|Canadian National Report: Implementation of the Action Plan of the Quebec City Summit of the Americas in the Period June 2003 to September 2003
Please note that all financial figures are given in Canadian Dollars.
This report highlights activities in the June to September period, and updates the June 2003 Canadian National Report available at: www.summit americas.org/Quebec Follow%20Up/national%20reps summ eng.htm
MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK BETTER
Electoral Process and Procedures. In August 2003, Canada participated in a working session in Costa Rica that supported work being undertaken by the Institute for Democratic Electoral Assistance on a comparative analysis of electoral systems in North America. In addition, in September 2003, Canada co-hosted a conference in Ottawa, whose objectives were to review the political party and campaign party financing regime in Canada, as part of overall efforts by the OAS to complete a comparative analysis of financing regimes for political parties in all OAS member states.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS
Strengthening Human Rights Systems. The Colombian Office of the Ombudsman received $100,000 from Canada to help reduce the incidence of displacement among indigenous people in five Colombian provinces as well as to increase awareness of human rights and international humanitarian law within indigenous communities. Canada will provide up to $1.7 million over three years to help to generate more understanding and respect for human rights amongst stakeholders within Colombia. Canada has committed $5 million to provide institutional support for Peru’s Ombudsman office as it implements its five-year plan to defend and promote human rights. Canada also provided the Mexican Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with $50,000 to carry out regional seminars with local human rights activists and civil society organizations to elaborate a Diagnosis on the Human Rights Situation in Mexico. This will serve as a basis for the design and adoption of a National Program on Human Rights. In the summer of 2003, Canada provided $35,000 to support the advocacy and educational work of human rights advocates in rural Venezuela.
With Canada’s $42,000 contribution, in the summer of 2003, twelve Latin American participants attended the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre course titled:“The Humanitarian Challenge: Refugees and Displaced Populations
JUSTICE, RULE OF LAW AND SECURITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL
Access to Justice.
Canada is supporting the Colombian National School of Community Justice with $1.4 million to improve access to justice by enhancing the capacity of civil society organizations to promote and use community justice mechanisms to solve conflicts at the local level.
Independence of the Judiciary.
Canada provided $7,400 to the Legal Aid Office of the Archbishop of San Salvador, which represents the Salvadoran Coalition for the International Criminal Court (SCICC), to organize the Second Annual Central American Workshop for the International Criminal Court (ICC). At this meeting, representatives of civil society from the countries of Central America, discussed strategies to affect the ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The workshop further served as an advocacy tool to promote transparency and the rule of law in Central America. Further support to the rule of law was provided by Canada to the Venezuelan Comite de Familiares Victimas de los Succesos e Febrero y Marzo de 1989
(COFAVIC) to encourage communities to adopt the principles and obligations of democratic values and the respect for human rights, and to sensitize key sectors of the society about the protection and promotion of human rights.
Combatting the Drug Problem.
The International Observer Attachment Program, running from September 29 to October 10, 2003, will bring 15 foreign drug investigators from Latin America and the Caribbean to Halifax, Canada for two weeks. The first week of the program is a workshop
, where various drug related topics are presented. During the second week, candidates observe the operation of drug investigators in various locations across Canada. Canada committed $40,000 to this program.
Transnational Organized Crime. Canada provided training in proceeds of crime to six Caribbean investigators, in three Canadian cities, as a contribution to the Caribbean Anti-Money Laundering Program (CALP). It is anticipated that 12 more officials will receive training over a two-year period. The first group of six officials, comprising two investigators each from Jamaica, the Bahamas and Trinidad took training in June 2003. Participants were attached for two weeks to RCMP Integrated Proceeds of Crime Units.
Prevention of Violence. Canada contributed $15,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross in support of a Meeting of National Commissions on International Humanitarian Law of the Americas held in Guatemala from August 27-29, 2003.
The conference enabled participants to examine current issues related to the national implementation of international humanitarian law and discuss how further to promote international humanitarian law in their respective countries.
