May 10, 2016
The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
I write to you as Chair of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD), an all-party parliamentary association that works to advance issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality and human rights. As you prepare to attend the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, I take this opportunity to share with you the outcome from the Global Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development towards the 2016 G7 Ise-Shima Summit, which took place in Tokyo, Japan, 26-27 April, and brought together 130 parliamentarians from 65 countries. The conference culminated in the unanimous adoption of a Declaration and set of recommendations (enclosed).
As head of the Canadian parliamentary delegation, which consisted of myself and MP Pam Damoff (Oakville North-Burlingon), to the conference, the Declaration calls upon delegations to communicate outcomes with G7 heads of government. The Declaration further calls on parliamentarians to:
- Invest in Universal Health Coverage with a focus on the most marginalized, including women and girls, delivering comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services;
- Enable all women and girls to have access to full reproductive health services, especially in conflict and post-conflict situations;
- Remove legal barriers preventing women and adolescent girls from access to safe abortion, including revising restrictions within existing abortion laws, and where legal, ensure the availability of abortion services; and
- Earmark at least 10% of official development assistance for realizing sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender equality, women’s and girls’ human rights and their empowerment.
Representing Canada, and as lead negotiator for the Americas region, I played a leadership role securing these commitments. Had it not been for Canada, the Declaration would not have included reference to the women, peace and security agenda within the context of human security. With support from the UK and Germany, we secured a reference to UN Security resolution 1325 and subsequent resolutions on women, peace and security.
As you know, women and girls are often those most vulnerable in conflict and post-conflict settings, in part through the ongoing use of rape as a strategy of war and other forms of gender-based violence. It is therefore essential that Canada continue to advocate for women and girls’ empowerment through not only access to comprehensive support services for those affected by conflict, but also their engagement in peace prevention and resolution processes. Recognizing the importance of this issue, Italy has already announced it will host the 2017 Global Conference of Parliamentarians on Population and Development under the theme ‘women and girls in humanitarian settings.’
Looking towards the G7 Summit, we urge you to consider these commitments while negotiating the G7 Declaration. We welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the outcome from the conference.
Hon. Dr. Hedy Fry, MP – Vancouver Centre, Chair, CAPPD
CC: Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs
CC: Peter M. Boehm, Sherpa for the Ise-Shima G7 Summit, Deputy Minister for International Development