Canada-2019 Commitments

National Action Plan: Canada will deepen implementation of the WPS agenda domestically by developing a new implementation plan to address the insecurity of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people in Canada as part of Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

Update 29 January 2020: In progress. Publication delayed due to election, estimated date of publication end of April 2020.​

The NAP is not yet publicly available: 

Additional Reading:

Canada also commits to co-chair the WPS Focal Points Network in 2020 with Uruguay and to follow-up on the recommendations made by participants at the meeting of the Network in Namibia in April 2019.

As preparation for the 2020 co-chair year, on 16-17 December 2019 Canada and Uruguay held a two-day regional workshop inMontevideo on “Opportunities for the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in the Americas.” More than 100 participants from governments, civil society, Indigenous peoples, the UN, police and military helped create greater regional awareness of the applicability of the women, peace and security agenda to current peace and security challenges in the hemisphere. Results from the workshop will support the global WPS Focal Points Meetings Canada and Uruguay will host in May 2020 in Ottawa and at the UNGA High-Level Meeting in New York in September 2020.

A Special Session of the Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network was held on Wednesday, 13 May 2020 to discuss “Advancing the WPS Agenda in the Context of COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities”.

Peacekeeping: Canada commits that it will strive to meet the annual targets set by the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy in its deployment of military and police peacekeepers to UN Missions.

Update 29 January 2020: Canada values the targets set in the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy, and will continue to strive to meet the annual targets. To date, Canada has exceeded the targets set out in the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy in our deployments.

Additional Reading: More information about the Elsie Initiative – Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations 

Canada, together with Norway, commits to make publicly and freely available a tool to identify and formulate strategies to address gender-specific barriers within Member States’ military and police organizations. Canada also commits to conduct a barrier assessment for its own armed forces to improve its efforts to reach the Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy targets.

Update 29 January 2020: In progress. Will be released in 2020 when ready, as indicated.

  • The Elsie Initiative Fund has funding streams for barrier assessments
  • The Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) methodology, developed by the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) and Cornell University, “identifies the presence or absence of universal and context-specific barriers to women’s full integration in a military or police organization, and their access to deployment opportunities in UN peace operations.” Read more.

Security Sector: Canada commits to take concrete measures to increase the membership and strengthen the role of the WPS Chief of Defence Staff Network to accelerate the integration of the WPS agenda into national armed forces, as it becomes chair of the Network in July 2019. The Network was launched by Canada, the UK and Bangladesh in 2017 to drive transformative cultural and institutional change within national armed forces.

Update 29 January 2020: Since taking over as Chair in July 2019, Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff General Vance has sent around 30 letters of invitation soliciting countries to join the Network, which has since grown to 48 members. Canada is currently drafting a Network Charter to formalize the Network’s mission, and is hopeful that it can be in place by October 2020.​

Read more about the WPS Chief of Defense Staff Network

 Participation: Canada commits to increasing its efforts to enhance women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in peace negotiations. This will include efforts committed to by the G7 Foreign Ministers on April 5, 2019. Canada is supporting women’s participation in the peace processes in Afghanistan, the Koreas, Syria and South Sudan, and in Colombia in the implementation of the peace agreement.

Canada’s support to these peace negotiations is ongoing.​

The FY 2018-2019 progress report for Global Affairs Canada for the implementation of the 1325 NAP provides updates on the achievement of indicators related to women’s meaningful participation. It indicates that: “Of the targets contributing to this objective, 64% have been achieved or surpassed (3) or are on track (15), with 36% (10) are mostly on track. All of the targets for Objective 1 can now be reported on (in FY 2017/18 five targets could not be reported on) and none are rated as needing attention.” This report also indicates the support of Global Affairs Canada for WILPF. 

Section 7 contains updates on the work of the Canadian Mission to the UN, including on women’s meaningful participation in peace processes and the work of the Group  of Friends of 1325. 

Sections 12-22 provide country-specific updates

Canada also supports women’s participation in disarmament and strives to ensure that interventions are gender-responsive. Canada commits to increasing support to research and capacity-building to ensure that women have a voice in mine action, including through the establishment of a global network of gender focal points as a community of practice in mine action.

