Press Release: CCIC Welcomes Major Canadian Investment in Advancing Gender Equality

Vancouver, British Columbia (June 4, 2019) – The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) welcomes the Government of Canada’s announcement of continued and increased investment to advance gender equality of women and girls. This represents ramped-up investment to $1.4 billion annually for ten years to support global health, including $700 million for the most underfunded areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights – a commitment that will have a significant impact on empowering 18 million women and girls. The announcement was made today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Vancouver at the Women Deliver Conference.  

This progressive investment demonstrates Canada’s commitment to continued leadership in the areas of maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), as well as sexual and reproductive health rights, in Canada and abroad,” said Nicolas Moyer, President and CEO of CCIC. We are pleased to see this important contribution to fulfilling Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.” 

Canada’s commitment to supporting effective and impactful development cooperation, including advancing gender equality, should include additional sustained and predictable increases to Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). Such increases will be required to meet Canada’s commitment to the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development  and to achieving the government’s own objectives as expressed in the Feminist International Assistance Policy, which is focused on empowering women and girls to achieve positive change.   

“Today’s announcement comes following a sustained initiative by Canadian civil society organizations to build a case for investing in strong Canadian leadership in support of women, adolescent and children’s health and rights around the world,” adds Mr. Moyer. “The success of the Thrive Agenda shows how civil society working in coalitions can enable positive and lasting change. We look forward to continuing to work with our member organizations and the government to implement this commitment.” 

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 About the Canadian Council for International Co-Operation (CCIC) 

The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) is Canada’s national association representing international development and humanitarian organizations. Together with 80+ member organizations, CCIC seeks to end global poverty and to promote social justice and human dignity for all. CCIC is committed to making this goal a public and political priority and to encouraging the actions necessary to make a poverty-free world a reality. 

CCIC is a member of the Future Planning Initiative, a coalition of Canadian organizations working together to advocate for Canadian leadership on SRHR. Recognizing these rights as central to good health and sustainable development, the Future Planning Initiative works to push the SRHR agenda forward and, along with many other organizations, played a key partnership role in advocating for the Thrive Agenda. 

 

For more information and to arrange an interview with Nicolas Moyer, President-CEO of CCIC, contact: 
Sophie Rosa
Director, Public Affairs and Member Services
Canadian Council for International Co-operation
E-mail: srosa@ccic.ca
Cell phone: (613) 219-6514 

APG Annual Report 2018-2019

APG Annual Report 2018-2019

APG 2018-2019 Annual Report

 

It has been an amazing year for the Americas Policy Group (APG) and its members. As such, we are proud to present the APG 2018-2019 Annual Report highlighting the work of its 29 members. It includes the group’s main activities, list of members and financial report.

 

Among all the milestones that we have reached, we can highlight the following collective work of the APG:

 

Government relations & policy advocacy:

  • Ongoing monitoring, policy recommendations and advocacy for sustainable development, human rights and social justice in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia and Haiti;
  • Held eight (8) consultation and briefing meetings with Global Affairs Canada’s Americas Branch and its North America, Central America, Latin America & Caribbean Bureaux;
  • Held four (4) briefing meetings with diplomatic representatives from Canadian missions in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru & Bolivia while in Canada;
  • Guatemala: sent a letter of concerns to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs regarding the alarming government’s withdrawal of the UN International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) and on the disturbing escalation of assassination of land and human rights defenders;
  • Honduras: denounced the situation of prisoners and human rights crisis in Honduras;
  • Mexico: participated in consultation with Global Affairs Canada’s North America Strategy Bureau regarding the “Canada-Mexico Human Rights Bilateral Dialogue” for the upcoming 3rd edition to be held in Ottawa in 2019. Recommendations include proposals to increase Mexican CSOs participation in the process. Click here to read the APG 2019 recommendations;
  • Colombia: engaged with Global Affairs Canada’s South American bureau and strongly recommended for the reform of the “Canada-Colombia FTA Human Rights Report” ;
  • Haiti: participated with AQOCI on a regional forum on Haiti to enhance greater coordination with the APG on policy and advocacy. Held an introduction meeting with GAC’s Haiti division;
  • Facilitated the APG perspective to Global Affairs Canada ongoing consultation on its “Voices at Risk –Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders”.

Parliamentary relations

  • Hosted a roundtable with Members of Parliament of the Canadian section of ParlAmericas and Women land defenders resisting extractivism in Latin America.
  • APG co-chair, Steve Stewart, testified at the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration as an expert witness on migration in Latin America. Listen testimony here or Read transcript here.

Member-led Annual Meeting & Activities

  • Held its general meeting in Montreal, attended by 35 participants from 25 organizations;
  • Launched a new subgroup on Haiti;
  • Supported the launch of the training manual “Implementing a Human Rights Based Approach” with CCIC and Equitas.

Sector-wide campaign

 

Click here to download the APG 2018-2019 Annual Report.

