Youth conference looks at Canada’s foreign involvements

Three-hundred high-school students will visit York today to take part in a conference on Canadian foreign policy titled “Canada in the World” being held in Curtis Lecture Hall I at 10am.

The conference will include a keynote lecture by David Dewitt, director of the York Centre for International & Security Studies, and a series of interactive workshops that will give students a chance to explore Canada’s involvement around the world. Workshop topics include: Afghanistan, the Canadian response to the Asian tsunami, civil wars and the proliferation of small arms, poverty in Africa, and international trade.

The conference is organized by the Canadian Institute of International Affairs and Father Bressani Catholic High School in Woodbridge which specializes in global education with a full program of courses in Canadian and world studies. Teachers at the school first organized the conference eight years ago and decided to hold it at York’s Glendon campus, which happened to be the institute’s home at the time. Institute volunteers offered to help stage the first event and have been helping ever since.

Jordan Dupuis, acting program director and a conference organizer with the institute, is a York graduate student in political science who studied under DeWitt. The institute’s participation in the conference is part of its program to reach out to a new generation of Canadians and cultivate their interest in foreign policy and international affairs. The Canadian Institute of International Affairs is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that has been providing Canadians with a non-partisan, nation-wide forum for the discussion, analysis and debate of international affairs and foreign policy issues since 1928.