Statement: National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 30 Sep 2022

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As part of shared efforts to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, Cooperation Canada acknowledges the historic and ongoing violence committed against Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island in the name of ‘development’ and the abuse and trauma inflicted by colonization, including through residential schools, on children, their families, and communities. As a national association of international development and humanitarian organizations in Canada, we recognize the importance of engagement and action on truth and reconciliation in Canada, and the ongoing and pressing need to address racism and decolonize our narratives and practices in international cooperation.

On September 30, Cooperation Canada will observe the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by closing our offices and encouraging our team to reflect on the painful legacy and impacts of residential schools, and our role in truth and reconciliation. As early and recent settlers on this land, at Cooperation Canada we are unpacking our individual responsibilities and collective duty to speak up and not look away from colonial oppression at home or abroad, and to stand up and not back down in our efforts to promote equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and justice. Our staff are encouraged to observe Orange Shirt Day on September 30 in consideration for the survivors and intergenerational survivors of the residential school system and commemoration of those who did not return home.

Cooperation Canada recognizes that we can and must do better to address colonial legacies in international cooperation, learning from Indigenous peoples in Canada and across the world.

We encourage all members of the international cooperation community to take part in related events that are planned across the country and consult some of the publicly available resources.

 

All Eyes on Canada to #FightForWhatCounts

All Eyes on Canada to #FightForWhatCounts

*Guest article by Leigh Raithby, Results Canada

 

More than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts on communities are still emerging, as the world copes with the loss of millions of lives and livelihoods.

While the world rethinks what victory over the virus looks like, what remains clear is the need for a collective roadmap for equitable recovery and to prepare for the next pandemic. Fortunately, there are existing mechanisms that are well-equipped to support the world in building this – entities that have the knowledge, expertise, and global networks necessary to respond to the pandemic, recover from its effects, and prepare for future threats. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is one such mechanism that has two decades of experience in combatting the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, and, more recently, contributed significantly to the global COVID-19 response. The result: 50 million lives have been saved.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, the world was unprepared, but existing tools and infrastructure for other diseases like tuberculosis (TB), helped jump-start a global response. However, with diversion of resources away from longstanding infectious diseases to address COVID-19, the world witnessed are resurgence of HIV, TB and malaria. The number of TB deaths globally increased for the first time since 2005 – with a staggering 1.5 million deaths in 2020. There were 69,000 more deaths from malaria in 2020, compared to 2019.  In response, the Global Fund doubled down efforts to help countries respond to the new virus, mitigate its impact on lifesaving HIV, TB and malaria services, and make urgent improvements to health systems. Through these efforts, Global Fund-supported programs have begun to slowly recover from the setbacks caused by COVID-19.

Now more than ever, it is critical that the Global Fund receives the support necessary to continue this important work and get the world back on track to ending the epidemics. Earlier this year, the Global Fund released its investment case for its Seventh Replenishment, calling on donors to help reach the USD$18 billion – the minimum needed to save an estimated 20 million more lives. Due to increased need amid the pandemic, this is about 30% higher than the $14 billion raised at the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment in October 2019.

Since this call for funding, civil society organizations in Canada have rallied alongside other organizations from around the world to ensure that donor countries meet the required figure. Among our G7 allies, we have seen the United States, Germany, and Japan announce their support for the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment by committing to increase their pledges by 30% from the previous funding cycle. Advocates in Canada are now looking to our government to follow suit.

A coalition of 14 civil society organizations across Canada, including Results Canada, have been at the forefront of this campaign, joining forces to ensure that Canada steps up as leader at this critical moment. Over the past several months, the coalition has engaged in various advocacy activities to make our ask of Canada loud and clear – CAD$1.2 billion to the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment, not a penny less. Canadian partners kicked off the campaign with a Week of Action back in May, where participants from across the country met with 40 parliamentarians to gain their support for Canada’s investment in the Global Fund. The coalition then took to the streets at Toronto Pride Parade and, more recently, at Ottawa Pride to show our collective support of the Global Fund, emphasizing the partnership’s efforts to protect the LGBTQ+ community. In July, coalition members attended the International AIDS Conference in Montreal, where we continued to advocate for a fully funded Global Fund. The efforts of this coalition have secured parliamentary support from 50 Members of Parliament and Senators from across all political parties, who see that the Global Fund is critical to ensuring health equity for all.

After months of advocacy, the coalition of Canadian civil society organizations, alongside citizen advocates from across the country and affected communities around the world, are looking to Canada to step up with CAD$1.2 billion at the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in New York City next week. There is no option but to invest strongly in the Global Fund, as millions of lives depend on it. Your move, Canada.

