Peace Building Operations

March 18, 2003

The Right Honorable Jean Chrétien, P.C., M.P.,
Prime Minister
House of Commons,
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Chrétien,
The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) wishes to commend you highly for your leadership over these last months as the issue of taking pre-emptive action against the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq has been debated. We are proud that you have placed Canada among those states supporting the founding principle of the United Nations, that states would only take action against a threatening state or states in the name of the United Nations.

NCWC also wishes to reiterate its support for having Canada assist in UN-lead peace- maintenance, and more importantly, in peace-building operations. NCWC members are particularly dismayed that once again, it appears that modern technology will be used to completely destroy the physical infrastructure of a country. In the process, we all know now that for every soldier who is killed, there are estimated to be as many as ten civilian deaths, mostly defenceless women and children. Those who flee to safety become the new refugees camp inmates. These seem to extremely high human costs that should only be incurred when no other course is possible.

National Council of Women of Canada is a federation of organizations and individuals working to improve conditions of life for women and their families. NCWC is a member of the International Council of Women, holds Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and is a Participating Non-Governmental Organization with the Organization of American States (OAS/CIM).

With best wishes,

Catharine Laidlaw-Sly
National Council of Women of Canada