On May 18, 2016, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, launched a public review and consultation of Canada’s international assistance policy and funding framework. The International Assistance Review (IAR) will inform how Canada can best refocus its international assistance on the poorest and most vulnerable people and support fragile states. It will also shape Canada’s approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As part of the IAR the Minister is placing a special emphasis on the rights of women and girls, and plans to apply a feminist approach to Canada’s international assistance activities going forward. The IAR is based on six thematic pillars:
● Health and rights of women and children;
● Clean economic growth and climate change;
● Governance, pluralism, diversity and human rights;
● Peace and security;
● Responding to humanitarian crises and the needs of displaced populations; and
● Delivering results, with a focus on improving effectiveness and transparency, innovation and partnerships.
OCIC welcomes the IAR. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, and the Paris Agreement on climate change point to the need for urgent action by Canada and others to address global sustainable development challenges. The IAR presents a timely opportunity for Canada to re-examine its role in the world and how it can best contribute to sustainable development at home and abroad though a collaborative approach that engages all Canadians. The IAR also offers Canada an opportunity to set out a clear action plan that outlines immediate steps and longer term priorities to address urgent global sustainable development challenges.
As part of our June 2016 AGM & Symposium, OCIC hosted a consultation in Toronto to solicit views from OCIC members on the IAR. The consultation was attended by over 110 representatives from civil society, academia, research centres, diaspora groups and Global Affairs Canada. The consultation was designed to solicit feedback from participants through roundtable discussions addressing federal government and OCIC consultation priorities. Participants had an opportunity to provide feedback on the six pillars of the IAR through two roundtable discussion sessions. In addition, roundtable sessions were also dedicated to OCIC priority areas, namely how OCIC members can better engage diaspora groups as well as municipalities, colleges and universities in international cooperation, particularly to realize collective impact towards the SDGs.
The OCIC submission informs the submission by the Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils (ICN),4 of which OCIC is a member. The ICN submission was reviewed by Councils and their members across Canada through an online survey carried out from July 13-20, 2016. Feedback from OCIC members as part of the ICN review process informs this submission. In addition, the OCIC submission was shared with OCIC members for verification and final feedback.
The OCIC submission provides an overview of the key messages arising from the consultation. It sets out ten key recommendations arising from across the roundtable discussions. The remainder of the submission is structured around each of the six pillars in the IAR, followed by a specific focus on the roles of diaspora groups, colleges and universities, in international cooperation. It includes a series of specific recommendations that respond to the questions outlined by the IAR discussion paper.
International Assistance Review Submissions
The Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils (ICN)
British Colombia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC)
Association québécois des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)
We are pleased to include OCIC member submissions on our website. Please send them to email@example.com.