Canadian International Council

Canadian International Council

December 29, 2008 10:14 ET

Canada Positioned to Become a Leader in Track Two Diplomacy, Extensive New Study Argues

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 29, 2008) - Now is the time for Canada to expand its support for the field of Track Two -- or unofficial -- diplomacy, says Peter Jones in a new research paper released today by the Canadian International Council (CIC). The study also argues that Canada needs a new strategy if it is to develop such a role for itself.

Canada and Track Two Diplomacy argues that Canadians have considerable strengths which can be built on to become a leader in this field of conflict resolution. "Canada's position in the world as a relatively impartial country supports this role," says Dr. Jones, associate professor at the University of Ottawa's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a CIC research associate. "Canadians are very well placed to play a leading role in these types of dialogues but a more structured approach would allow us to build on the existing strengths."

To this end, Dr. Jones suggests creating a strategy that involves three key communities: philanthropic, academic and official. He outlines the following steps as part of that strategy:

- Establish a Centre of Excellence in a university setting for Canadian practitioners of Track Two diplomacy where Track Two efforts could be supported and lessons learned;

- Encourage Canadian philanthropists to come together to develop a fund to support Canadian-led Track Two projects as a resource that would provide both the financial flexibility and long-term stability which will permit Canadians to make long-term commitments to assist in resolving conflicts;

- Create a partnership between Canadian Track Two practitioners, external benefactors such as philanthropists and foundations, and the federal government to develop supportive networks between Track Two participants, the foreign policy community and the funding community.

Dr. Jones is one of four respected academics chosen earlier this year by the CIC to contribute new perspectives in vital areas of Canadian foreign policy.

For more information on the CIC or to download this study, please visit www.canadianinternationalcouncil.org.

The Canadian International Council (CIC) is a non-partisan, nationwide council established to strengthen Canada's role in international affairs. With 13 branches nationwide, part of the CIIA national branch network, CIC seeks to advance research, discussion and debate on international issues by supporting a Canadian foreign policy network that crosses academic disciplines, policy areas, and economic sectors. The CIC features a privately funded fellowship program, supported by a network of issue-specific working groups. Carefully selected CIC fellows focus on important foreign policy issues, working out of universities and research institutions across the country. The CIC was founded in 2007 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion).

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