Canada in the World A Review and Analysis of the Government's Foreign Policy Statements Canadian Council for International Cooperation Policy Team February 1995
Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. A comprehensive Framework for Canadian Foreign Policy 3. Trade and International Economic Policy 1. A Paramount Agenda for Canadian Trade and Business Promotion 2. The World Trade Organization and the Bretton Woods Institutions 3. The Economic Interests of Developing Countries 4. Human Rights and Foreign Policy 1. What are the implications? 5. A commitment to Sustainability as a Guiding Principle 1. Defining Sustainability in the Context of a Growth Oriented Development Model 2. The Bureau of Global Issues 6. International Development Assistance 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
ODA and Policy Coherence A New Mandate for Canadian ODA Program Priorities Targeting ODA Central and Eastern Europe The Policy Marketing Process
7. A Canadian Agenda for Global Security 1. A Broad Concept of Security 2. Peacekeeping and a New Defence Policy?
3. Multilateralism and UN Reform 4. Regional and Other Security Issues 8. Democratization of the Policy Making Process 9. Annex: Canada and the World: Where does Africa Fit In?
1. Introduction Two years ago in February 1993, CCIC appeared before the then Standing Committee on External Affairs and International Trade and called for a comprehensive foreign policy review. In its policy paper for the Committee the Council suggested that we "have an opportunity, as well as a responsibility, to develop a new long-term vision of Canada~s relations with the Third World within a cooperative internationalist framework". In reassessing the meaning of global security, ~our long term security depends on our ability to work cooperatively with other countries to slow down and reverse the rapid escalation of global poverty. The Council and its members developed a common agenda over the following year which stressed the fundamental values which should be inherent in the practice of Canadian foreign policy.  The Council~s brief to the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy presented in May 1994 set out a fundamental goal for foreign policy: . The primary goal of Canada~s foreign policy should be global justice and sustainability. Global justice is achieved through the promotion of the full range of human rights and the promotion of human-centred development, that is sustainable over the long term, and respectful of the planet's eco-systems. This goal was to be addressed in all areas of international policy. The brief developed a coherent framework in terms of sustainable human development and human rights, as the foundation for a major reform of Official Development Assistance, as an agenda for realizing economic justice in North South relations, and in relation to building common security through a peace and justice agenda. The results are in. In February 1995 government issued its response to the foreign policy review process with its Statement, Canada in the World (CITW).  It has also provided more detail in a second document, Government Response (GR), dealing with the specific recommendations of the Report of the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee made public in November 1994. The following analysis does not cover all aspects of these Statements. Both of these documents can now be assessed against the backdrop of the Council~s agenda for global justice. A special initiative to highlight Africa during the foreign policy review was taken on by the Council with PAC support. Arising from this initiative, a special annex has been added which bring together reflections (some of which appear throughout the text) on the implications of the government's Statement for Africa.
2. A Comprehensive Framework for Canadian Foreign Policy Canadian NGOs had high expectations for a more coherent and principled approach to Canada's global relations. The government's response has several strong statements of intention which resonate with recommendations put forward by CCIC members during the past year. Unlike the Parliamentary Committee, there is a commitment to a comprehensive framework for international policy, based on an expanded definition of security and the need to promote integration and coherence among all the foreign policy instruments.