Strengthening Mutual Confidence.
The Government of Canada provided the OAS with $75,000 to promote the establishment of a hemispheric level instrument setting out some basic common principles regarding the transfer of small arms and light weapons, in accordance with states' existing responsibilities under international law.
Canada supported the work of the OAS by contributing $50,000 to create an Office of the General Secretariat in the Adjacency Zone between Belize and Guatemala. The Office's principal function will be to monitor both parties’ compliance to a series of confidence-building measures designed to lower tensions and manage the situation in the Adjacency Zone, particularly in regard to settlers in the Zone
Strengthening Participation in Hemispheric and National Processes.
The Government of Canada gave $50,000 to provide an opportunity for government and civil society representatives in Central America to exchange views on the redefinition of the Democratic Security Framework Agreement of Central America (TMSDCA). The meeting was held in Guatemala in July 2003.
Canada is contributing $370,000 to Corporacion Participa
to coordinate a network of civil society organizations from 21 countries in the Americas to monitor progress on the Quebec City Summit of the Americas Plan of Action related to strengthening democracy. Canada will also provide up to $5 million to the Building Community Capacity Project II in Guyana to strengthen the capacity of civil society to participate more effectively in the development of the country.
TRADE, INVESTMENT AND FINANCIAL STABILITY
Trade and Investment.
Canada assisted Costa Rica, El Salvador
, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua in implementing the eight customs-related business facilitation measures identified in the context of FTAA implementation. This assistance included a workshop held in each country, complemented by two follow-up missions held within 12 months of the workshop. The workshop goals include training senior officials from Customs agencies in the World Customs Organization’s self diagnosis process, and in using the results of the self-assessment process to establish a technical assistance plan for a number of the administration’s key functions.
Canada has committed $24 million over four years to assist smaller economies of the Americas with trade-related technical assistance and capacity building associated with ongoing FTAA negotiations and trade agreement implementation.
Corporate Social Responsibility.
Canada is contributing $500,000 to the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development to help promote corporate social responsibility by helping to develop local capacity of CSR service providers
, apply CST among pilot groups of small and medium sized enterprises, and strengthen a regional network to sustain and disseminate the results of the project.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT
Connectivity - Institute for Connectivity in the Americas. (ICA).
Through Canada’s contribution of $20 million to the ICA, the Institute continues to ramp up ICT (information and communication technology) initiatives for development in Latin America and the Caribbean
, always focussed on the goal of “Connecting People, Connecting Ideas, Connecting the Americas.”
ICA has announced the launch of the Observatory for Connectivity in the Americas (OSILA). The main goals of the observatory are to increase and improve the amount and quantity of the ICT data collected within the region; and to form a network of ICT experts to produce statistical and analytical reports, courses, etc.
Projects supported by the ICA include a wireless fidelity (WiFi) pilot in Brazil
, where a high speed academic network will be shared through wireless links to nearby favelas. In the Caribbean, ICA is funding a workshop to develop Caribbean ICT practioners’ project ideas. In addition, a competitive grants program is being supported in order to allow regional project proposals to support the use of ICT for development. ICA sponsored the Second Latin American Regional Network Access Point Meeting in Argentina in August 2003, and the three part “E-Gov Best Practices Forum” which highlighted the experiences of Chile, Canada and Brazil in the area of E-Government.
ICA is hosted at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa, Canada. More information on ICA’s activities can be found at www. ICAmericas.net
Canada has committed $3 million in funding from 2003-2006 in support of the Pan-American Health Organizations’s work on disaster mitigation, preparedness
, and response. The contribution will be targeted at improving the responses of the health sector and providing primary medical care, as well as ensuring the availability of water supplies following a disaster.
ENVIRONMENTAL FOUNDATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Environment and Natural Resources Management. The Health and Environment Ministers of the Americas (HEMA) Task Force has been meeting regularly to complete its work. The first and second meetings of the HEMA Task Force were held in Spring and Summer 2003. The next HEMA Task Force meeting is scheduled to occur November 4 and 5, 2003 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Upon completion of its work, the Task Force is expected to present a report with recommendations to Ministers of Health and the Environment of the Americas.
