Monday, Jul. 22, 2019

Canada Names 1st Ambassador for Women, Peace & Security

By Nancy Merritt · June 13, 2019

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Upon appointing Jacqueline O’Neill as Canada’s first Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, on 6/12/19, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “When women play an active role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and when their rights are respected, we are better able to achieve long-term, sustainable peace.”

“Canada is a proud global advocate for women, peace and security. In fact, gender equality is a more reliable predictor of peace than a country’s GDP or level of democracy,” said Maryam Monsef Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality.

“The Canadian Peace Initiative was the prime civil society organization advocating for this position, an important step towards a full department of peace.  We are beyond excited as our movement is infused with new energy,” said Dr. Saul Arbess,  Director Canadian Peace Initiative(CPI) Board and Director, Global Alliance for Ministries of Peace Board.  

Ms. O’Neill has helped establish the field of women, peace, and security and its application in governments, security forces, and multilateral organizations. Throughout her career, Ms. O’Neill has supported the creation of national strategies and policy frameworks for more than 30 countries, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the United Nations.  She has advised the Government of Canada on the country’s first (2011-2016) and second (2017 to present) national action plans on women, peace, and security. 

As President of the Institute for Inclusive Security, Ms. O’Neill directly supported coalitions of women leaders in Colombia, South Sudan, Sudan, Pakistan, and beyond. Through this work, she advocated for women’s meaningful inclusion in peace negotiations, national political dialogues, and policy making. She also helped found the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative to eliminate the use of children during conflict

Congratulations to the Canadian Peace Initiative and the nation of Canada.

For more information, see  For CPI information, read our 2018 statement supporting its creation.

Building peace together,

Nancy Merritt
Peace Alliance, Department of Peacebuilding Lead 

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