Unfortunately, this framework is so broad that it provides the government maximum scope to rationalize a very wide spectrum of responses to any given foreign policy issue. At the same time, the government recognizes that Canadians want an integrated foreign policy to project Canadian values internationally. Our principles and values -- our culture -- are rooted in a commitment to tolerance; to democracy, equity and human rights; to the peaceful resolution of differences; to the opportunities and challenges of the marketplace; to social justice; to sustainable development and to easing poverty. (CITW, 3) These are essentially the values that CCIC and its members promoted throughout the review process. The government's foreign policy framework is expressed through three objectives. The first objective which is now ~at the heart of the Governments agenda is the promotion of prosperity and employment. (CITW, 10) Two additional objectives, the protection of our security within a stable global framework and the projection of Canadian values and culture will also be central elements in Canadian foreign policy. (CITW, 10-11). The structure of these objectives seems to consign the commendable commitment to a value-based foreign policy to the third objective. Moreover, this last objective emphasizes the projection of Canadian values internationally, rather than a promotion of the cross cultural dimensions in building cooperative and global citizenship for sustainable development.  Foreign policy has shifted its focal point from the traditional security concerns of East/West tensions to one revolving around international aspects of Canadian economic prosperity.  This objective, as evident by the Statement, as well as foreign policy initiatives over the past year, is to be both the cornerstone and yardstick of foreign policy for the remaining years of the decade. Canada is not alone amongst countries, north and south, to place explicit emphasis on economic objectives for foreign policy in the 1990s. NGOs had argued that the priorities and the practice of Canadian economic policy maximize explicitly human objectives and priorities. The government is committed to achieving balance, consistency and coherence in the application of each of these objectives in each of the areas of foreign policy -- international trade, international business development, the protection of Canadian security interests, and within Canada's international assistance programs. The foundation for the evolution of a coherent foreign policy is a comprehensive concept of security. Thus, ~more and more, the concept of security is focusing on the economic, social and political needs of the individual. In tackling these issues, we will require clarity in our thinking about the sources of each threat and problem, and about which combination of instruments -- including development cooperation, trade liberalization and, if needs be, preventive diplomacy and peacekeeping -- is best able to address them. (CITW, 3) Coherence and policy integration is also important for international development assistance: an effective program of development cooperation -- one that promotes sustainable development -must address environmental, economic, political and social issues in an integrated way, and must take cultural realities into account. (CITW, 41) Moreover, it goes on to say that ODA policies should also work together with other aspects of our broader foreign and domestic policies to forge a consistent approach to developing countries and to contribute to common goals. (CIWT, 41) The harmonization of values and other foreign policy interests with the international economic agenda is less clear. Here the stress seems to be avoiding unnecessary conflicts which
might restrict trade and investment opportunities. Thus, the overarching objective of trade and environment discussions is...to ensure that trade policies do not contribute to environmental degradation or restrict legitimate environmental action, and that environmental policies do not unnecessarily restrict our trading opportunities. (GR, 45) These commitments on the consistent application of foreign policy instruments are a recognition of the government~s own assessments of complex global issues as well as many presentations, including those of CCIC and our members, who called during the review process for greater coherence in Canada~s external relations. Policy coherence based on a comprehensive view of global security and sustainable development has also been rooted bureaucratically in the new Global Affairs Bureau (and the new DFAIT/CIDA coordinating committee under the Deputy Minister). These are positive and important intentions on the part of the government; but to be effective, both government and external actors interested in foreign policy will need to develop methods of analysis and accountability in policy implementation to measure actual practice against this important goal. We need to turn to each major area of the foreign policy Statement in turn -- trade and economic policy, reform of international economic institutions, human rights, sustainability, international development assistance, security and peacebuilding, and the democratization of the policy process -- to understand how the government is interpreting this mandate for coherence.