Canada is also working towards supporting initiatives on pollution prevention and cleaner production efforts in the Americas. These will be consistent with the Hemispheric Round Table for Cleaner Production and the Plans of Action and the Global Cleaner Production Information Network (P2WIN) launched at the 2000 Montreal International Pollution Prevention Summit.
Canada committed $1.2 million to support national efforts in Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay to improve policies and practices related to the safe management and usage of pesticides.
AGRICULTURE MANAGEMENT AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Canada is contributing to rural development in Nicaragua by providing $6.7 million for technical assistance, training and microcredits to thousands of small farmers in the poor northern region. Canada is contributing $1.2 million to help build the capacity of Haitian farmers to increase their incomes by diversifying and intensifying agricultural production and conservation.
On December 17, 2002, Canada ratified the Kyoto Protocol thereby becoming the only country in the Americas committing itself to meeting binding emissions reduction targets within the first Kyoto commitment period (2008-2012). Canada is working with key stakeholders throughout the country to implement our national plan for climate change. Canada has spent $1.6 billion on climate change since 1998. The 2003 federal budget committed an additional $2 billion over 5 years, which will be implemented through initiatives such as an additional $250 million to Sustainable Development Technology Canada (STDC); an additional $50 million to the Canada Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science (CFCAS); and $1 billion to support technology innovation, cost effective emission reduction measures and other foundation building initiatives.
Canada is providing $6 million to the Foster Parents Plan to help improve the quality of primary education in Ecuador by ensuring culturally appropriate curricula, training and equipment for teachers, and community involvement in children’s education.
Health and Health Sector Reform. Canada is providing $6.7 million to help improve access to quality integrated health, water and sanitation services in El Salvador in coordination with national and local government offices.
Canada is providing $1.7 million to support the Foster Parents Plan in its HIV/AIDS prevention work in Honduras.
The General Counsel for the Federal Treaty Negotiation Office in Vancouver, B.C., participated in a seminar titled: “Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples: International Tendencies and Local Reality,” which took place in Chile from July 20-22, 2003. He spoke on recent trends in Canadian jurisprudence regarding efforts by the state to promote development and accommodate indigenous rights. He also met Chilean officials to share information in the context of our ongoing bilateral cooperation on indigenous issues.
Canada is helping to increase access to education for thousands of indigenous children in the poorest regions of Guatemala through a $6.7 million local development fund.
In Mexico City on September 4-5, 2003, Canada participated in the First Inter-American Committee on Culture (CIC) Meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS), where Canada was elected First Vice-Chair of the CIC. In this capacity
, Canada will continue to take a leadership role in advancing cultural policies and cultural diversity at the OAS and within the Summit of the Americas process. The Canadian government provided resources towards the creation of the CIC and a feasibility study on the possible establishment of an OAS Inter-American Cultural Observatory. It will now support the efforts of the CIC in deepening dialogue on cultural diversity generally, and more specifically on culture and development and the use of information and communication technologies to advance culture issues (such as the preservation of cultural heritage, increased dialogue on cultural policies, and civil society participation.)
Canada has also been instrumental in following up on commitments linked to sport policy in the Americas. Canada has been participating in an informal network of Ministers of Sport
, entitled the Sport Council of the Americas (CADE). Most recently, the Government of Canada participated in an informal meeting of the CADE in Santo Domingo on the margins of the Pan American Games. As an active representative of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee, Canada is also eager to raise awareness in the Americas of the role of the WADA and the importance of combating the use of performance enhancing substances and procedures. Canada is pursuing an international instrument or convention on anti-doping in Sport at UNESCO. Canada is encouraging greater cooperation between the CADE and other organizations that are dealing with sport policy in the Americas in order to ensure effective hemispheric cooperation on this issue.