A United Nations peacekeeping summit to be held in Vancouver next week is expected to get some Hollywood wattage.
CBC News is reporting that a draft program of the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference was leaked to the Canadian Press. According to the draft, celebrity Angelina Jolie will be delivering one of two keynote addresses. She is reported to be appearing as a special envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and cofounder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative.
Jolie was a UNHCR goodwill ambassador from 2001 to 2012 and was appointed special envoy in 2012.
U.S. deputy secretary of defence Patrick Shanahan will be delivering the other keynote address.
The two-day event will be held from November 14 to 15 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
Sessions will address issues such as integrating gender perspectives into all aspects of peacekeeping, innovation in training and capacity building, ensuring strategies align with on-the-ground realities, and early warning and rapid deployment.
A new initiative to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers is expected to be announced at the conference.
The conference is expected to draw over 500 delegates from over 70 countries, including about 50 defence ministers and representatives from the African Union, European Union, NATO, and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
The conference will also seek pledges from new member states. There are currently 124 member states deployed in 16 peacekeeping missions for the United Nations.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland are scheduled to attend. Retired general Romeo Dallaire is also expected to attend.
Ten countries will cohost the event: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, Netherlands, Pakistan, Rwanda, Uruguay, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
Minister Sajjan announced the Vancouver conference at the UN Headquarters in New York in May.
The last UN peacekeeping conference was held in London, England, in 2016.
Concurrently, the Canadian government is also hosting a complementary event, geared towards a broader audience, emtitled Focus on Peacekeeping on November 14, also to be held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This event will concentrate on two main issues: youth as peacekeepers, and the private sector in conflict prevention.More