3. Trade and International Economic Policy 3.1 A Paramount Agenda for Canadian Trade and Business Promotion The Statement and Response to the Special Joint Committee set out an international economic agenda in substantial detail. A rules-based multilateral trading system is seen as the core for Canadian economic growth and prosperity. (GR, 28) Central to this strategy is building relationships with the new markets of Asia and Latin America, already a central goal of policy over the past year. Canada will deepen and broaden NAFTA by negotiating further reductions in trade and investment distorting practices and by expanding NAFTA membership to other countries in the hemisphere, starting with Chile (CITW, 15). The government ~will accord the highest priority to the full and effective implementation of the WTO. (CITW, 15) The government puts a significant emphasis on enhancing Canada~s international economic competitive advantage; at the same time, the Statement underlies the need for an open, fair and predictable set of rules governing international trade and investment. There is a recognition of the role and strength of international capital markets in affecting the independent capacity of governments to guide economies. The government quite correctly places strong emphasis on multilateral action, referring to the ineffectiveness of acting in isolation from other governments whose economies are so inter-dependent. But, at the same time, the Statement set out few strategic issues upon which Canada will take a pro-active role multilaterally to build consensus where Canada~s direct material economic interests are not directly affected or where domestic accommodation may be necessary. Those issues of particular interest to the South in realizing a
more just global economic order, with a few exceptions, receive no mention at all. For example, there is no discussion of the disproportionate impact of structural adjustment on the economies of the South, nor of the need for developing economies to regulate the activities of external economic actors such as transnational corporations in the context of multilateral trade agreements. There are two strands of economic policy making inherent in the Statement. On the one hand, Canada must remain economically competitive and concentrate its resources on expanding its comparative advantages. For example, in Asia, we will aggressively seek to preserve market shares of traditional agricultural and resource products concentrating on tourism, energy environment, infrastructure, informatics, building materials, processed food and consumer products, and education / training services. (GR, 35) On the other, the government wishes above all to encourage multilateral co-operation to set and then hold to internationally agreed upon rules. A ~rules-based multilateral system...remains the bedrock of Canadian trade policy. (GR, 28) How the potential contradictions between the two approaches (`competition' and `cooperation') will be resolved is not addressed. The government is stressing a "Team Canada" approach to expanding Canada's international business. "The Government will strengthen partnerships and build an international business "team" on three fronts: within the federal government, with the provinces,and with the private sector..." (CITW, 23) There is no integrating foreign policy strategy for Team Canada. Other sectors of Canadian society, including NGOs with decades of international experience, have not been invited to join Team Canada to develop and promotea more comprehensive set of goals relating to Canadian interests abroad. 3.2 The World Trade Organization and the Bretton Woods Institutions The government has nothing but enthusiastic support for the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). For Canada the WTO is to be the driver of a rules-based global economy in which Canada~s immediate interests are the development of comprehensive and precise rules regarding subsidies, dumping, and anti-dumping and countervailing duty procedures.... (GR, 28) There is no assessment of the impact of the Uruguay Round and the WTO on the trade interests of developing countries, particularly the poorest countries and those of Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a passing observation from the perspective of Canadian trade interests that trade remedy practices have spread to many developing countries in recent years (GR, 28) There is no discussion on the accessibility and transparency of the WTO in relation to the participation of non-governmental actors who bring a broader agenda to the WTO. There is no mention of the Secretary General of the UN who, along with other non-governmental actors, have suggested that the WTO should develop economic policy within the purview of the United Nations Charter. Consequently, a recognition of the importance of environment and labour standards for trade policy is tempered by the location of the resolution of these complex issues solely within the WTO where the interests of the industrial countries predominate. The government favours a multilateral approach in dealing with all of the `sensitive' trade related issues concerning human rights, the environment and labour standards. In their words, To succeed, specific proposals to link labour and environmental standards to the trading system must have widespread international support. (GR, 37-38). Canada supports of the work of the
