Julia SanchezDear Colleagues and Friends,

Welcome to the 2016 CCIC Annual Conference – 'Fit for purpose: CSO transformation for Agenda 2030'!

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 2016 CCIC Annual Conference and to International Cooperation Days.

Every year CCIC hosts a conference to raise the profile of our sector and its important work. This landmark event brings together stakeholders from international development and humanitarian civil society organizations (CSOs), key government officials, relevant policy makers and academics from Canada and abroad.

This year ‘Fit for purpose: CSO transformation for Agenda 2030’ will examine the challenges and opportunities we face as CSOs in this new era of global development cooperation.  Faced with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement and a new Canadian Government, 2016 is a strategic moment to influence the future direction of Canadian development cooperation. As a sector, we find ourselves with a valuable opportunity to take stock and rethink and revaluate how we work.

In the last year, Canadian CSOs and our partners have responded to a range of challenges including the global refugee crisis, the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria, Iraq and the surrounding region, the Ebola outbreak, and the impacts of climate change. We have also witnessed the introduction of transformational agendas including the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. And domestically we have a renewed political environment which is embracing these agendas and wanting to demonstrate global leadership.

The 2016 conference is a time to reflect on crucial questions. How can Canadian CSOs position ourselves to take full advantage of all of these new opportunities? Are we up to these challenges in this new era of global development cooperation? What do we need to do differently in order to remain relevant and strategic, and add value to this new process?

And how can CSOs best equip ourselves to be fit for purpose?

We are members of an innovative and collaborative community. As we work together to address the ever-changing global environment, the CCIC conference provides a space for our community to meet, share practices, strengthen collaboration, challenge each other and create new models for change.

On behalf of CCIC, I wish you an inspiring and productive conference!

Yours sincerely,

Julia Sanchez                                                                 
Canadian Council for International Co-operation