armed conflict and HIV/AIDS training for peacekeeping as well as civilian personnel involved in peace support operations, better accountability, and increased gathering of data and statistics regarding such elements of SCR1325 as increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention, resolution and management of conflict.
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