2016 Annual General Meeting

The following meeting took place on November 30, 2016.

  1. Introduction by Ali Ehsassi
  • MP Ehsassi introduced the GPG
  • MP Laverdière made remarks about future directions
  • MP Sahota shared her passion for human rights from her background in law
  1. Call to Order of the AGM
  1. Selection: Executive Members
  • New members ratified unanimously: Moved by MP Wrzesnewskyj and seconded by MP Laverdière
  • MP Wrzesnewskyj tabled that Sen. Dallaire be the Honorary Chair because of his tremendous moral authority
  1. Presentation of the Annual Report
  • Financial update to be confirmed in near future
  • Motion to increase the membership fee to $40 ratified unanimously
  1. Agenda for the Year
  2. Regions and themes of focus
  • Emphasis on the prevention of genocide for this year’s program
  • Consideration of recommendations from Sen. Dallaire to focus on Mexico, Latin America, and connect with experts from the US administration
  • Motion to focus on Aleppo as a case for the upcoming year: Moved by MP Wrzesnewskyj and adopted unanimously
  1. Important upcoming dates
  • Syrian White Helmets arriving December 7, 2016
  1. Additional Comments and Questions
  • Administrative
    • It was suggested that the GPG consider the possibility of becoming a joint House of Commons-Senate sub-committee in order to have greater access to resources, while also being aware of the potential delays and restraints that this could impose
    • Wilton Park was mentioned as a program in conflict resolution and statehood facilitation that would be helpful for the GPG to examine, especially given the program’s links to the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity
  • Defining genocide and crimes against humanity
    • Members believed that the GPG should focus on de-politicizing the term genocide and follow international law definitions of ‘Genocide,’ ‘Crimes Against Humanity,’ and ‘Mass Atrocities’ while being sensitive to the historical contexts of these legal definitions.
    • The group articulated a desire to facilitate open and respectful dialogue about potential cases of genocide and to educate Parliamentarians about the legal differences between crimes against humanity and genocide
    • Members discussed the potential benefits and limitations of the current definition of genocide used at the national level
    • Louise Arbour, Irwin Cotler, and Stephen Lewis were suggested as experts who could be helpful in future GPG considerations of the difference between crimes against humanity and genocide
  1. Adjournment
  • Zschogner thanked the members and notified members present of a forthcoming Assessment of Needs survey