 

Thank you for your continued support and engagement!

 

CCIC Regional Working Group Coordination Team.

Press Release: CCIC Welcomes the Launch of the Gender Equality Partnership

Ottawa, Ontario (June 2, 2019) – The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) welcomes the launch of the Gender Equality Partnership in support of gender equality and the rights of girls and women in developing countries and in Canada. The Equality Fund will be leading the creation and the roll out of the Gender Equality Partnership, as announced today at the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver.

“The Gender Equality Partnership is a unique and transformational initiative that will ensure long-term sustainable funding for women’s organizations to advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls overseas and in Canada. Nothing like it exists anywhere,” says Nicolas Moyer, President and CEO of CCIC. “We believe in the strength of working in partnerships, and this new initiative will unite diverse actors and draw on the strengths of each partner.”  

In 2017, the Government of Canada adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy that seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world, with a focus on promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. While several other donor countries are also working on gender equality, the Gender Equality Partnership is the first initiative allowing members of the philanthropic community, the private sector, not-for profit and non-governmental organizations to unite with government and leverage their funds to ensure long-term sustainable financing. This new partnership offers the potential to mobilize unprecedented levels of resources and create a sustainable and predictable source of funding for organizations with a primary mandate to advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries and in Canada. 

 “Today’s announcement represents a concrete contribution to fulfilling the ambition of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy,” added Mr. Moyer. “We look forward to an open and inclusive process for implementing the partnership in a way that meets the full potential of this new model for long-term transformational progress towards gender equality.” 

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About the Canadian Council for International Co-Operation (CCIC)

The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) is Canada’s independent national voice for international development. Together with 80+ member organizations, CCIC seeks to end global poverty and to promote social justice and human dignity for all. CCIC is committed to making this goal a public and political priority and to encouraging the actions necessary to make a poverty-free world a reality.

Nicolas Moyer, President and CEO of CCIC, sits on Global Affairs Canada’s External Advisory Committee for the Gender Equality Partnership, alongside other members from civil society, the philanthropic community and the private sector. The Advisory Committee provided independent advice on process steps, requirements, assessment tools and outreach, but did not participate in the selection process for the implementing consortium.

For more information and to arrange an interview with Nicolas Moyer, President-CEO of CCIC, contact:
Sophie Rosa
Director, Public Affairs and Member Services
Canadian Council for International Co-operation
E-mail: srosa@ccic.ca
Cell phone: (613) 219-6514

Note: The Equality Fund collective is a partnership between leading actors in feminist organizing, global philanthropy and impact investing that is consolidating talent and expertise to design and build the Equality Fund. The Equality Fund partners are: The MATCH International Women’s Fund (The MATCH Fund), The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), Calvert Impact Capital, The Canadian Women’s Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada (CFC), Oxfam Canada, Philanthropy for Advancing Women’s Human Rights (PAWHR), Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Foundation, WUSC (World University Service of Canada), Yaletown Partners. For more information, visit their website: https://www.equalityfund.ca/

Liz Bernstein is the 2019 Karen Takacs Award Recipient

Liz Bernstein is the 2019 Karen Takacs Award Recipient

The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) is happy to announce that Liz Bernstein is the 2019 Karen Takacs Award Recipient.  The Karen Takacs Award is presented annually by CCIC to an individual who has notably, by virtue of working collaboratively, made a difference in the lives of women globally. The award honours outstanding collaborative leadership and commitment to promoting women’s equality.   

Liz Bernstein is the founding Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative. Liz has led the organization in building strong relationships with Global South grassroots women’s organizations to grow the global women’s peace movement. Previously, Liz served as Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) from 1998 through 2004. Liz participated in the campaign since it began in the early 1990s. She lived in Thailand and Cambodia for 10 years (1986-1996), where she worked with local peace and justice advocacy organizations and co-founded the Coalition for Peace and Reconciliation. Liz currently lives in Ottawa, Canada. She is a co-founder of Ecology Ottawa and President of the Lowertown Community Association in Ottawa. 

History & Context 

Karen Takacs was a celebrated and cherished leader of the Canadian international community. For over 20 years, Karen worked tirelessly to improve the lives and advance the rights of women and girls locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Karen was a catalyst for collaboration in the Canadian international sector. Throughout her life, Karen was admired for motivating and bringing people together around a common cause. By way of encouragement, generosity, and humour, Karen led by mobilizing and supporting others. Following Karen’s passing in 2015, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) created an award to honour her invaluable contribution to the fight for social and economic justice, and to celebrate the unique collaborative leadership she demonstrated throughout her career, including her time as Chair of the Board of CCIC.  For the Canadian global development community, The Karen Takacs Award is a symbol of feminism, collaboration, advocacy, mentorship, and resilience. 

