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CIC National Capital (Ottawa): Canadian Disarmament Diplomacy: Past, Present and Future (Online event)
April 27, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm EDTFree
Canada was once described as having disarmament in its DNA and as the first country to have the capacity to build an atomic bomb that decided to foreswear this option. It has enjoyed special credibility and high regard in multilateral disarmament fora. Are the disarmament achievements associated with Canada a fading memory? What are its current diplomatic capabilities to assume leadership on disarmament issues and what priority issues should Canada champion going forward?
To discuss these issues the CIC National Capital Branch has brought together two former Ambassadors of Disarmament, Peggy Mason and Paul Meyer, along with a former Ambassador for Mine Action, Jill Sinclair, who will moderate the session. Elizabeth Kingston, President of the CIC National Capital Branch, will deliver the opening and closing remarks.
Peggy Mason is President of the Rideau Institute, a progressive think tank seeking to help revitalize Canada’s global role through creative, innovative and inclusive multilateralism, firmly grounded in the principles of the UN Charter. Ms. Mason’s career highlights diplomatic and specialist expertise in the field of international peace and security, with a particular emphasis on the United Nations, where she served as Canada’s Ambassador for Disarmament from 1989 to 1995. Since 1996 Ms. Mason has been involved in many aspects of UN peacekeeping training, including the development of ground breaking UN principles on the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former fighters, the reform of UN arms embargoes and the dramatic evolution of UN peacekeeping in the 21st century. Until 2014, she regularly brought the UN political/diplomatic perspective to a range of UN, NATO and EU training exercises to help prepare military commanders for complex multidisciplinary peace and crisis stabilization operations. For 10 years Peggy Mason was a Senior Fellow at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University, where she lectured, participated in training for Iraqi and Kuwaiti diplomats and chaired the Advisory Board of the Canadian Centre for Treaty Compliance (CCTC). She has long been active in a range of Canadian non-governmental organizations engaged in foreign policy, peace building and global governance issues. A graduate of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Common Law, Peggy Mason was inducted into its Honour Society in September 2003. In October of 2019 Peggy Mason was elected Vice-Chair of the prestigious Canadian Pugwash Group. In June of 2020, she joined the Advisory Board of a new progressive foreign policy think tank, the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy.
Paul Meyer is Fellow in International Security and Adjunct Professor of International Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver (since 2011). Previously, Mr. Meyer had a 35-year career with the Canadian Foreign Service, including serving as Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations and to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva (2003-2007). He is a Senior Advisor to ICT4Peace and the current Chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group. He teaches a course on diplomacy at SFU and writes on issues of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, space security and international cyber security.
Jill Sinclair is Canada’s representative to the Ukrainian Defence Reform Advisory Board and works with the Canada School of Public Service. As part of Canada’s defence team, she served as Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) at the Dept of National Defence from 2008 to 2014. From 2006 to 2008, she was Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet for Foreign and Defence Policy at the Privy Council Office. Prior to 2006, Jill had a wide-ranging Foreign Service career with positions including Canada’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; Director General of the International Security Bureau; Executive Director of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (which resulted in R2P); Director General of Global Issues; and Director of the Non-Proliferation, Arms Control and Disarmament Division, leading the Ottawa Process that resulted in the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel landmines. She was Canada’s first Ambassador for Mine Action. She had postings in Prague, Havana and the Middle East. Jill is a graduate of Glendon College, York University in political science and history.
Elizabeth Kingston is the President of the CIC-National Capital Branch. She had a career of 35 years with the Parliament of Canada as a Procedural Clerk and is now retired. She has held numerous positions including Clerk of the Standing Committees on Finance, Public Accounts, Aboriginal Affairs, Industry as well as the Special Joint Committee on the Meech Lake Accord. She has also served as Executive Secretary to the Canada – United States Inter-parliamentary Group, the Canada-China and Canada-Japan Parliamentary Associations, the Canada-United Kingdom Parliamentary Association and the Canadian Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Elizabeth also served as Executive Secretary to the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), which serves to strengthen the participation of women in politics, government and society. Elizabeth served as both a short term and long term observer for the presidential, then parliamentary elections in Ukraine in the spring and summer of 2019. Elizabeth recently returned from Guyana and Ukraine as an election observer for their elections in January and November 2020. Elizabeth holds a Master’s degree in French Literature and is presently working on a Master’s degree in Theology.