Women are “key to finding solutions to the political, economic and social challenges facing our societies,” Canada’s top diplomat Chrystia Freeland said Friday at the opening of the two-day summit.
The meeting will center on four topics: women in politics and positions of leadership; strengthening democracy; promoting peace and security and eliminating gender-based violence.
“I will always promote equal representation and respect for the rights of women and girls” Freeland said, because “when we are all involved in the decision-making process, our societies become stronger, our economies and our middle class become more prosperous and our countries safer.”
Freeland is co-chairing the meeting with EU foreign affairs representative Federica Mogherini. At the opening session, both expressed hope that this meeting will mark the beginning of a tradition of cooperation between women ministers.
In addition to Freeland and Mogherini, the conference brings together ministers from 17 other countries: Andorra, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia, Norway, Panama, South Africa, Rwanda, Saint Lucia and Sweden.