Ninth Conference of Spouses of Heads of State and Government of the Americas



September 24, 1999 (1:00 p.m. EDT) No. 212


The Government of Canada today announced that the Ninth Conference of Spouses of Heads of State and Government of the Americas, will be held in Ottawa from September 29 to October 1, 1999. The conference will be hosted and chaired by Mrs. Aline Chrétien, wife of the Canadian Prime Minister, and moderated by Mrs. Huguette Labelle, President of the Canadian International Development Agency.

Entitled "Women of the Americas: Agents of Change", the Conference will welcome more than 30 influential women to discuss the hemisphere's common challenges and shared social goals. This is the first time that the yearly conference is being held in Canada.

This year, the two main themes of the Conference of Spouses are: "A Healthy Start: Investing in Children 0 to 6" and "Women's Health". "Both of these themes are relevant to all countries of the Americas," said Mrs. Chrétien. "I look forward to sharing our experiences with the representatives attending the Conference."

In a departure from previous conferences, the Ninth Conference of Spouses will include a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Fair. The Fair will feature NGOs active throughout the hemisphere and dedicated to improving early childhood development and the well-being of women. "Canada hopes to share its expertise on women's and children's issues with the participants of the Conference of Spouses," stated Mrs. Labelle. "I welcome the opportunity that the Conference and NGO Fair offers us to highlight our own initiatives.

Hosting the Ninth Conference of Spouses this year is consistent with Canada's increased commitment to, and involvement in hemispheric co-operation and progress. Canada will be hosting the following inter-American events over the next two years: the Americas Business Forum (Nov. 1 to 3, 1999), a meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) trade ministers (Nov. 3 to 4, 1999), the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (June 4 to 6, 2000) and the 2001 Summit of the Americas.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Denys Tessier
Hemisphere Summit Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
(613) 944-1699
(613) 944-1683
Media Relations Office
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
(613) 995-1874

This document is also available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's
Internet site: and the Hemisphere Summit Office's Internet site: