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Flash

February 16, 2007

Headlines

  1. WTO Negotiations in Full Swing - High Pressure Deal May Thwart Development: Six months after WTO negotiations on the Doha "Development" Agenda were suspended, WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy announced that talks are back on track. The talks were given the green light following a mini-Ministerial meeting of about 30 countries. The WTO round had stalled last July due to irreconcilable differences primarily in agricultural negotiations. No new formal offers have been made to address the stalemate, but informal talks have been underway for several months. There is now enormous pressure on WTO members to find their way to a deal on three key areas: agriculture, services and industrial tariffs. Civil society organizations are extremely concerned, given both the danger to development of the trade deal as it is shaping up, and the pressure-cooker process in which the majority of developing countries have little voice or influence to promote their interests.

  2. Canada-Wide Pre-Budget Consultations: An online pre-budget consultation was launched this week by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. The online consultation gives Canadians an opportunity to participate in the development of the 2007 Budget. Last year, nearly 6,000 participated. The deadline for consultation is February 28 at midnight (EST). The pre-budget consultation page on the Department of Finance web site can be found at http://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult_e.html. To read CCIC's pre-budget note go to http://www.ccic.ca/e/002/aid.shtml.

  3. New Microcredit Investment: The Citizens Bank of Canada has teamed up with the Calvert Foundation, RESULTS Canada and a group of NGOs working in the field to create a new microfinance investment product. The Citizens Bank "Shared World Term Deposit " is the first such product to be offered by a national financial institution. Canadians can now directly support microcredit with their savings. One hundred percent of the funds invested flow through to groups working in the field. For more information go to www.citizensbank.ca or contact Blaise Salmon, RESULTS Canada, at bsalmon@results-resultats.ca or (250) 384-1842.

Upcoming Events

  1. DFAIT Burma Roundtable: Strategic approaches for promoting democratic development, human rights and fundamental freedoms in Burma will be discussed at a roundtable for Canadian civil society and the government hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The session will be held on February 16, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the Lester B. Pearson Building, 125 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. Registration is required. RSVP by February 9 to Chrystal Waddington at chrystal.waddington@international.gc.ca  or (613) 995-8649.

  2. Spotlight on Colombia: The Americas Policy Group will be holding a spotlight on Colombia on parliament hill, February 27 at 12:00pm. Updates on the volatile human rights context and tactical reflections on Canada's role in the peace process and Canadian corporate activity in the conflict-affected country will be provided by speakers David Bruer (Inter Pares) and Robin Buyers (Christian Peacemakers Team). The Americas Policy Group Brief: Towards a human rights framework for Canadian Foreign Policy on Colombia www.ccic.ca/e/docs/003_apg_2006-11_canadian_policy_towards_colombia.pdf   will also be launched at the Spotlight event. For more information, contact Fiona Meyer Cook at fmeyercook@ccic.ca.

  3. Stop the Killings in the Philippines: Five prominent Philippine church leaders and human rights activists will be in Ottawa on March 7 to appeal for Canadian support for a campaign to stop the political killings in the Philippines. Meet the delegation, hear their personal testimony and analysis, and be part of Canada's response at a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 7 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm, at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 82 Kent St., Ottawa. For more information, contact Elaine Bruer at elaine.bruer@rogers.com .

Media File

  1. Canada's WTO Corn Challenge: Following Canada's recent lodging of a complaint against US corn Subsidies, CCIC's commentary "What's between our ears? Canada's corn challenge and the world's poor farmers" was distributed widely by the United States based Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. The commentary goes on to state that "Slashing rich country subsidies has been a high profile objective of the Doha Round to help poor farmers. But how valiant is Canada really being on the plight of poor farmers?" The commentary can be found at http://www.ccic.ca/e/004/commentaries.shtml .

Ethics in a Flash

  1. Private Sector Engagement: Do you see opportunities to achieve organizational ends by engaging the private sector, but do not want to undermine your organization's or the sector's integrity? CCIC's tool: Asking the C.Y.A. Questions: Due Diligence in our Engagements with the Private Sector www.ccic.ca/e/docs/002_ethics_final_due_diligence_new.pdf  helps organizations work through such questions and concerns. The tool is divided into three sections. One section presents key questions for organizations. A second section provides explanations and points to consider. The third provides resources and practical suggestions for researching individual companies or sectors. Questions about ethical practice in organizations can be sent to CCIC's Ethics Review Committee through Anne Buchanan at abuchanan@ccic.ca .

 

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