Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
This is meeting 19 of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, March 13, 2008.
Today we're continuing our study of Canada's mission in Afghanistan. We will set aside the final 30 minutes of our meeting today for committee business.
We have five witnesses today. We have the Honourable Flora MacDonald, the founder of Future Generations Canada. Ms. MacDonald has received numerous awards and recognitions. She is an officer of the Order of Canada and has been Minister of Foreign Affairs. We welcome you back to Canada's Parliament today.
We have Ms. Sally Armstrong, a journalist, human rights activist, documentary filmmaker, and award-winning author. Welcome.
From the Centre for International Governance Innovation, we have Paul Heinbecker, distinguished fellow. He served as chief foreign policy adviser to then Prime Minister Mulroney and as assistant secretary to the cabinet for foreign and defence policy. In the summer of 2000, Mr. Heinbecker was appointed ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations.
From the University of Redlands, we have Robert Jackson, director of international relations. Professor Jackson is the author and co-author of 36 books and some 50 articles in the field of comparative Canadian and international politics. He's currently working on projects focusing on Afghanistan and North American security policy.
And from the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, we have Surendrini Wijeyaratne, policy officer, peace and conflict. She has conducted interviews in Afghanistan for the CCIC's report entitled Afghanistan: A Study on the Prospects for Peace.
We welcome all five of you. We apologize for being a little tardy getting here. We had votes in the House of Commons, and as you can see, we'll probably be able to go only until a quarter to five today. We look forward to your comments.
We'll ask the Honourable Flora MacDonald if she would make her comments first, please.