Statement on International Day of Peace 22 September

Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today issued the following statement:

“In his 1957 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Lester B. Pearson said, ‘Of all our dreams today there is none more important-or so hard to realize-than that of peace in the world. May we never lose our faith in it or our resolve to do everything that can be done to convert it one day into reality.

“For all that has changed in the world in the 65 years since Prime Minister Pearson received the Nobel Prize, the importance of peace-and its elusiveness-remains constant. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person, and Canada is determined to support peaceful and prosperous societies around the world that respect human rights and diversity. That includes in Ukraine, where Ukrainians are paying a heavy price for President Putin’s refusal – despite relentless diplomatic efforts prior to Russia’s invasion – to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and end this senseless war.

“Inclusion and respect for diversity and human rights are proven pathways to peace. A world in which all people are able to fully and meaningfully participate in all facets of social, economic and political life will be more resilient, peaceful and just. Canada is committed to fostering inclusive public policies at home and abroad. Canada’s 2019 to 2022 Anti-racism Strategy is guiding our approach to feminist foreign policy, peace and security, trade and sustainable development. And we are working with and learning from our partners to fight discrimination and dismantle systemic racism.

“Canada recognizes the critical work of women peacebuilders in achieving peace and security at home and abroad. Women contribute as negotiators, mediators, activists, human rights defenders, peacekeepers and community leaders, and they are building peace at every level. Women in all their diversity, including those who belong to minorities and marginalized and racialized groups, deserve and need our support-because their contributions make our communities more just, safe and resilient.

“By nature, peaceful societies are more prosperous and stable. Unfortunately, violent conflict is the main cause of both humanitarian need and forced displacement worldwide. Canada resettled more refugees than any other country last year, and Canadians have welcomed more than 1.1 million refugees in need of protection since 1980. Our country has benefitted enormously from the presence of newcomers from around the world, and Canada is committed to an immigration system that supports diversity and contributes vibrant and dynamic communities.

“On this International Day of Peace, we renew our dedication to the pursuit of peace and call on people everywhere to help us make it a reality.”

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