A Focus on Poverty, Economic Reform and Climate Change
In 2010 Canada will play host to the world. The Vancouver Olympics and the G8 and G20 Summits in Muskoka and Toronto will draw the attention of millions to Canada, its geography, its values, policies and practices. If 2008 was the year of China, then 2010 can be the year of Canada. Around the globe, Canadians proudly sport the Canadian flag in traveling as a symbol of Canadian democracy, openness and concern for human rights. Yet our great international achievements of the past—Canadian contributions to the establishment of international peacekeeping, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Ottawa Treaty to Ban Landmines and the International Criminal Court—are today clouded by concerns about Canada’s current role in climate change negotiations, Afghanistan, reform of the global economy and addressing global poverty.
A Focus on Poverty, Economic Reform and Climate Change
Italian G8 serves primi piatti for 2010 G "?" in Canada
Key among the issues addressed at the recent G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, were food security, global warming, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and accountability. One of the key outcomes was a three year US$20 billion pledge made by the G8 countries and international institutions, including the World Bank, to boost agricultural production in developing countries. This is seen as one of the biggest aid shifts in decades, to an issue that has been neglected for far too long. But a history of broken promises still has NGOs and civil society on their guard - the G8 pledge at Gleneagles in 2005 of $50bn in development aid by 2010, with half to Africa, is still short by $15bn. G8 leaders also agreed, as developed countries, to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 per cent as of 2050, although the Canadian government indicated after the Summit that it would not be budging from its commitment to reduce emissions by 60 to 70 percent by 2050! On poverty, with many of the MDGs - such as reducing the number of women dying in childbirth - already way off track, the summit agreed to a proposal by Gordon Brown to provide an assessment at the 2010 Canadian G8 summit on how the MDGs could be attained in time. Finally, on accountability, the G8 leaders agreed to develop a comprehensive framework to monitor progress on G8 promises, strengthen the effectiveness of their actions, and publish a full report in time for 2010.
Multilateral Debt : A Growing Crisis
What is multilateral debt?
12 June 2008
Hon. Minister Christine Lagarde Hon. Minister Giulio Tremonti,
Hon. Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Hon. Minister Peer Steinbrück Hon. Minister Jim Flaherty
Hon. Henry Paulson Jr., Secretary of the Treasury
Hon. Minister Fukushiro Nukaga Hon. Minister Alexei Kudrin
Re: Open letter to G8 Finance Ministers calling for immediate debt cancellation for Haiti
The undersigned civil society organizations from the Group of Eight (G8) nations and other European organizations urge all G8 Governments to support immediate multilateral and bilateral debt cancellation for Haiti or a moratorium on all debt service payments until such a time as the debt is cancelled.
Global food crisis, Bank and IMF respond
While discussions of the World Bank’s new role in the “business” of climate change (see New Publications), the IMF’s new deal on quota reform (see JUST THE FACTS) and financial market turmoil looked set to top the agenda at the Bank and IMF’s Spring Meetings, it was mounting concern over the global food crisis that dominated discussions.
Singapore Meetings Emphasize “Civil” over “Society”
On September 19th and 20th, the World’s Finance Ministers will gather in Singapore for the traditional fall meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Although the Bank and IMF will host their own Civil Society Forum, Singapore has banned the traditional outdoor protests that accompany the meetings – providing a designated protest lobby area instead. They have also been tightening border controls and stepping up border security.
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Adopted
On June 29, the Human Rights Council – the new United Nations Human Rights Commission – finally adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, twenty-two years after it was first drafted by the UN Working Group on Indigenous Peoples.
Mind the (Growing) Gap – Debt, Aid, and Trade
PDF of Full Report available here
Nous regrettons qu'en 2006, l'initiative d'Halifax n'a pas produit de version Francaise.
Report Card on the Canadian Department of Finance “2005 Report on Operations Under Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act”
Every year at the end of March, the Department of Finance tables its report on the operations of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWI)  before Parliament and details activities at these institutions in relation to Canadian priorities, commitments and interests. The reports provide some good background information on the institutions themselves, on emerging issues and challenges within the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), and some brief details on Canadian priorities and financial participation at these institutions.
► Small Victory on World Bank Debt Deal
On March 28, 2006, the World Bank’s Board of Directors adopted the modalities for implementing its share of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), an outcome of last summer’s G-8 meeting and endorsed by the Bank and IMF at its fall meetings. The Bank deal provides for 100% cancellation of International Development Association (IDA) debt for 17 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).