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April 10, 2009

1. Canadian Food Security Policy Group Letter to PM


In a letter to Prime Minister Harper, the FSPG reiterates its congratulations to the government for adding $50 million to its food assistance budget for 2008. But it points out that the current economic crisis has led to higher food prices and hardship and social unrest in dozens of countries round the world. It urges the government to build on its recent commitments on global food security and address the root causes of the global food crisis, based on the principle “that access to adequate and nutritious food is a basic human right for all men women and children.” It calls for the implementation of a “comprehensive whole-of-government strategy on food security.” For the full text, visit the Canadian Foodgrains Bank Association website.


2. How Free Trade Threatens Employment


War on Want’s latest report, “Trading Away our Jobs: how free trade threatens employment around the world”, examines how free trade agreements and policies designed to open up import markets have led to the collapse of entire industries and the loss of millions of jobs across the world. The report brings together, for the first time, both historical and projected data on the impact of trade liberalisation on employment.

It analyses studies of past liberalisations in Africa and Latin America, as well as impact assessments for the ongoing WTO negotiations. Among its findings:  Trade liberalisation in Brazil cut net employment by 2.7 million between 1990 and 1997;  Ghana lost 17% of its industrial jobs and female employment fell 22% after trade liberalisation; Mediterranean countries could lose 3.4 million jobs as a result of an EU free trade agreement, 1.5 million in Egypt alone. For more info, visit the War on Want website.

3. Oxfam America Report on Afghanistan


Smart Development In Practice – Field Report from Afghanistan is based on a series of interviews in Kabul with individuals involved in the delivery of US aid - employees of the US AID, other foreign donor contractors, consulting companies, Afghan and international nongovernmental organizations, and Afghan government officials. The report identifies as key problems an undue focus on short-term security objectives to the detriment of poverty reduction, insufficient support for long-term capacity building and excessive funds absorbed by private contractors. It notes that much of US aid is supply-driven, rather than supporting and complementing Afghan government and community efforts. There are success stories, where development initiatives have had clear development objectives and a high level of local ownership, such as the Afghanistan community midwifery program, started in 2002 by the government of Afghanistan, which USAID is funding.


4. International Indigenous Rights Experts Send Letter to the PM Re CSR


Participants at the International Expert Workshop on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, Corporate Accountability and Extractive Industries, and the International Conference on Extractive Industries and Indigenous Peoples have sent a strong letter to Prime Minister Harper. In it they express their regret over Canada’s new Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy for the Canadian International Extractive Sector which they say “falls far short of upholding Canada’s international commitments on human rights, Indigenous Peoples and the environment.” They add that the new policy which relies on voluntary guidelines instead of binding regulations, “is one that will do little to stop abuses by Canadian extractive companies from continuing unabated and unpunished.” A copy of the letter will soon be posted on the North-South Institute website.

5. The World According to Monsanto: A film by
Marie-Monique Robin


Present in forty-six countries, Monsanto has become the world leader in GM crops, as well as becoming one of the most controversial companies in industrial history. Since its foundation in 1901, the firm has faced trial after trial because of the toxicity of its products. Today it has reinvented itself as a "life sciences" company which has been converted to the virtues of sustainable development. Using hitherto unpublished documents and the testimonies of victims, scientists and politicians, The World According to Monsanto pieces together the origins of an industrial empire, now the world's leading seed manufacturer, spreading GM crops worldwide - amid a lack of any proper controls with respect to their effects on nature and human health. Now posted on YouTube.

The film is distributed in Canada by the National Film Board and you can view a trailer and purchase the DVD here.

6. CCIC Job Posting Service


For many years CCIC has been providing a Job Posting Service to help members and other NGOs recruit employees. The Work Opportunity page of our web site is a popular destination for visitors looking for work in the international development sector. While we will continue to offer this service at the same low rates again this year, members further benefit from two free postings per fiscal year.  If you have a job to post, or need more details, contact Pierre Laflamme.

 

Upcoming Events

 

7. Public Engagement Forum


The Role of Public Engagement & Campaigning in Changing Times a public engagement (PE) forum for CCIC members takes place in Ottawa on May 20 to 21.  The Forum provides PE practitioners from across the country an important opportunity to connect, dialogue, and share practices and tools. This year’s Forum will focus on 3 primary areas: 1) the current context and its implications for Public Engagement in Canada, 2) the role and value of PE in the development process, and 3) the in-depth exploration of campaigning as a vehicle for influencing policy and engaging Canadians as global citizens. See the draft program for details. To register complete this form.  For more info contact Michael Stephens by email or dial 613-241-7007 ext. 332.


8. Climate Justice Seminar


What is Canada’s Fair Share in the Fight Against Climate Change?  Climate Action Network Canada and CCIC invite you to a seminar on the launch of a new report on climate justice and Canada’s role in the global fight to stop global warming. The seminar will focus on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while preserving the right of all people to dignity and human development. It will also examine how Canada can meet its fair share of obligations. The seminar is in Ottawa on April 21 from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. For more information: contact Montana Burgess.


