MISSISSAUGA, ON - Canadian youth are adding their perspective with their recommendations on global peacekeeping ahead of Tuesday's UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference. Celebrity humanitarian, Angelina Jolie, is expected to deliver a keynote address at the event. The world will be watching, and Canadian youth are speaking up in a clear and empowered voice.
A group of young people at the University of British Columbia recently engaged in a conversation about Canada's role in global peacekeeping and have taken-on a challenge issued to them by Canadian Defence Minister, Harjit Singh Sajjan.
World Vision hosted Minister Sajjan as he met with these students to explore all the ways in which Canada can contribute meaningfully to manage conflict in the world and improve the well-being of women and children.
"For me, it's actually to be able to listen to the younger generation. Especially the ones that are looking at how they want to change the world because at the end of the day, what we set now as governments around the world, are going to set the stage for them," Minister Sajjan said. "Don't let anybody say you can't do something. Including me," Minister Sajjan told the students.
Students were encouraged to think boldly about ways Canada can be a positive force for change in the world. The result was a list of recommendations the students developed and presented to the Minister for consideration.
"We're the ones who'll be living in the future so it's really important for the youth to have a stake in the decision-making process," said Yashada Nabar, UBC student participant.
Canada's return to UN peace operations provides the government with clear opportunities to fulfill its global commitments to the most vulnerable populations in conflict settings. Young Canadians are excited about these opportunities, but they are looking to the leaders of this country to fulfill political commitments which make a meaningful difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. One of ways to accomplish this is by committing to increases for Canada's development funding.
Minister Sajjan's Tweets: Here, here and here
World Vision Canada's Tweets: Here, here and here