Canada updates guidelines to support international human rights defenders

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's minister of foreign affairs, has announced the launch of 'Voices at Risk: Canada’s Guidelines on Supporting Human Rights Defenders'. Informed by civil society organizations, these guidelines offer practical advice for Canadian diplomats working both domestically and internationally on how to support human rights defenders when they seek help. 

The 2019 update includes specific guidance for human rights defenders that face discrimination in various contexts. This includes women, LGBTQ individuals, Indigenous peoples, land or environmental defenders, persons with disabilities, youth, defenders of religious or ideological freedom, and journalists, whether in online or digital contexts. The guidance has also been updated to reflect Canada’s feminist foreign policy, acknowledging that human rights defenders may experience multiple and simultaneous forms of discrimination, harassment, and/or marginalization. 

News release- Global Affairs Canada 


Canada to phase out Mali peacekeeping mission duties as Romania steps in

Canada is preparing to end its Mali peacekeeping mission. At the end of July, Canada will commence a gradual departure, scaling down operations until August 31, 2019, consistent with strategic advice provided by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

This phased approach will assist in the transition process between Canada and Romania as the main provider to Mali of helicopter-based Air Task Force support. Canada will continue providing support to Mali through its development, stabilization, and humanitarian programming.

In July 2018, Canada and 56 other UN Member States launched the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. The mission has involved providing medical evacuation by air of injured personnel, supplying transport, and assisting with logistics.

News release- Global Affairs Canada


Canada funds research on innovative veterinary solutions for antimicrobial resistance

Canada's International Development Research Centre and the UK's Department of Health and Social Care have announced US$16 million to fund eleven new research projects that fall under the Innovative Veterinary Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance initiative. Antimicrobial resistance in animals threatens treatment of bacterial infections in humans and animals alike.

Livestock and aquaculture farmers in low and middle-income countries are increasingly being impacted by infectious disease outbreaks; the loss in livestock productivity threatens food security and hinders trade. The contamination of animal products with antimicrobial-resistant bacteria also poses a risk for humans, animals, and the environment.

This initiative is supported by the UN's political declaration on antimicrobial resistance, the Global Health Security Agenda and Action Plan, the World Health Assembly, and the World Organization for Animal Health's Global Action Plans. 

News release- International Development Research Centre 

Canada Global health R&D

Canada releases statement on ongoing violence in Sudan

Global Affairs Canada has released a statement on the actions by the Sudanese Transitional Military Council and Rapid Support Forces who, on June 3, 2019, violently attacked protesters in front of the Sudanese Armed Forces headquarters. Sudanese protesters were calling for change following decades of oppression from their government. 

In their statement, the Canadian government described being "appalled" by the continued use of violence, including sexual violence, to intimidate the civilian population. Canada views these actions as a blatant attack on the rights of the Sudanese people. 

Furthermore, Canada has stated that it supports the African Union’s immediate suspension of Sudan from all African Union activities and is prepared to do whatever it can to support the process of achieving a democratically elected government in Sudan.

Press release- Global Affairs Canada 


G20 finance and health ministers to collaborate to promote UHC

With the goal of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in all countries and establishing a sustainable health finance system, the government of Japan will host a group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Health Ministers' Joint Meeting as an official side event to the G20 Osaka Summit, to held on June 28-29, 2019.

Press release - Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (in Japanese)

News article - Japan Times

Canada funds sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response in humanitarian crises

Canada's Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef,  along with Kamal Khera, Canada's Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, announced over US$14 million in funding to partners working to meet the needs of women and girls affected by humanitarian crises. The announcement was made during the conference on Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Crises in Oslo, Norway. 

Canada is the leader of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies. This global multi-stakeholder initiative, launched in 2013, aims to transform the way gender-based violence is addressed in humanitarian emergencies. 

News release- Global Affairs Canada 


2019 U20 Tokyo communique focuses on climate action, social inclusion, and sustainable growth

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government hosted the Urban 20 (U20) Tokyo Meyers Summit. The communique from the summit focuses on three policy areas:

  1. Climate Action
  2. Social Inclusion and Integration
  3. Sustainable Economic Growth

The U20 group meets in the sidelines of the group of 20 (G20) events to discuss common problems and solutions relating to cities and the goal of achieving a sustainable and inclusive world. U20 participating cities are: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Durban, Hamburg, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Montreal, New York City, Osaka City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, São Paulo City, Seoul, Sydney, Tokyo, Tshwane.

Communiqué - 2019 Urban 20 Tokyo Mayors Summit

Website - U20 The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (in Japanese)  

Canada announces new initiatives in response to the Rohingya crisis

Canada's Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef, and Canada's Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development, Kamal Khera,  announced US$77 million in humanitarian and development initiatives to the most vulnerable people affected by the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. 

As a part of this commitment, US$25 million will mitigate the impact of the monsoon and cyclone seasons, improve living conditions in refugee camps, support sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response initiatives, and increase access to health facilities and sexual and reproductive health services. US$52 million will go toward expanding health and basic education services, addressing gender-based violence, and providing skills training and resources to increase women’s opportunities for income generation.

These initiatives fall are a part of Canada's CAD300-million commitment and strategy to respond to the crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

News release- Global Affairs Canada


T20 advocates to focus on Agenda 2030 at Tokyo Summit, among other areas

The Think 20 (T20) published its policy briefs to advocate on the agenda of the Group of 20 (G20) Osaka Summit and will hold a T20 Summit 2019, from May 26 to 27, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan.

The policy briefs focus on ten policy areas:

  1. Task Force 1: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  2. Task Force 2: International financial architecture for stability and development, crypto-assets and fintech
  3. Task Force 3: Climate change and the environment
  4. Task Force 4: Economic effects of infrastructure investment and its financing
  5. Task Force 5: Cooperation with Africa
  6. Task Force 6: Social cohesion, global governance, and the future of politics
  7. Task Force 7: The future of work and education for the digital age
  8. Task Force 8: Trade, investment, and globalization
  9. Task Force 9: Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and the impact of development of financial technology
  10. Task Force 10: Aging population and its impact on the economy and immigration policy

Policy Briefs - T20 JAPAN 2019

Official website - T20 JAPAN 2019

Canada's foreign minister issues statement on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement condemning all forms of intolerance against LGBTQ2 individuals and communities worldwide on International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. Freeland stated that Canada stands with everyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit [LGBTQ2] or intersex and rejects any claims that such laws and practices can be justified.

Canada has played a leading role in global LGBTQ2 and intersex advocacy efforts over the past two years as co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition along with Chile; the United Kingdom and Argentina are the incoming co-chairs. Canada believes too many countries continue to introduce or retain laws and policies that actively discriminate against LGBTQ2 individuals. 

News release- Global Affairs Canada