|CCIC monthly e-bulletin: September 2016|
Canada is back on the global stage
Last week-end, the Canadian government successfully hosted the 5th Global Fund replenishment conference in Montreal. If the objective was to demonstrate that Canada can be called upon to rally the international community around urgent global issues, it was achieved. The fund almost reached its 13 billion pledge target (12.9 billion on last count, with some pledges still outstanding) and the government was successful in mobilizing its top representatives, civil society partners and other stakeholders to put together an engaging world class event.
Prime Minister Trudeau, Governor General Johnston, Ministers Bibeau, Philpott, and Dion, Parliamentary Secretary Gould, Ms. Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau and many more were hosting and championing the conference, soliciting generous pledges from the many Presidents, Prime Ministers and Ministers that were present, some pledging for the first time. Other key players at the conference included Michaelle Jean, Secretary-General of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the UN, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation (and sustained supporter of the Fund).
Civil society groups were involved in all aspects of the conference, and some private sector partners of the Global Fund were also engaged. The very important task of garnering momentum in Canada and globally for this conference was spearheaded by a network of advocacy groups, including Results Canada and the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD). Other groups hosted side events with their supporters, such as the ONE campaign founded by U2’s Bono. And the conference culminated with a free concert organized by Global Citizen featuring Canadian and international stars and attended by thousands of activists from across Canada.
The Global Fund, launched in 2002 to provide resources to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, is considered a successful partnership model that is saving lives in an effective manner. To date, the fund is said to have saved 20 million lives, and with the new amounts pledged this past week-end, it will save another 8 million in the coming three years. More importantly, it aims to eliminate these three diseases by 2030 – when the Sustainable Development Goals are set to end poverty globally.
Canada’s own pledge, which was already announced last May, was among the top six pledges at the conference. It was also 23% higher than its previous Global Fund pledge. What we do not know is where this additional money comes from – will it reflect new funds in Budget 2017 and beyond for international assistance? Will it be shifted from other development priorities? If yes, which ones? These are important questions that should be answered to strengthen the leadership momentum that has been put in place at the conference.
To build on this momentum, Canada needs to do two things: first, it needs to put its money where its mouth is, as suggested by global leaders including Ban Ki-Moon, and increase the international assistance budget so that it can continue to play this leadership and catalyzing role on a host of other pressing priorities. During the two-day summit there was much talk about the integrated nature of the global challenges we currently face – improving health and education, enhancing peace and equality, adapting to and mitigating climate change, and more. And a recognition that the days of dealing with issues in silos are over - including the need to address these issues at home as we champion them internationally. For all of this, more resources are urgently needed, and Canada has a lot of room for improving its standing on this front.
Second, it needs to use its leadership and convening capacity to tackle issues that have not been championed or addressed by others – such as the full range of sexual reproductive health and rights for women and adolescent girls. Canada is uniquely placed to provide critical leadership on the global stage on international development issues – that was made abundantly clear over the week-end. It must use this positioning wisely to champion the critically important, but often neglected, causes that will dramatically change the lives of millions of people around the world, with a focus on the most marginalized, those living in fragile states, and women and girls.Canada can make an invaluable contribution to the world at this complex juncture, but it will not go far enough if important new resources are not put on the table.
This Op-Ed was first published in The Hill Times on September 21, 2016.
Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear from you! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.
What next on the International Assistance Review?
While July 31 marked the end of the consultation on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance Review – a process around which CCIC and its members engaged wholeheartedly – in some senses the real process has just begun. Government officials have been processing inputs from more than 1000 organizations and individuals to give shape to a new policy and funding framework, as indicated in the mandate letter for the Minister of International Development. A summary of the feedback received is scheduled for release in mid-October, and the Minister has indicated the new framework should be out before the winter holidays. In anticipation of the release, CCIC has collected over 80 submissions from members, allies and coalitions, and will be analysing the submissions to identify the key issues groups underscored. Ahead of Budget 2017, CCIC has also begun some hard thinking around the funding framework that will support implementation of the new policy. CCIC is working with a group of technical experts to discuss options for increasing the International Assistance Envelope, and will be meeting with government officials to discuss these options.
CCIC sets up Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Reference Group
MEMBER PROFILE: ICAD
MEMBERS IN ACTION
Small family farming feeds the vast majority of the world’s population, using less than a quarter of agricultural land. In its fall campaign, Development and Peace calls for support for an agricultural model that enables small family farmers, at home and around the world, to live in dignity and feed their communities in a way that respects our common home. In addition to engaging in At the Heart of the Action campaign, Development and Peace invites Canadians to celebrate 50 years of solidarity by revisiting the defining moments of the organization in the past 50 years and by renewing their commitment to a just world.
Using video to explain complex and abstract subjects such as decentralization and federalism is a challenge. The Forum of Federations however succeeded in producing a five-part educational video series on decentralization, using Canada, South Africa, and Switzerland as its principal case studies. The Forum also produced a video and guidebook that portray the transition to democratic federalism in Nepal.
An informal coalition of NGOs and others are urging the Canadian government to make support for agricultural development a new signature investment. Investing in agriculture in developing countries, especially small-scale agriculture, delivers many benefits. It is effective in reducing poverty and overcoming hunger, and contributing to a fairer world. However, since 2010-11 support for agriculture has declined by nearly 30%, down to $350 million per year, even though the needs remain great. Through #aid4ag, the group is urging Canadian government officials and decision makers to increase Canada’s international aid for agriculture and support small-scale farmers in developing countries, particularly women.