WTO Committee on Trade and the Environment. Canada will also `promote work' at the OECD and the ILO on the relationship between internationally recognized labour standards and the multilateral trading system. There is reference to involving organized labour, industry and the provinces in the development of a comprehensive Canadian position [on the issue of international respect for labour standards]. (GR, pp.37 & 38). The approach which the government will be taking to determining its own position however is not set out, nor are the implications of these issues for developing countries drawn out. The Statement sets out an important and positive commitment to influence change in the Bretton Woods system of international financial institutions. These institutions need to adapt to radical change over recent years brought about by advances in technology that have revolutionized capital markets; to new challenges in sustainable development; to new balances of international power; and to the growth of private capital flows and development of the private sector. (CITW, 18) Notably missing from this list is long-standing changes demanded by developing countries for more just international economic policies on the part of BWIs to promote sustainable poverty reduction. Moreover, Canada will pursue discussion of these reforms within the G7 and the OECD. Little mention is made of the role of the United Nations other than to state that a major Canadian objective is ~the elimination of duplication and competing mandates in the relationship between [the Bretton Woods Institutions] and the numerous agencies relating to the UN. (CITW, 18) On the other hand, there is an important recognition of the need for Canada to promote reform that helps to: . better integrate objectives such as respect for human rights, poverty reduction, social and gender equity, and environment into the work of multilateral institutions; " improve coordination among multilateral institutions; " increase accountability and transparency; and " improve developmental and cost effectiveness. (CITW, 44) Progress on these issues within the BWIs, combined with a process to democratize decisionmaking, possibly taking into account the experience of the Global Environment Fund within the World Bank, would be a strong step towards positive reform. Such reform, however, will have little political weight if discussion is contained within the G7 or the BWIs themselves. Reform will more likely be directed at issues of interest to the industrial countries to bring new measure to control volatility in the international exchange markets. In addition we would expect Canada to ensure that the results-oriented approach that it applies to CIDA should also apply to the BWIs. Representatives of different sectors will be able to contribute their ideas to the government's approach to BWI reform at a second National Forum, in April, where the subject is to be reform of multilateral organizations. 3.3 The Economic Interests of Developing Countries Reference to the economic interests of developing countries is limited to commitments to reform Canada~s General Preferential Tariff to provide better access to Canadian markets and to implement measures already adopted in the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations. More significantly, Canada is committed to push for ~more debt relief in fora such as the G7 and the Paris Club (the group of major international lender governments) for severely indebted low income countries (SILICs), especially in sub-Saharan Africa. (CITW, 20) Canada will press for
innovative ways of assisting the SILICs [ severely indebted low income countries] to manage [debt owed by the poorest countries to multilateral institutions. (GR, 40) Progress on multilateral debt relief is particularly important to the severely indebted countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. There is an ongoing commitment that debt relief will not be undertaken at the expense of ODA. (GR, 40) No mention is made to cancelling debt owed to the Canadian Wheat Board or the Export Development Corporation; both these creditors make up a considerable proportion of official debt owed to Canada. There is considerable evidence that structural adjustment programs, focused on narrow economic and fiscal objectives, have had many undesirable social and environmental consequences, especially for the poorest people. CCIC had asked for a full review of these programs to assess their effectiveness in meeting Canada's stated ODA goal of helping the poor. The Government is commited to "work with international agencies, developing countries and affected groups to ensure that structural programs integrate objectives for poverty reduction, environmental protection, gender equality and human rights. ... and to help vulnerable groups cope with the effects of adjustment". (GR, 64). This commitment is welcome; but, in a results oriented approach to the BWI, it wouldstill be important to see a review of the multiple impacts of structural adjustment programs including their impact on poor people.
4. Human Rights and Canadian Foreign Policy Although human rights does not have a section for itself or appear explicitly within the framework, it does receive measurable support and recognition in various parts of the documents. It is included in the introduction , as one of the values that Canadians wish to have advanced. In its brief to the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee, the Council suggested the centrality and indivisibility of human rights in the formulation and practice of Canadian foreign policy. In assessing the government~s Statement with respect to the priority given to human rights, it is important to assess both the comprehensiveness of its approach to human rights and the mechanisms through which the government plans to carry out its human rights policies. Human rights are identified in the elaboration of both the key framework objective of security and in the projection of Canadian values and culture. For example, "Application of values respect for democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the environment- will be critical to the struggle for international security in the face of new threats to stability (CITW, 11). Significantly, it is not included in the primary objective relating to economic prosperity, with the exception of the recognition of internationally recognized labour standards (CITW, 16). A discussion of human rights is given its greatest expression in the section on projecting Canadian values and culture, where universal respect for human rights is the first objective discussed. "A priority field of international concern and action for Canadians has been and remains that of human rights". (CITW, 34). It goes on to say that human rights will continue to be a priority for Canada's International Assistance programs and indeed , human rights,