9. Canadian Global Campaign for Education (CGCE) organizes Global Action Week 2009


Global Action Week is an international campaign to alert politicians and journalists to the need to provide quality education to the 75 million children and 774 million adults who have no access to this basic human right.  GAW 2009, April 20-26, will highlight the

“Big Read” campaign which focuses on Youth and Adult Literacy, one of the six

Education for All goals.  For more, visit the CGCE website or contact dhodgson@cgce.ca.


10. Policy Seminar on Investment Treaties, Human Rights and the Extractives, May 13-14th


This CCIC policy seminar on Investment Treaties, Human Rights and the Extractives takes place May 13th in Ottawa.  It’s an opportunity for CCIC members, officials, researchers and others  to learn about alternative policy approaches in the South for regulating investment in extractives for development outcomes. It will also look at how Canada’s bilateral investment treaty agenda affects and interacts with those Southern approaches. The seminar will feature CSO and government perspectives from a variety of Southern and Canadian contexts and expert panelists on trade and investment treaties.  A half-day meeting May 14th for CCIC members and CSO participants will follow to discuss next steps and share reflections. To register or for more information, click here.

11. Bruce Cockburn in Nepal


USC Canada presents the Ottawa Premiere ofReturn to Nepal -- a documentary film chronicling musician Bruce Cockburn’s journey to Nepal.  Cockburn travels to the remote Humla region, near Tibet, where farmers work steep mountain slopes and offer strategies for survival in a tough land.  Friday, April 17,  7:30 pm, St. Paul’s University, Ottawa

(223 Main Street).  Free Admission.  For more information, send an email or dial

613-234-6827.

12. ACF Annual General Meeting – Meeting the Challenges of Democratic Development, Peace and Economic Justice in Africa


The Africa-Canada Forum (ACF) Platform for Action: Africa Matters will be launched at the AFC Annual General Meeting. The AGM, to be held April 22 and 23, will be an opportunity to better understand both the impact of the global financial crisis on Africa and Canada’s International Defense Policy as it relates to Africa.   Discussions will focus on three priority areas for the ACF: putting Africa back on the Canadian agenda for the G8 Summit in 2010; extractive industries and corporate social responsibility; and food sovereignty. Women’s rights and gender equality concerns will be central to all the discussions.

To receive an agenda and a registration form, contact Sylvie Perras, ACF Coordinator.

13. CCSD CANADIAN SOCIAL FORUM:

 

TELUS Centre, Calgary, AB, May 19 - 22, 2009. The shift from decades of economic “prosperity” to an economic downturn has magnified social challenges in Canada. In spite of resources, innovation, energy and commitment, poverty persists. It is time for a rethink. The Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) is creating space for over 750 leaders from a variety of backgrounds and standpoints to consider how we can reduce poverty in Canada. The program will highlight the innovative work across the country. Plenary and keynote speakers: Cindy Blackstock, Cornelia Wieman,  Richard Harwood and Sheila Watt-Cloutier. For more info.

14. KAIROS GATHERING 2009


The end of the world as we know it...Thank God! takes place June 17-20 2009 at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. It’s a four day gathering of justice and peace-focused worship, work, play, workshops, music, conversation, learning and networking, bringing together 500 creative people from a wide range of communities coast to coast to coast, with resource people from around the world. You are welcome whatever your tradition and background. It’s purpose? To learn, pray, act, reflect, and build community for education and action together with the many communities that make up KAIROS.  More info, or contact Sheilagh McGlynn  Tel: 1 877 403 8933 x 246.

15. Rotary/RESULTS Toronto Microfinance Conference


The conference (Saturday, May 9th) features Alex Counts (CEO, Grameen Foundation) as keynote speaker. This is both an educational event and a fundraiser for RESULTS.  

Ticket prices are modest and donations will be requested at the event to allow us to continue creating the political will to end poverty. To purchase tickets or make a donation, click here.

 

Ethics in a Flash

 

16. Draft 2 of Code of Ethics revision now available

 

Over the last year, the Ethics Review Committee has been reviewing the CCIC Code of Ethics to clarify and simplify its structure and to update areas as needed.  Feedback on a first draft provided by the CCIC Board of Directors in December, and by members during the February Member meetings, helped the Committee in this process.  A second draft of the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards has now been sent to all members and is available on the CCIC web site.  Further comments are invited.  Send them by email before April 30 for the Committee to review at its next meeting.  A final proposed update will go to the CCIC AGM in May. 

Flash is a members only publication. CCIC members, however, are encouraged to forward Flash to their staff, board, regional offices, Southern partners and volunteers. If you have an item for Flash, send it by e-mail to Peter Puxley at ppuxley@ccic.ca. Please note that Flash items should be no longer than one paragraph.

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