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Trudeau appoints first ambassador to advance women, peace and security

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to attend a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed Canada’s first ambassador for women, peace and security.

Jacqueline O’Neill, who has served on a number of related international bodies, assumes the new diplomatic post designed to advance the Liberal government’s feminist foreign policy.

O’Neill will also provide advice to the government on how to protect the rights of women and girls who face violence and insecurity.

Since 2011, she has served as a federal adviser on advancing peace and security for women.

She has helped create policies on gender and security in NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the United Nations.

O’Neill is also a co-founder of the Romeo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, which tries to stamp out the use of children in armed conflict.

“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,” Trudeau says in a statement.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland calls O’Neill “a world-leader in this field and a champion of gender equality in Canada and internationally.”

The Canadian Press