democracy and good governance are one of the six program priorities for Canadian ODA. Children's rights are specifically mentioned in this section. The positioning of human rights as a foreign policy priority is even stronger in the government's comprehensive response to the recommendations of the Special Joint Committee. In the letter accompanying the document, the section of human rights takes up more than a page of a 6 page letter. It is mentioned again under at least three of the responses to recommendations; but, its more thorough expression is given in response to Rec. 5.11 (GR, 65 & 66), where the government~s position is set out on its relationship to ODA, trade and values. 4.1 What are the implications? The government response is positive and consistent with its emphasis on human rights in recent years. Human rights is much more in the forefront than it once was and its centrality in ODA has gained considerable ground in the past 5 years. In the Statement, these gains have not been lost. As is stated in the letter and in condensed in the detailed report, Development assistance is a constructive way to address human rights, democracy and governance issues.... Assistance will support such activities as peace and reconciliation initiatives, human rights education, widening access to legal remedies, strengthening legislatures and judicial systems and increasing the capacity of organizations and other representatives of civil society to participate fully and effectively in decision-making in their countries.  To see such a wide range of human rights activity, including such items as human rights education, is a positive sign. What is less inspiring, as is true of much of the Statement, are the concrete references to implementation. Of these there are few, other than its inclusion as one of the 6 priorities of ODA. Canada will continue to advocate for human rights at the Commonwealth and La Francophone. Other practical aspects include: "To enhance the role of the newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights~ (CITW, 35); "with international partners promote reform that helps to better integrate objectives such as respect for human rights" (CITW, 44); "seek to build the capacity of developing countries to address a range of policy issues, such as human rights, including the rights of children..." (CITW, 45); "and the government reaffirms its commitment to the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development" (GR, 65). The other area that receives in-depth attention is the relationship between human rights and economic sanctions such as trade. The philosophy can be summarized by the following: "The essential challenge is to decide how we can best influence other governments to respect human rights. Our ultimate aim is not to punish countries and innocent populations whose governments abuse human rights but rather to change behaviour and induce governments to respect their peoples' rights."  It goes onto discuss the merits of using trade or aid measures as a means to deal with gross violations of human rights and while not completely closing the door, it is clear that Canada will rarely use these measures unless it can join in a multilateral action.  The approach focuses on the role of open economies and trade which will do more to achieve human rights goals than negative sanctions: "It is only very rarely the case that promoting human
rights and pursuing trade are mutually exclusive objectives. Indeed, trade and growing economic prosperity often nurture a more open society."  It is difficult to imagine a situation, based on this, where Canada would use its aid or trade to press for human rights, given its recent record in cases of systematic violation of human rights by some of its major aid partners such as China. Unfortunately the Statement does not spell out the range of positive actions which Canada is prepared to push in multilateral fora and with our partners in relation to these situations of gross and systematic violations. Moreover, there is no mention of the particularly pervasive violation of women's rights and the steps which Canada may take, beyond encouraging women in development~ in ODA programs.  While the proposition that trade will bring a more open and more just society is laudable, there are no assurances that this is the case. The government has suggested no mechanisms which could help to more closely monitor and report to Canadians on human rights situations, a number of which were set out in the CCIC brief. Nevertheless the government remains open to consultations with civil society to press human rights concerns, in spite of the fact that it provides few new or innovative approaches which might substitute for the blunt means of aid or trade sanctions. Despite all of the positive references, human rights does not appear to be an integral part of the fundamental framework that will drive foreign affairs policy. If it were so, a human rights framework would use the concept of rights as the skeleton for actions, mechanisms and approaches. Respect for human rights, while important to Canadian foreign policy considerations, tends to focus on civil and political rights and gives little attention to economic, cultural and economic rights. A rights framework encourages government to treat their people as dynamic actors whose rights must be fulfilled and not as subjects with needs, to which the government might respond. The shift to a rights perspective means a shift in the paradigm of dependency and a clearer focus on the responsibility and accountability of governments vis-a-vis their citizens. At this level, the government~s foreign policy Statement still has a long way to go.
