Women Ambassadors of Ottawa (WAO), lead by the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Canada, H.E. Dienne H. Moehario, held a Working Luncheon with the Guest of Honour the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular) of Canada. The Working Luncheon was convened at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Ottawa on 29 April 2014. WAO consists of 27 (twenty seven) Heads of Missions and Charge d’Affaires in Ottawa with objectives to foster communication, understanding and interaction within the group; to facilitate and strengthen linkages between members of WAO and women leaders in all sectors of the Canadian society; and to promote collaboration on issues of common concern. Attending the Working Luncheon were Ambassadors and Charge d’Affaires of Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Jamaica, Honduras, Australia, Senegal, Romania, European Union, Burundi, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Serbia, Venezuela and Slovenia.
Referring to the objectives of WAO, Ambassador Moehario enabled closer networking with Minister Yelich whose mandate is to support Canada’s priorities home and abroad, by advancing Canada’s trade and investment, taking part in the international effort to eliminate poverty and promoting more participation of women in public life. Ambassador Moehario in her opening remarks implored about closer consular cooperation with Canada, aiming to further protect and secure the rights of the citizens of the sending state with respect to the National Law of both parties; and emphasized that Minister Yelich was the right person to be in contact with in order to be more in touch with the priorities of Canadian foreign policy, be it in Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and America.
Minister Yelich highlighted that she was passionate about her role in the Government of Canada due to the vast possibilities of getting to learn more about different people from different countries and to work with them. She mentioned about her visit to Indonesia in October 2013 as one of the Canadian Delegates to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, to participate in Women and Economy Forum in particular. She expressed that her participation was to show Canada’s support to the exemplary work of Indonesia as a global leader in women empowerment and economy. She was fascinated by Indonesia’s efforts in terms of literacy that within the period of ten years, the rate moved from minus to plus 80, as conveyed by the Minister of the Empowerment of the Republic of Indonesia. In Canada, one third of owners of formal businesses are women and there were countless of informal businesses owned by women and the number highlighted the fact that women’s influence in the field of economy is increasing. Within the area of consular, Canada received numerous requests from other countries to assist them in dealing with early child forced marriages and Canada supported the countries to tackle the problem. She ended her presentation by emphasizing that when the involvement of women in economy and policy making process was increased, the result would be a more secure and prosperous world.
WAO responded enthusiastically to Minister Yelich’s presentation during the discussion/question and answer session, particularly the issues on gender equality, the role of women Ambassadors and Canada’s experience in promoting women empowerment. Ambassador of Senegal to Canada, H.E. Nancy Ndiaye Ngom, as the Secretary of WAO, closed the Working Luncheon with words of appreciation to Minister Yelich. Previously, Minister Yelich was also a Guest of Honour at another event held by WAO in collaboration with the Parliament of Canada, the Commemoration of International Women’s Day at Parliament Hill, Ottawa on 25 March 2014. (SM/Indonesian Embassy)