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Headlines
October 29, 2010

1. Jim Flaherty Meets Civil Society Advocates

 

CCIC chaired a meeting in early October between Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and civil society advocates, in advance of the fall meetings of Finance Ministers at the World Bank and IMF. During the hour-long meeting, civil society groups urged the Minister to consider reversing the government’s decision to flat-line aid spending. They asked him to use the occasion of the International Development Association’s 16th replenishment to press for reform of World Bank practices in order to push back on privatization of public services, cut red tape and improve monitoring and evaluation. They encouraged greater accountability for World Bank executive directors through regular appearances before committees of Parliament, and urged significant improvements (on the human rights side) to International Finance Corporation performance standards. The Minister was also encouraged to help Canada show leadership at upcoming G-20 meetings in Seoul by pushing for a new development consensus that promotes sustainable and equitable growth, encouraging strong steps to address the challenge of offshore tax shelters and flight capital, and giving full consideration to the global Financial Transaction Tax proposed by France.  See the letter submitted to Minister Flaherty prior to the G-20 meetings: http://www.ccic.ca/media/Letter_Flaherty_G20_Oct_2010.pdf  (in English only).   

2. Call for Interest in the CCIC Policy Advisory Group

 

As part of the new vision of how the CCIC Secretariat will carry out its work, the Board has approved a pilot initiative to create a Policy Advisory Group (PAd Group). The PAd Group will provide a forum to identify and discuss strategic policy opportunities for the Council's “value-added” action in relation to the 10-Point Agenda to End Global Poverty and Injustice.  It will bolster the Secretariat’s capacity to scan and track the sector’s policy needs and opportunities, and provide a channel for member input into CCIC policy priorities in a 6-12 month horizon. The Group will be comprised primarily of CCIC members, but it will also be open to allies. The PAd Group will have an advisory, not a decisional, role.  It will meet roughly three times a year. The first meeting is planned for the end of November 2010. CCIC is looking for individuals with diverse policy expertise and knowledge of CCIC to contribute to the Group’s deliberations. To express interest in participating, or for a copy of the Terms of Reference and criteria, contact Gauri Sreenivasan at gauri@ccic.ca.

3. Call to Action to Reform Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime

 

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is leading a campaign to reform Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR) through Bill C-393. Since its creation in 2004, CAMR has failed to deliver low-cost medicines to the poor, because it is not easy to use. In six years, only one license has been issued, to export one AIDS medicine to one country, Rwanda. Bill C-393, a private Member's bill, will make it easier for Canada to export affordable medicines to the developing world to treat diseases like HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. The Bill is currently being reviewed by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology and faces fierce opposition from the brand-name pharmaceutical industry.  The Legal Network, together with the Global Treatment Access Group and other civil society partners, is urging citizens and organizations to contact their MPs in support of Bill C-393. A phone script and letter-writing guide, along with more information, can be found at www.aidslaw.ca/camr,  or contact Lindsey Amèrica-Simms: lsimms@aidslaw.ca.  

4. CCIC welcomes UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Freedom of Association

 

The UN Human Rights Council passed a landmark resolution establishing a UN Special Rapporteur who will have a three-year mandate to research, monitor and report on the increasing restrictions and attacks on civil society organizations (CSOs) and political associations worldwide.  The resolution recognized the importance of CSOs to development.  It was co-sponsored by 63 states from every region of the world, despite concerns raised by China, Russia, Cuba, Libya and Pakistan.  The global coalition CIVICUS, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Freedom House and ARTICLE 19 played important roles over the past year promoting this resolution and Rapporteur.

5. CCIC Endorses the Istanbul Principles on CSO Development Effectiveness

 

CCIC joined with 180 CSOs from more than 80 countries in Istanbul at the Open Forum’s Global Assembly to endorse eight Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness.  These principles emerge from 62 country consultations over the past six months, including the Canadian Open Forum consultation in March 2010.  Over the next year, CSOs in the Open Forum will be examining their own practices against these principles, and seeking dialogue with donors and governments about how they can improve their relationships with CSOs to implement the principles.  In Paris on October 25, the Open Forum will present the outcomes of its work to the full Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, reminding them of their commitments in the Accra Agenda for Action to work with CSOs “to ensure that CSO contributions to development reach their full potential”.  The principles and background documents for the Global Assembly are available on CCIC’s web site at http://www.ccic.ca/what_we_do/osc_e.php or on the Open Forum site at www.cso-effectiveness.org.  For more information contact btomlinson@ccic.ca.

 

Upcoming Events

 

6. The Reality of Aid Global 2010 Report - Canadian Launch

 

CCIC and the University of Ottawa School of International Development and Global Studies will launch the 2010 Reality of Aid Global Report on November 10, 12:00 to 14:00, at the University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building (3120), 55 Laurier Ave. E., Ottawa.  The theme of the Report is Aid and Development Effectiveness: Towards Human Rights, Social Justice and Democracy.  The keynote speaker will be Tony Tujan, former Chairperson for the Reality of Aid Network and noted international development activist.  The 2010 Report outlines a new development effectiveness approach, rooted in international human rights law.  It makes proposals for a transformational agenda for the 2011 High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, including a new UN Convention on Development Effectiveness.  In a chapter on Canada, CCIC raises concerns about the declining performance of Canada as a donor and about the quality of Canadian aid when measured against this country’s commitments at Accra in 2008. For more information contact: btomlinson@ccic.ca.

 

7. Roundtable on Human Rights Impact Assessments for Trade and Investment Agreements

 

Roundtable and video conference with Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
November 16th, 2010, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., University of Ottawa, Multi-media room, Fauteux Hall (FTX 550), 57 Louis Pasteur.

For more information, visit www.ccic.ca

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