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Flash

April 13, 2007

Headlines

  1. Groundbreaking Report on Mining, Oil and Gas Companies: A groundbreaking civil society-industry report calling for tighter regulation of the Canadian mining, oil and gas sectors and their activities abroad is an important step forward, say civil society representatives. "There have been growing concerns about the environmental, social and human rights impact of Canadian extractive companies operating in the developing world. Now there is an effective framework to address these issues," says Gerry Barr, President and CEO of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. The report comes out of a ten month government-led roundtable process that included representatives from civil society organizations, industry, academia, labour, and socially responsible investors. For more information go to www.halifaxinitiative.org. To see the Canwest article and Globe and Mail commentary on the report go to www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=05cd5ae9-deb2-473b-91a8-e1ddea06cb47  and www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070329.wcomment0329/BNStory/.

  2. 10 Point Agenda Online Consultation: CCIC members are encouraged to participate in an online consultation to renew CCIC's 10 point agenda to end global poverty. CCIC members can provide comments by going to http://members.ccic.ca/. The 10 point agenda is a work in progress and individual points will be posted to the web site as they become available. The agenda lays out the sector's vision for a progressive foreign policy agenda for Canada, and is the major reference document for CCIC on the policy priorities of members. The policy recommendations (for CSOs and Government) will be revised in each of the ten areas ahead of the CCIC AGM based on member feedback, and will be brought to the CCIC AGM for consultation. The agenda will then be edited and finalized at the CCIC Board meeting in September. If you are a CCIC member and have not yet received your individual password to access the Members' only website or if you have any questions, contact Joanne Vézina (jvezina@ccic.ca).

  3. Canadian Aid Performance Declines in 2006: The OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) released preliminary statistics for ODA for 2006 and Canada is near the bottom, tied with Australia for 15th position among 22 donors. At 0.30% of our Gross National Income (GNI) in 2006, Canada is down from 0.34% in 2005. In both years, Canadian aid, along with other donors, has been affected by the inclusion of high debt cancellation for Iraq and several African countries. When debt cancellation is removed from Canadian ODA, performance drops to 0.28% in 2006, down from 0.30% in 2005. The DAC also reported that Canada was on track in its 2002 Monterrey commitment to increase Canadian aid by 8% per year up to 2010, but warned several countries that high debt cancellation in 2005 and 2006 will require significant new aid resources in 2007 to 2010, when no major debt cancellation is expected. The DAC reported that the average donor performance for 2006 was 0.46%. The Conservative Party in the 2006 election campaign promised to move Canadian aid towards this DAC average, but has largely failed to do so. For more information go to www.oecd.org/document/17/0,2340,en_2649_33721_38341265_1_1_1_1,00.html.

  4. DAC Donor Aid Declines in 2006 and Aid to Sub-Saharan Africa Off-Track: The OECD Development Assistance Committee reported that overall ODA for all donors declined from US$106.8 billion in 2005 to US$103.9 billion in 2006, with a corresponding decline in the overall donor performance ratio (total aid over total GNI for the 22 donor countries) from 0.33% in 2005 to 0.30% in 2006. Of the $103.9 billion, $19.2 billion was accounted for by debt cancellation, primarily for Iraq and Nigeria. When debt cancellation is removed, aid increased only slightly (3.7%) from $81.8 billion in 2005 to $84.8 billion in 2006, while aid performance remained at 0.25% for both years. The United Kingdom reported a large ($1.8 billion) increase in its aid, even when debt cancellation is removed, and is well on its way to achieving the UN goal of 0.7%. Five European countries exceed the UN target in 2006, but among other donors, only 5 registered an improved ODA to GNI ratio. The DAC warned that many countries will not meet their committed aid targets, if their aid does not increase substantially in the coming years. The DAC also reported that aid to Sub-Saharan Africa increased by only 2% in 2006, when debt cancellation is removed. This increase is far off the commitment by donors, including Canada, at the time of the Gleneagles G8 Summit, to double aid to Sub-Saharan Africa by 2010. New aid is also being directed to donor foreign policy interests. Of the US aid total of $22.7 billion, $6.4 billion or 28% was disbursed for Afghanistan and Iraq in 2006. For further information is available at www.oecd.org/dataoecd/56/51/38348577.htm.

Upcoming Events

  1. Conference on Trade and Human Rights: CCIC and Rights & Democracy are co-hosting an international conference on trade, human rights and development on May 28-29 in Ottawa (following the CCIC AGM). Entitled "Reconciling Trade and Human Rights: The New Development Agenda", the conference is organized in collaboration with Amnesty International, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, North-South Institute, and Social Watch. The conference will be a unique opportunity to explore ways in which a human rights framework can inform new strategies for trade, development and poverty eradication. Speakers include Martin Khor, Director of Third World Network and Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law, Policy and Campaigns at Amnesty's International Secretariat. For an agenda and further information, contact Augie van Biljouw at avanbiljouw@dd-rd.ca.

  2. Conference on International Health: The Canadian Society for International Health and the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research will hold the 14th Canadian Conference on International Health November 4-7, 2007 in Ottawa. The theme is "Global Change and Health: Who are the Vulnerable?" The call for abstracts is posted at www.csih.org/en/ccih. Deadline for abstracts is May 30, 2007. More information is available at conference@csih.org.

  3. National Symposium on Charity Law: Jointly presented by the Canadian Bar Association and the Ontario Bar Association Charity and Not-for-Profit Law Sections, the National Symposium on Charity Law will bring together leading experts from across Canada to provide charities with the latest developments in this field. The symposium will be held on May 10 in Toronto. For information and a detailed agenda see www.oba.org/en/cle_pdf/07CHA0510J.pdf.

  4. Anti-Terrorism and Human Rights - An Evening with Warren Allmand: Anti-terrorism and human rights will be the theme Warren Allmand's address to the 2007 Inter Pares Annual General Meeting. Warren Allmand is a consultant in international human rights, and is a member of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, of which Inter Pares is a founding member. He was appointed President of Rights & Democracy (1997-2002) following a 31-year career as a Member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He will be speaking at 6:00 pm on Tuesday April 24 at 330 Gilmour Street in Ottawa. Simultaneous French and English interpretation will be provided. RSVPs are appreciated by calling (613) 563-4801 or toll-free (866) 563-4801.

  5. Quaker Initiative to End Torture (QUIT): QUIT will be hosting a conference (April 27 and 28) bringing together faith communities, activists, students and NGOs, to raise awareness about torture in Canada and abroad. The aim is to inspire Canada's faith and activist communities to work together to monitor complicity in torture and to uphold and affirm human rights and civil liberties' commitments. The conference will be held at Saint Paul University, 223 Main Street, Ottawa. The event is co-sponsored by Ottawa Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Canadian Friends Service Committee and Inter Pares. More information is available at http://quaker.ca/quit or by emailing quit.conference.canada@gmail.com. www.oecd.org/document/17/0,2340,en_2649_33721_38341265_1_1_1_1,00.html.

Media file

  1. Green Revolution, Whose Revolution?: The public forum "Green Revolution" (held March 26 in Ottawa) looking whether industrial agriculture and genetic engineering benefit Afreican farmers generated a Macleans magazine article "Why many Africans are rejecting Bill Gates's Green Revolution" www.macleans.ca/homepage/magazine/article.jsp?content=20070402_104044_104044.

 

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