Canada’s efforts to enhance democracy, governance and human rights around the world have diminished, allowing foreign actors to threaten our security and prosperity, senior Foreign Affairs officials have told government insiders.
The bureaucrats are urging the government to play a more expansive role on the international human-rights stage by creating a new Canadian democracy agenda and actively campaigning for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council that will become available in 2020, The Globe and Mail reports:
In documents marked “secret” and “confidential” that were prepared for a deputy-minister-level meeting on Sept. 9, the Foreign Affairs officials say “Canada’s overall engagement on democracy, governance and human rights has declined significantly in recent years” and “our influence has eroded as our direct engagement has waned, compromising our ability to effect positive change …” The bureaucrats point out that the money provided by Canada for international democracy, governance and human rights fell 28 per cent between 2008-09 and 2013-14.
“Downward global democratic trends,” they say, “threaten Canadian and international security and prosperity” and the multilateral system, which Canada helped to establish with the founding of the UN, is straining to control egregious actions by groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram. RTWT
This latest internal memo says funding for issues of governance, economic sustainability and gender equality has fallen off, and that has had consequences, The Toronto Sun adds.
“This has eroded Canada’s reputation as a leader on these issues and limited the impact and sustainability of our development co-operation overall,” it says.
The memo recommends that the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development take a more active role in promoting climate change engagement by targeting programs at climate finance, clean technology and “climate-smart agriculture.”
“While the ultimate responsibility for multilateral engagement on climate change rests with Environment Canada, DFATD could encourage the new government to earmark resources for this purpose,” the memo says.