Bonjour, chers collèagues. Welcome.
This is meeting 18 of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Tuesday, March 11, 2008.
I would remind everyone today that these proceedings are televised. I would also ask our guests at the back of the committee room if they would please turn off their cellphones, and to each one of the participants here, as well, disable your ringing devices, including cellphones and BlackBerrys.
Today our committee continues our work on the study of Canada's mission in Afghanistan. For this report that we're in the process of drafting we have spent many months studying Canada's role in Afghanistan, both the security aspect as well as the developmental aspect. To that end today, we will have before us witnesses representing the independent panel on Canada's future role in Afghanistan.
We will have to ask our media friends to avail themselves of the opportunity right now to leave the room. We appreciate your willingness to be here.
As already mentioned, we have three members of the panel on Canada's future role in Afghanistan here, three individuals who really need no introduction. First of all, the Honourable John Manley is back with us today as chair of the committee, and with him are two panellists, two members of that committee, Mr. Derek Burney, as well as Ms. Pamela Wallin.
We welcome all of you here today to the foreign affairs committee.
There are no opening statements from our panel. We will proceed immediately into the first round of questioning.
We want, as a committee, to thank you for your work and your time and your dedication in bringing forward your report. It's a report that we have looked at, that all Canadians have had the opportunity to look at. It's caused a lot of debate, and we appreciate that. I think all parties, all Canadians, want to be well educated as to what you've learned while you were there and while you met with others, so we appreciate the hard work you've done.
Without further ado, we'll go into the first round. Because we do have unanimous consent, we will have ten-minute rounds.
I'll welcome comments from Mr. Wilfert.