5. A Commitment to Sustainability as a Guiding Principle The words "environment" and "sustainable development" are frequently mentioned in the statement; and sustainable development is promoted as an overarching policy theme. Indeed, we have witnessed and welcomed Canada's leadership role in promoting sustainable development in many international fora. However there are contradictions and limitations in the government's position which should be stated. 5.1 Defining Sustainability in the Context of a Growth Oriented Development Model The government comes closest to defining sustainable development in the following, "...sustainable development, is a matter of both common security and good economics. Environmentalists, development specialists and trade economists share a common interest inn promoting efficiency. More efficient production reduces the drain on scarce resources such as raw materials and energy, and limits the demands placed on the regenerative capacity of the environment. Efficient use of land , labor and capital is also at the heart of development efforts to combat poverty and satisfy human needs. Allowing the most efficient producers to provide the
world with its goods and services is the principle rationale for an open trading system. We will ensure that Canadian foreign policy promotes sustainable development globally through the careful and responsible balancing of trade, development and environmental considerations" (CITW 36-37). At other points, the government states that it aims to "develop a global framework of legally binding rules and standards as well as voluntary standards, as appropriate to guide sustainable development" (GR,42). Several times, the Statement commits the government to "promote environmental standards consistent with sustainable development and enhanced competitiveness" (CITW 19). Such initiatives are laudable and necessary, however they are not sufficient. At the heart of the matter, there is a model of development buried in the foreign policy Statement that merits serious debate. The model is to promote growth, but what is new, is that there is an attempt to change the character of growth so that it is less destructive. The government is attempting to put some of the tools in place to promote sustainable development, including legally binding rules and standards as well as judicious use of environmental assessment. This approach makes much sense. People can understand project environmental assessments and resource management regimes. The government has ignored the fact that there are limits to global eco-systems carrying capacity and to the "environmental services" that this living system can provide. Indeed, there is concern amd some evidence that we may have already crossed global ecosystem thresholds in three areas (CO2, ozone and fish stocks). Canadian experience with coastal fisheries provide lessons about the important role of carrying capacity. Canada's commitment to reduce CO2 levels to 1990 levels by the year 2000 is a very significant international commitment that is missing from the Statement. At this point in time the proposal to create a global trading system that is sustainable is largely an act of faith. Most of the essential conceptual, institutional, technological and political infrastructure is not in place to ensure that we behave sustainably. The Parliamentary committee asked the government "to ensure that relevant foreign policies are assessed for their potential impact on sustainable development" (rec 4.2f). We agree. For example, CCIC would like the proposed trade strategy to be assessed for its long term sustainability. 5.2 The Bureau for Global Issues The achievement of policy coherence around sustainability and a broad conceptualization of Canada's global security issues may be enhanced by the announced creation of the Bureau for Global Issues in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. "This new office will be specifically designed to help bring greater coherence to the Government's capacity to address internationally such issues as the global environment, population growth, international migration (including refugee issues), international crime, human rights, democratization, preventive diplomacy and post-conflict peacebuilding." (CITW, 50) The Bureau will also be responsible for international cultural issues. This new office, which has been in the works for
some time, will report to an Assistant Deputy Minister for Global Issues, already identified as Marie Bernard-Meunier (formerly Director General of International Organisations). These issues, such as refugees and displaced persons, are major global challenges, but they have received only passing attention in the Statement. They appear now as a responsibility of this Bureau. This attempt at coherence is very much welcomed by CCIC. But, the fact that some of the global environmental issues have been taken out of the economic section of the department (the "hard side" which carries more weight bureaucratically) is a concern.
