Angelina Jolie lends her star power to international peacekeeping summit in Canada
More than 80 countries to attend 2-day meeting
Angelina Jolie will deliver a keynote address at next week's international peacekeeping summit in Vancouver, her office has confirmed to CBC News.
More than 80 countries have so far said they will attend the two-day United Nations ministerial meeting beginning on Nov. 14, where improving the gender balance of peacekeeping operations will be one of the overarching themes.
The Academy Award-winner and special envoy of the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees will deliver her remarks on the second day of the summit.
The content of her address is not known but she is expected to broach issues she has touched on many times in the past, including the prevention of sexual violence in conflict and justice for victims.
According to a draft program obtained by The Canadian Press, the other major address at the summit will be delivered by Patrick Shanahan, the U.S. deputy secretary of defence.
More than five years ago Jolie and former British foreign secretary William Hague launched the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative.
Last year she made a surprise appearance at the first UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial meeting in London, where she called for the prosecution of peacekeepers accused of sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as the deployment of more women peacekeepers.
"Peacekeeping forces can only gain and keep the trust of local populations if they are able to engage with women as well as men in that community," she told delegates in the room.
Jolie told the delegates that numbers alone won't resolve conflicts and that modern peacekeeping must have ''the rights and protection and involvement of women at its heart."
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was among the 80 or so defence ministers at the 2016 UN meeting, where he reaffirmed Canada's commitment to playing a leadership role in peace operations.
"Conflicts today are more complex than ever before, and we're serious about being part of the solution," he told delegates. "That's the reason we're bringing our resources and skills to the table."
It's expected Ottawa will announce the long-awaited details of that contribution either at or right before the peacekeeping summit next week.
With files from The Canadian Press