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Flash

April 27, 2007

Headlines

  1. Parliamentary Committee on Access to Medicines Law: The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology finished three days of hearings to review Canada's Access to Medicine Regime. Oxfam Canada, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, MSF Canada and ICAD were among the Canadian NGOs appearing before the Committee. Representatives from industry and from Government departments including Industry Canada, Health Canada, CIDA and DFAIT were also called to testify. The CSO representatives, all members of the Global Treatment Access Group (GTAG), are calling for simplification and streamlining of Canada's legislation. Originally passed in May 2004 as the Jean Chrétien Pledge to Africa, the Regime was intended to allow generic drug companies in Canada to produce and export lower-cost versions of brand-name drugs to developing countries. To date, not a single pill has left Canada. The full text of the Legal Network's brief, entitled "Getting the Regime Right: Compulsory Licensing of Pharmaceuticals for Export," is available at www.aidslaw.ca/publications/publicationsdocEN.php?ref=705.

  2. Peer Review for CIDA: NGOs met last week with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review Team in Ottawa to review Canada's ODA policies and programs. The DAC regularly reviews the performance of donor states against policies agreed to in the DAC as well as nationally and internationally established objectives. CIDA's last review in 2002 raised critical questions about CIDA's responsive programming mechanisms. The review suggested that CIDA's emphasis on ownership (in its Strengthening Aid Effectiveness document) was in tension with the "traditional approach of Canadian civil society being a driving force of programming". How to support civil society through aid remains an issue today. Canada is spearheading an effort at the OECD DAC to review donors' approach to aid spending (as set out in the "Paris Declaration") with the objective of considering the value added role of citizen's movements and civil society groups.

  3. Human Rights in Colombia Conference: The Second International Conference on Human Rights in Colombia was held in the European Parliament last week. NGOs (including CCIC's Americas Policy Group represented by Fiona Meyer Cook), members of parliament, representatives of the European Union, the Organization of American States, and the United Nations, participated. María Francisca Ize-Charrin, from the UN High Commission for Human Rights, gave an update on the demobilization process in Colombia, yet warned that summary executions continue. Janek Kuczkiewicz, of the International Confederation of Trade Unions, released a report linking Colombia's Administrative Department of Security with the paramilitary, and called on the international community to push for an investigation into the more than 2000 assassinations of union leaders, between 1991 and 2006. And Swedish MP, Jens Holms, called for a freeze to trade negotiations with Colombia until the links between the paramilitaries and government are clarified. For more information contact fmeyercook@ccic.ca.

  4. Better Aid Bill: Senator Romeo Dallaire spoke in support of Bill C-293 at second reading in the Senate on April 18. The Senator acknowledged the cross-party support for the Bill and the nearly two decades of policy dialogue on the substance put forward in the Bill from both within government and from civil society organizations. The text of the speech is available at: www.parl.gc.ca/39/1/parlbus/chambus/senate/deb-e/086db_2007-04-18-E.htm?Language=E&Parl=39&Ses=1#46

  5. 10 Point Agenda Online Consultation: The final two points (More and Better Aid and Global Economic Justice) of CCIC's 10 point agenda to end global poverty and injustice are now available for consultation on the CCIC's Members Space (http://members.ccic.ca/). 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. 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).

Upcoming Events

  1. Conference on Trade and Human Rights - Register Now: An updated agenda is now available for the CCIC and Rights & Democracy international conference on trade, human rights and development . The conference, "Reconciling Trade and Human Rights: The New Development Agenda" will be held on May 28-29 in Ottawa. The deadline for registration is May 18. To register and to see a copy of the draft agenda go to www.ccic.ca/e/002/trade_reconciling_human_rights_and_trade.shtml.

  2. Empowerment Workshop: CCIC members are invited to participate in a "Workshop on Empowerment: Obstacles, Flaws and Achievements" to be held Friday, May 4, by the Ethics of Empowerment Project at Carleton University in Ottawa. Participants will reflect on NGO/CSO experience in attempting to promote empowerment within their development work. Speakers include: Robert Fox (Oxfam Canada), Methodius Kusmahadi (US-SATUNAMA, Indonesia), Naila Kabeer (IDS Sussex), Shirin Rai (Warwick), Patti Petesch (World Bank), David Crocker (Maryland), Jan Newberry (Lethbridge). For more information contact Jay_Drydyk@carleton.ca.

  3. Global Forum on Community Access to Justice by Women and Children: CUSO is holding a two day event with participants from Ghana, Peru and Vanuatu. The "Global Forum on Community Access to Justice by Women and Children" will take place May 9 and 10 at the University of Ottawa in the Chapel Room of Tabaret Hall. Speakers include: The Honourable Huguette St-Louis, Former Chief Justice, Court of Quebec, Dr. Francisco Artemio Távara Córdova, President of the Supreme Court of Peru, and a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. For more information and to register, visit www.cuso.org/events/2007-04-10_journeyToJustice_e.php.

  4. Save the Date - APWG Forum, June 21-22: The Asia-Pacific Working Group will be holding its semi-annual forum on human rights, impunity and complicity in the Asia-Pacific region on June 21 and 22. The forum will be held at Strathmere, near Ottawa. Registration packages will be available shortly. For more information contact Sara Kemp at skemp@ccic.ca or (613) 241-7007 ext. 316.

Ethics in a Flash

  1. CSO/Private Sector Relationships: The powerpoint presentation of Brenda Plant's (co-founder and co-director of ethiquette.ca) workshop with the CCIC Ethics Review Committee and CCIC members on Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and private sector relationships is now available in the "Resource" section of CCIC's members only web site (http://members.ccic.ca/). The powerpoint provides an overview of the kinds of questions organizations need to consider when looking at private sector partnerships; the issues to consider as policies and procedures are developed; and the kind of resources that currently exist for CSOs when exploring relationships with private sector companies. If CSO/private sector relationships is an area of interest for your organization, contact Anne Buchanan at abuchanan@ccic.ca.

 

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