I am honoured and humbled to receive the Karen Takacs award! Karen was one of the first people I met in this community. She was a feminist movement-builder extraordinaire who taught me so much. Especially about polite Canadian collaboration! Despite the enormous challenges we face, from climate breakdown, backlash against women’s human rights, militarism, bigotry, and injustice, we have the tools we need to strengthen our movements for feminist transformation, for a Canada and world of peace and equality. It’s not rocket science. We’re always better together!

Liz Bernstein

Director, Nobel Women’s Initiative

ACF Annual Report 2018-2019

ACF Annual Report 2018-2019

It has been an amazing year for the Africa-Canada Forum and its members. As such, we are proud to present the ACF 2018-2019 Annual Report highlighting the work of its 42 members. It includes the group’s main activities, list of members and financial report.

 

Among all the milestones that we have reached, we can highlight the following collective work of the ACF:

 

Academics Collaborations & Learning activities:

Member-led Annual Meeting:

  • Organized the Annual General Meeting, with 49 people from 34 organizations. Key presentations focused on the situation of Human Rights defenders, in particular the rise of attacks targeting feminists and LGBTQI+ communities in Africa; and on the challenges in the field and at home of working in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

 

Government relations & policy advocacy:

  • Organized the highly successful Joint Dialogue between the Africa-Canada Forum Dialogue and Global Affairs Canada, with the participation of 90 people, including 45 ACF members. The main goal of these exchanges is to create a space where ACF and GAC can discuss and collaborate on issues related to Africa, leveraging expertise on both sides. A joint ACF-GAC report was published following the dialogue. Download the report here.

Sector-wide campaign

 

Click here to download the ACF 2018-2019 Annual Report.

 

Thank you for your continued support and engagement!

CCIC Regional Working Group Coordination Team.

On Open Governments and Open Societies

On Open Governments and Open Societies

By Gavin Charles

This week Ottawa is hosting the Global Summit of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), an international alliance of countries committed to increasing the transparency, accountability, and accessibility of government processes. The work of the OGP is a fundamentally democratic one, based on the premise that citizens deserve to know what their government is doing, when and how.

Shared data can give citizens and the civil society groups that represent them enhanced opportunities to engage, advocate, and influence. Yet as too many authoritarian regimes have demonstrated, the same tools – particularly in relatively unrestricted digital contexts – can be used to oppress civic activists and repress human rights. Intensified surveillance and limited expression are just as potential consequences of openness as democratic empowerment and participatory governance. To address these risks, as governments work to open their processes, they should also work to open and protect civic space.

In April in Belgrade, Serbia, civil society representatives from around the world united in a Call to Action urging governments of all countries to reverse a disturbing global trend – shrinking and closing space for civil society. In the 20 years since United Nations members states endorsed a Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, recommitting to the fundamental civic freedoms of expression, association and assembly, more than 3500 human rights defenders have been killed globally. According to the CIVICUS Monitor, the leading tracker of civic space, more than 60% of the world’s population – some 4.5 billion individual human beings – live in countries where civic space is closed, repressed, or blocked.

Just as an empowered civil society is key to the fulfilment of human rights and human freedom, it is essential to the achievement of sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lays out, in 17 intersecting and integrated Sustainable Development Goals, a clear framework for attaining economic, environmental, and social sustainability by 2030. This agenda, adopted by all 193 UN member states in 2015, is both highly challenging and absolutely necessary. But while governments have the primary accountability to these commitments, governments cannot achieve them alone. Civil society, the private sector, and individual citizens must all join in their pursuit.

As the Belgrade Call to Action states, “strengths of civil society are its diversity, its rootedness in communities and territories, its direct development experience, and its capacities for public engagement.” These are the benefits that civil society offers governments in support of their obligations to their people and to the planet, and these are what is lost when civil society is suppressed and civic space is diminished.

This critical role of civil society is receiving increasing recognition. A recent statement by the Community of Democracies (CoD) – a rare example of an intergovernmental organization in which civil society has a seat and voice at the table – drew the link between media freedom, a key component and indicator of civic space, and sustainable development. The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC), a platform co-led by the UN and OECD, is an increasingly multi-stakeholder body where a civil society representative now serves as co-chair alongside governments.

Canada is currently the chair of the CoD’s Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society and a member of the Steering Committee of the GPEDC, making it exceptionally well-placed to be a leading advocate for civil society as a core partner for sustainable development. At home, this engagement will be complemented and guided by a set of policy action plans on partnership with civil society for international assistance. These action plans are set to be launched later this year, following an impressive process of co-development by Global Affairs Canada and a civil society advisory group.

Canada has another opportunity to make a mark and take a stand this week, right in the nation’s capital. As Canada hosts the Open Government Partnership, it should reaffirm that open civic space goes hand in hand with accountability and sustainable development – for governments, civil society and all of us.

 

Gavin Charles is the Policy Team Lead at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, Canada’s national coalition of civil society groups working for sustainable development and humanitarian action.