FAAE Committee News Release
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Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
HOUSE OF COMMONS
CHAMBRE DES COMMUNES
Comité permanent des affaires étrangères et du développement international
For immediate release
FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CALLS FOR MAJOR ADVANCE IN CANADA'S SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONALLY
Ottawa, July 11, 2007 -
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development today tabled it’s Eighth Report, entitled, “Advancing Canada’s Role in International Support for Democratic Development”, the first comprehensive Canadian parliamentary investigation of this challenging subject ever undertaken. The full text of the Report is available online at: /content/committee/391/faae/reports/rp3066139/391_FAAE_Rpt08_PDF/391_FAAE_Rpt08-e.pdf
Kevin Sorenson, MP (Crowfoot), Chair of the Committee says, “Of the Report’s 28 recommendations across nine chapters, several in particular are of major import for future Canadian action in what is acknowledged to be a contested and politically sensitive field. The Report takes account work being done through CIDA. It argues that new policy direction and new instruments are needed to substantially raise the level of Canadian support for international democratic development goals.”
“Most importantly, in Recommendation 12 of Chapter 7, the Committee calls for the establishment of a new arms-length ‘Canada foundation for international development or equivalent’, as well as the creation of a ‘centre for policy in democratic development’. Underlining the lack of knowledge about effectiveness that persists in this area, the Report also calls on the Government to commission an independent evaluation of all public funding of international democratic development. Political party development work is proposed as an initiative of the Parliament of Canada involving the setting up a ‘centre for multi-party and parliamentary democracy’.”
Other recommendations include expanded support for efforts at developing civil society, education, and free and independent media. Canadian action at the multilateral and United Nations level and in the ‘most difficult country’ and regional contexts are addressed, including Haiti, the subject of a December 2006 Committee report, and Afghanistan, the subject of ongoing Committee study.
The Committee calls for a Government response to the Report and requests an outline of a “whole-of-government” and “whole-of-Canada” policy framework on Canadian support for international democratic development.
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