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Canada to host the world's female foreign ministers

Sunday, April 22, 2018

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TORONTO, Canada (AFP) — Canada will host the world's small but growing band of female foreign ministers for talks ahead of this year's UN General Assembly, Canada's Chrystia Freeland announced Sunday.

Freeland opened a meeting in Toronto of G7 foreign ministers with a session, co-hosted by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini, dedicated to her women counterparts.

Alongside the male chief diplomats from most of the G7 major industrialized powers, were female ministers from Ghana, Ecuador, Panama, Jamaica, Guatemala and Colombia.

Freeland said she and Mogherini had decided to host talks on September 21 and 22 ahead of UNGA just for these "inspiring" female foreign ministers.

"We are sure that such an initiative will give rise to some very constructive discussions," she said.

Mogherini explicitly linked the planned meeting to the subsequent UN event and added: "We believe that is going to be a very important way to open the doorway for understanding."

Freeland also noted that Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono had had dinner with the female envoys the night before.

"All of us women foreign ministers said we are often in meetings where we are the only woman, and so Taro got a little bit what it was like," she joked, thanking him.

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