Mr. Speaker, Parliamentarians for Global Action, an association of democratically elected parliamentarians representing all regions of the world, whose Canadian branch I chair, is holding its 24th annual Parliamentary Assembly for the first time ever in Canada. More than 90 parliamentarians from over 50 countries are convening this week to address the International Criminal Court, the most dramatic development in international criminal law in years, and the Duty to Protect, an emerging and compelling international law doctrine. Both are crucial instruments in preventing mass atrocities, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and bringing those responsible to justice.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and former minister Lloyd Axworthy opened the conference this morning. The international parliamentary delegations include major figures in human rights law. For the first time ever a Canadian, Ambassador Philippe Kirsch, is the recipient of the prestigious PGA Defender of Democracy Award, together with Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special representative for Afghanistan.
I wish to express my appreciation to DFAIT, CIDA and you, Mr. Speaker, for the support we have received in the organization and financing of this conference.