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Headlines
December 18, 2009

1. Prominent Canadian call for Access to Affordable Medicine


Fifty-nine notable Canadians from the worlds of politics, development, law, medicine and the arts, called, on December 1 for World AIDS Day, on parliamentarians to reform Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR).  Among those signing the letter were former Prime Minister Paul Martin, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario James Bartleman, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis, past International President of Médecins Sans Frontières Dr. James Orbinski, arts leader Karen Kain, environmental activist David Suzuki, CCIC President-CEO Gerry Barr, as well as former Members of Parliament, leading researchers, and national labour, social and faith leaders. A recent Pollara poll indicates that 80 percent of Canadians want changes to the current legislation. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and many other non-governmental organizations have called for reform to the legislation since only a single shipment of medicine has been sent to a single country in over five years. Private member’s legislation to amend CAMR is in the House and the Senate. The letter, complete poll results and background information is available at the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network web site.


2. WTO Ministerial a Non Event; Developing Countries launch alternative South-South Trade Round


The WTO  recently held a low key 7th  Ministerial Meeting in Geneva – the first WTO Ministerial since 2005.  The stalled Doha Round was officially off the table, given widely the  recognized lack of motivation from key players, particularly the United States, to commit to liberalization commitments at a time of global economic down turn. Members did commit to a “stock-taking” exercise on the Doha Round in early 2010.  Canada’s Trade Minister, Stockwell Day, participated in the conference, while noting in his statement Canada’s continued commitment to pursue bilateral trade and investment deals with, for example, South Korea and Morocco. Parallel to the WTO Ministerial, Ministers from 22 developing countries who are party to the “Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries” announced a separate commitment to a new round of tariff cuts through the “Sao Paulo” Round under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) . Modalities for cutting tariffs on goods have been agreed, with countries aiming to have finalized commitments by September 2010. For more information read the UNCTAD press release.

3. Input Sought for CSO Statement on G-20 and Global Governance


In 2010, the G-20 meets in Canada. This is a key moment to try and shape the structures of global governance, its representativeness, transparency, and accountability to the world for decisions made. A number of international CSO networks, including CCIC, BOND (UK), GCAP-India and the Halifax Initiative, are working to generate globally-informed CSO demands for greater accountability and representation from the G-20, including the importance of strengthening the United Nations. A Draft Statement is circulating for comment. To receive a copy and provide feedback, contact Gauri Sreenivasan in the CCIC Policy Team.


Take the CCIC Poll

 

4. Climate Change Priorities

 

Results from the last CCIC poll showed that 82% of respondents thought that cutting greenhouse emissions at home, contributing funds to help developing countries adapt to climate change and making “green” technologies accessible should all be priorities for Canada at the Copenhagen climate summit. Take our new poll on the outcomes of the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen.

Upcoming Events

 

5. Meeting on the Creation of a Canadian Democracy Promotion Agency


The Advisory Panel Report on the Creation of a Canadian Democracy Promotion Agency was tabled in Parliament in the last week of November.  Legislation to enable the creation of this new entity is expected some time in 2010.  CCIC, together with a number of members and other CSO networks, urged the Minister of State for Democratic Reform, Steven Fletcher, to hear input from civil society organizations on the report and underscored the importance, for the new Agency, of on-going dialogue with CSOs.  A meeting for Minister Fletcher to hear from Canadian CSOs on the Advisory Panel Report and its recommendations has been set for January 12 on Parliament Hill. Space is limited. Priority will be given to organizations with expertise and experience in democracy promotion programming, while ensuring a balance of different types of organizations. For more information contact Fergus Watt of World Federalists Movement.

Ethics in a Flash

 

6. Dear Ms Ethics

 

We recently had a very successful fundraising event. Would it be unethical to use organizational money to pay for a thank you party for the volunteer organizers and the celebrities who donated money and their time to the organization?  Party Hearty

 

Dear Party: If the amount the organization is paying to organize the party is an incidental amount, then there is no ethical problem.  Organizations should treat volunteers well; a thank you for their contribution is a good idea.  If the amount spent on the party is disproportionate to the profit made in the fundraiser, or if there is some private benefit involved, then there will be ethical issues relating to appropriate use of funds and managing conflict of interest situations.  Ethical principles won’t stop you from having a simple thank you party.  Nevertheless, spending even a minimum amount of money for a party may offend some people.  But that’s perception, not ethics.  Seek the advice of your public relations expert.   Like Emma Goldman, Dear Ms Ethics thinks every revolution needs a little dancing.

Note: This is the last Flash for 2009. Items are due for the next Flash by
Friday January 15. The first Flash of 2010 will be sent out on January 22.

If you have an item for Flash, send it by e-mail to Katia Gianneschi. Please note that Flash items should be no longer than one paragraph.

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