Update 29 January 2020: 

Through its support for the Gender and Mine Action Program (GMAP) at the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), Canada has achieved the following results so far in fiscal year 2019-20:

Through a working group on Victim Assistance and Mine Risk Education, GMAP trained 16 gender focal points (14 women and 2 men) from 19 different institutions to effectively incorporate gender and diversity in mine action;

As a result of a training course delivered in Lebanon between 28 September and 3 October 2019, GICHD successfully trained 11 women and 3 men as Gender Focal Points; and

GMAP conducted a Gender and Diversity Assessment of the Cambodian Mine Authority in June 2019 to assess the integration of gender considerations in ongoing activities. As part of this assessment, 6 women and 15 men were interviewed.

Section 5 of the Global Affairs Canada implementation report for WPS contains updates on WPS and disarmament. 

Financial commitments: Canada pledges to support empowering local women to be a force for crisis response and lasting peace through grants to women’s organization in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Canada will increase our support to the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund with an additional CAD 1.5 million and to the UNDP N-Peace Small Grants in Asia with an additional CAD 500,000.

Update 29 January 2020: Increased funding for the WPHF and UNDP was approved and disbursed in March 2019. Canada remains an active member of the WPHF funding board.​

Canada commits to advocating for the inclusion of sexual and gender-based violence and child protection investigators as part of the core teams of all UN investigative mechanisms such as Commissions of Inquiry and Fact-Finding Missions. To help bridge the gap in experts, Canada is supporting the deployment of experts through UN Women and commits to increase its support with an additional contribution of CAD 6 million.

Update 29 January 2020: Canada continues to raise this at relevant international fora and with key partners such as the OHCHR. Canada increased its commitment with UN Women to deploy investigators in March 2019 by $6M and will cover deployments until September 2021.

Canada also commits to combatting impunity for international crimes and grave violations of human rights, including sexual and gender-based violence crimes, committed during armed conflicts by strengthening the justice systems of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, including by improving the ability of Burundian and Congolese human rights defenders and civil society organizations to document international crimes and serious human rights violations and strengthening the capacity of Congolese officials to investigate and prosecute these crimes and pledging CAD 600,000 to this effort.

Update 29 January 2020: Completed. By enabling local civil society, lawyers and prosecutors to effectively document, prosecute and litigate international crimes according to international standards and best practices, TRIAL has been able to assist more than 800 victims of serious conflict-related violations such as sexual and gender-based violence, acts of torture, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detention. TRIAL’s initiative directly contributed not only to meeting the particular needs of victims, most of whom are women and girls, but also to protecting their material, physical and mental well-being through the provision of free legal support and referrals to other technical services according to their needs.​

Canada will increase our support to the prevention of sexual violence through the engagement of boys and girls to reduce the cycle of violence in Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan through an additional CAD 1.7 million.

Update 29 January 2020: Ongoing. Canada continues to support this program which has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of sexual assaults and teenage pregnancies. It also is enhancing positive masculinities and encouraging boys and young men to become agents of change in their communities.​

Read more about this project.

Canada commits to keep looking for ways to support local women’s organizations and is in the process of building new and unique partnerships with the philanthropic community, the private sector and civil society to mobilize unprecedented levels of investments in support of gender equality and the rights of girls and women in developing countries, including fragile and conflict-affected countries. Canada has committed up to $300 million to this partnership.

Update 29 January 2020: Our most recent single most important initiative to reach local grassroots organizations is the Equality Fund (EF). In June 2019, on the margins of the Women Deliver conference, Canada announced it would contribute USD300 million towards the establishment of the EF, which is designed to be independent of the Government of Canada. A contribution agreement with the EF was signed in August 2019 and to date, USD4m of the USD300 million Government of Canada commitment has been disbursed.​

The Equality Fund’s website is here: 

Sexual Violence in Conflict: As Lead of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-based Violence in Emergencies for 2019-2020, Canada commits to strengthening the link with the women, peace, and security agenda through the development of the next multi-year road map, including through the better integration of considerations around gender equality, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, and engagement with local and women’s organizations.

Update 29 January 2020: Canada is working with the Women’s Refugee Commission to revise the strategic guidance document for the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies – the Road Map – and has undertaken multiple in person and online consultations with the diverse 85 organization membership. Canada is on track to deliver on this commitment by September 2020.​

The Government of Canada is the current Lead of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies.

Peacebuilding Commission: Canada is seeking election as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in 2020. As Chair of the PBC, Canada will strengthen efforts to implement the PBC’s Gender Strategy by systematically mainstreaming a gender perspective in all the PBC’s country-specific, regional, and thematic work.

Update 29 January 2020: Canada has been nominated by its regional group and will likely formally become Chair on Wednesday January 29.

Canada was elected chair

Scroll to Top