The call is open for 2017 Leadership Education Programs at Coady International Institute. Programs offered at Coady Institute aim at equipping development leaders with the critical thinking, practical skills and tools to support communities organizing for change. Based at St. Francis Xavier University, the programs help leaders tackle global priorities established in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Coday’s asset-based, citizen-led approach to community development recognizes the strengths and resources that exist in all communities and the potential for achieving change in partnership with others. The program schedule provides links to course descriptions, scholarship information and application deadlines.
WORTH A LOOK
Latest articles published in CCIC’s blog Development Unplugged include a post-World Social Forum reflection; comments on the last G20 meeting and lack of commitments towards the poorest; an article on the need for policy coherence in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; food for thought on youth engagement around the Agenda 2030; as well as a special series with ICAD inspired by the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Montreal.
“An insidious wave of threats, bogus charges, smear campaigns, attacks and killings of environmental and land activists in recent months has made Honduras and Guatemala the most dangerous countries on earth for those protecting natural resources”, concludes Amnesty International in a new report, published six months after the murder of Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres. We defend the land with our blood explores the increasing stigmatization, threats, attacks, killings and lack of justice faced by individuals and communities fighting to protect the environment from large-scale mining, logging and hydroelectrical projects.
Leave no one behind is a central objective of the Global Goals. To make sure that this goal is met, three international non-profit organizations (CIVICUS, Development Initiatives, and Project Everyone) are joining forces on a new global initiative called the Leave No-one Behind Partnership, which aims to directly support the interests of the world’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people. Civil society organizations are invited to participate in an online consultation (5-10 minutes) to determine: the groups and communities most excluded in localities across 30 countries; their level of access to resources and services provided by governments and aid programs; their level of involvement in government decision-making which allocates resources and services. Canadian CSOs are encouraged to share the link with partner organizations in these countries.
The CSO Effectiveness Awareness Check is an initiative of the Working Group on CSO Development Effectiveness of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE), designed to help CSOs around the globe to assess their progress in implementing the Istanbul principles for CSO development effectiveness and accountability. By answering this test, “CSOs are contributing to building evidence on their own commitment to further improve their own development effectiveness and accountability in the face of great challenges to serve the people”.
The Human Rights Council requested in 2014 that the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, prepare a joint report on the proper management of assemblies. That report (A/HRC/31/66) was published in March 2016, and compiled a series of practical recommendations for the management of assemblies. This checklist (100 indicators) is a companion publication to that report, designed as an easy-to-use tool to: (1) determine which practical recommendations contained in the report are already in place at the domestic level, and (2) help assess how well domestic and local authorities manage assemblies.
The highly successful fight against global poverty is being lost badly in one critical area – people’s minds. A new global survey published by the Dutch research firm Motivaction on people’s values, lifestyles and views on global poverty reveals that 87% of people around the world believe that global poverty has either stayed the same or gotten worse over the past 20 years, when the exact opposite is true – it has more than halved. Motivaction’s survey, called Glocalities, questioned 26,000 people in 24 countries and 15 languages. The survey was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Motivaction has partnered it with Oxfam and Global Citizen to help shape anti-poverty work.
Women, Business and the Law is a World Bank Group product that collects data on laws and regulations constraining women's entrepreneurship and employment. The recent Getting to Equal report measures legal and regulatory barriers to women’s entrepreneurship and employment in 173 economies. It provides quantitative measures of laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunities. A shorter version is also available, which captures the key findings.
One out of five cases of transnational corruption occurs in the extractive sector. In this area, corruption has become increasingly complex and sophisticated affecting each stage of the extractive value chain with huge potential revenue losses for the public coffers. A new OECD report is intended to help policy makers, law enforcement officials and stakeholders strengthen prevention efforts at both the public and private levels, through improved understanding and enhanced awareness of corruption risk and mechanisms.
At the last Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington in April, Canada pledged to “lead by example” in stemming an emerging security threat: the possibility of terrorists armed with nuclear weapons. As a member of the Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (CNANW), UNA-Canada launched a petition asking the Canadian government to lead internationally for the abolition of nuclear weapons. This petition follows CNANW call to action urging the Canadian government to sponsor a resolution this fall at the UN General Assembly.
The Global Citizens' Initiative (TGCI) is an international NGO whose mission is to promote the practice of global citizenship and build a cadre of globally minded leaders in countries around the world. They offer an annual online course for young and mid-level development professionals working in NGOs, research institutions, and businesses, with the objective of building the skills of participants to address global issues within and across their countries.
CCIC IN THE NEWS
Canada is back on the global stage
Development Cooperation: A Closer Look at the new Development Agenda and Canada’s International Assistance Review
Where does Canada stand on silencing dissent today? (video)
Implementing the SDGs (video)
America’s Policy Group biannual Meeting
Consultation meeting with the Asian Development Bank
One World Film Festival
Women's Health and the Power of Women-Centred HIV-Prevention – ICAD/IPM
Securing the Future of Immigration in Canada - thePANEL
Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale : À humanité variable – AQOCI
If you have an item for Flash!, you may send it to Chantal Havard. Please note that items should be no longer than 150 words.