Leigh Raithby

Leigh Raithby

Policy and Advocacy Officer, Results Canada

Partnering for the International Cooperation Futures Festival

Partnering for the International Cooperation Futures Festival

On October 17-20, 2022, Cooperation Canada will host the International Cooperation Futures Festival at the Shaw Centre, located on the unceded and unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation, colonially known as Ottawa, Canada. The festival’s ambition is to inject new ideas and energy into Canada’s international cooperation ecosystem by re-connecting us while also providing opportunities to learn from and connect with Canadian and global change-makers. Focused on international cooperation futures, the conference will examine the state of the world and the disruptors and trends significantly impacting our shared future.

Cooperation Canada has a long history of partnering with members and beyond to deliver thought-provoking events. We are excited to announce that several key partners from the international cooperation sector have joined us to make the festival a huge success. We warmly thank the following organizations…

 

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Decriminalizing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan

Decriminalizing humanitarian aid in Afghanistan

Following the retreat of NATO forces and the subsequent Taliban takeover of Afghanistan one year ago, living conditions have deteriorated for people in Afghanistan. In part, the current humanitarian crisis stems from long-standing issues: natural disasters, climate change, conflict, and bad governance. Taliban rule is clearly having a profound impact, with catastrophic consequences for women and children, many of whom continue to courageously defy authority and fight for their rights. On top of this, and in the context of a global hunger crisis, international sanctions placed on Afghanistan are playing a role in pushing many Afghan families to the brink of starvation. Afghanistan is on the verge of a catastrophic famine and millions of lives are at stake.  

International sanctions should not criminalize humanitarian assistance. In line with international consensus that individuals and entities associated with the Taliban are a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, Canada’s anti-terror legislation prevents any payment to the Taliban for operations or taxation. This is because this is perceived as support to a terrorist organization. The problem is that barring such transactions, which are necessary to provide humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, means that many Canadian organizations have been forced to delay or abandon life-saving humanitarian aid delivery in Afghanistan, as they fear prosecution by the Canadian government. 

Canada is maintaining harmful sanctions despite more than 24 million people in Afghanistan requiring immediate humanitarian assistance. Soon after the Taliban takeover, the international community recognized that sanctions were badly hurting Afghan families. As such, the United Nations passed a resolution that called for UN member states to adjust their domestic regulations to make humanitarian exceptions to sanctions against the Taliban (Resolution 2615). Many of Canada’s allies – including Australia, the EU, the UK, and the US – followed suit, adopting exemption measures that enables humanitarian agencies to continue their operations in Afghanistan without the real risk of criminal prosecution. Canada has not. 

After investing almost four billion dollars in Afghanistan in humanitarian assistance between 2001 and 2021, Canada’s inaction in removing legislative barriers threatens to reverse the gains achieved during this time. Impeding the ability for Canadian humanitarian agencies to provide critical services is not in Canada’s best interest. Worst, it signals a lack of political will and tunnel vision in international leadership.  

A coalition of humanitarian organizations is calling on Canada to act now and remove the legal barriers preventing the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. This includes sanctions exemptions so Canadian organizations will not face prosecution by providing humanitarian assistance, as well as amendments to the Criminal Code’s anti-terrorism provisions. Discussions with the government over the past year have not resulted in change. It is now time for Canadians to push the government to do the right thing. The Aid for Afghanistan campaign is about helping Afghan families and not forcing them to pay the ultimate price for who is in power in their country. Canadian humanitarian agencies have operated in Afghanistan for decades and stand ready to deliver humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.  

 

 

Partnering for the International Cooperation Futures Festival

Cooperation Canada’s International Cooperation Futures Festival 

On October 17-20, 2022, Cooperation Canada will host the International Cooperation Futures Festival at the Shaw Centre, located on the unceded and unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation, colonially known as Ottawa, Canada. The festival’s ambition is to inject new ideas and energy into Canada’s international cooperation ecosystem by re-connecting us while also providing opportunities to learn from and connect with Canadian and global change-makers. Focused on international cooperation futures, the conference will examine the state of the world and the disruptors and trends significantly impacting our shared future.

Why Attend?

The festival will reconnect stakeholders in Canada and globally, with opportunities for networking, quiet conversation and making new connections with like-minded individuals and organizations, as well as those who challenge the way you think! Festival themes and session formats will provide opportunities for unlearning and learning, and envisioning a better future.

 

Find out more on the festival, the program and the speakers by following the link below!

 

Become an International Cooperation Futures Festival Partner! 

Become an International Cooperation Futures Festival Partner! 

October 17-20, 2022

Become an International Cooperation Futures Festival Partner! 

 

You’ve marked your calendars already, and you’re getting excited for our Festival? Help us make it even better!

Cooperation Canada is pleased to release its International Cooperation Futures Festival Partnership Package.

As you know, Cooperation Canada has a long history of partnering with members & stakeholders to deliver thought-provoking events. Our partnership package offers tailored opportunities for organizations according to their interests, priorities and means.

Interested in partnering? We want to hear from you!