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Canada's National statement at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Protecting Participation: Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Canada's National Statement delivered by Canada's Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations (UN) in New York at the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Protecting Participation: Addressing violence targeting women in peace and security processes:

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I am honoured to address the Council on behalf of Canada.

First, I would like to note that before joining you here today, I did not have to worry that - because of what I might say- I, or my family members, could face retaliation.

For many women leaders, human rights defenders, peacebuilders and activists –including those who address this Council – that is a very real and present fear

These women have provided the Council, and all of us, with crucial analysis. They have expanded our perspectives. They have helped us accurately diagnose problems and deliver informed solutions. Yet, many have also done so at a significant personal cost – facing direct threats and reprisals.

The danger they face is a reflection of the reality of violence targeting women around the world – including in Canada. Women who dedicate their lives to democracy, peace and justice in my country as well, are threatened and attacked, online and physically.

Indigenous women, women of colour and other women who already face multiple forms of discrimination are particularly targeted, simply for being women and for exercising their human rights.

We must take action together, now, and create the safe and enabling environments that this Council called for in resolution 2493.

We can't afford to be passive about women's safety and security.

Canada is one of a growing number of countries with a feminist foreign policy.

As we pursue more equality and accountability through our international engagement, Canada is also taking action to provide more sustainable and flexible support to women peacebuilders, including:

Canada is also proud to have contributed over $7M to the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF). $1.5M of this is going to the Rapid Response Window.

We have endorsed the International Civil Society Action Network's (ICAN) guidance for the protection of women peacebuilders,

and, we also work to protect women human rights defenders and women peacebuilders through Canada's Voices at Risk guidelines.

As co-chairs of the Women Peace and Security (WPS) Focal Points Network in 2020-21, Canada convened a series of meetings on supporting and protecting women peacebuilders.

Specifically on protection, women peacebuilders from diverse backgrounds and regions around the globe called on Member States to:

Let me close by saying this: women tell us what they need for their support and protection. We must keep asking, we must listen, and we must act.

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