6. International Development Assistance 6.1 ODA and Policy Coherence The government has reviewed international assistance as part of its broader foreign policy review. Indeed, the Statement says that ~Canada~s ODA policies should ...work together with other aspects of our broader foreign and domestic policies to forge a consistent approach to developing countries and to contribute to common goals~. (CITW, 41) While this attention to policy consistency is important, the broad policy objectives with their strong emphasis on Canada~s ~prosperity~ raise concern that ODA will be even more firmly rooted in Canadian commercial policy objectives than it has been in the past. The Statement is clear that ~an emphasis on poverty is vital, but says that there is no single approach to poverty reduction. (CITW, 41) Poverty reduction programs are expected to serve the three general objectives of foreign policy. International assistance programming is thus justified by the fact that it connects the Canadian economy to some of the fastest growing markets of the world. It contributes to global security by tackling many key threats to human security, such as the abuse of human rights, disease, environmental degradation, population growth and the widening gap between rich and poor. Finally ODA ~is one of the clearest international expressions of Canadian values and culture -- of Canadian~s desire to help the less fortunate and of their strong sense of social justice -- and an effective means of sharing these values with the rest of the world. (CITW, 40) Development is seen to be a complex process relying upon comprehensive set of conditions. ODA cannot solve the issues of development on its own; these must be approached from a broad policy framework. ODA is just one part of a larger effort -- one that involves the resources of the developing countries themselves and other factors, such as international trade and investment. (CITW, 41) The Statement asserts than an "effective program of development cooperation -- one that promotes sustainable development -- must address environmental, economic, political and social issues in an integrated way, and must take cultural realities into account." (CITW, 41) More worrying is the fact that the broad scope of foreign policy objectives leaves the government free to orient ODA more closely to almost any particular mix of Canadian policy objectives. Absent are any initiatives to encourage greater reciprocity in policy dialogue and participation of southern governments and civil societies in determining this policy mix that
might fulfill mutual goals of Canada and specific developing countries. In short, there is no major reform agenda for Canadian ODA as recommended by the Council. 6.2 A New Mandate for Canadian ODA The foreign policy Statement sets out a new mandate for international assistance: The purpose of Canada~s ODA is to support sustainable development in developing countries, in order to reduce poverty and to contribute to a more secure, equitable and prosperous world. (CITW, 42) Contrary to the recommendations of the Special Joint Committee and many who appeared before it, the government will not legislate this mandate. How it is to be interpreted remains to be seen. However, there are some indications of likely directions in the Statement. The Parliamentary Committee had proposed a mandate for ODA which stated that ~the primary purpose of Canadian ODA is to reduce poverty by providing effective assistance to the poorest people, in those countries that most need and can use our help. It went on to say that the policy framework for ODA should be sustainable development ~with the primary focus on the development of human capacities. The governments new mandate is much less explicit about the priority of poverty reduction in aid strategies. Unease around future directions for ODA are augmented by an earlier explication of sustainable development~ in the Statement (see section 5.1). There seems to be an assumption that efficiency in resource allocation alone will combat poverty. There is no acknowledgment of the structural dimensions of society which sustain inequality nor of the need for distributive justice, social equity, and promotion of rights for the poor as essential components of sustainable development. As a mandate for ODA this definition of sustainable development seems to locate ODA almost exclusively within an economic agenda, and in all likelihood the same one that has been promoted by the major donors, including Canada, for the past decade. A mandate which was directed specifically at poverty reduction, or sustainable human development as proposed by NGOs, at least suggested that ODA has a particular role within a broader Canadian policy framework to assess and challenge particular policies, based on their impact on the poor. 6.3 Program Priorities The program priorities for ODA remain for the most part unchanged from CIDA~s current list of ~interim priorities~. They now include the following -- basic human needs; women in development; infrastructural services; human rights, democracy and good governance; private sector development; and the environment. Notably, public participation has disappeared as a distinct priority, a move which could affect the future of development education work (as budget priorities are set based on these priorities). "The government believes that public participation is an integral part of other program priorities, and should be considered along with measures to strengthen consultation and communication." (GR, 60) This approach is of grave concern to NGOs. The inclusion of ~infrastructural services~, relating to rural electricity and telecommunications, is a new priority area, and it appears to be driven by domestic commercial interests. The government considers the private sector to be an important CIDA partner and it wishes to ~sharpen the development focus of private sector linkage programs~. (CITW, 44) Contrary to the advice of the Parliamentary Committee and many who appeared before it, the
government has chosen to retain industrial cooperation and business promotion programs, CIDAINC, within CIDA, rather than relocate them in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Export Development Corporation (EDC). Ironically, the latter two bodies will now have more direct influence on these activities through regular project-by-project consultations. How a sharper development focus~ will be achieved remains will require monitoring and assessment. Consistent with this more commercial integration, the government has chosen to leave the current regulations on tied aid untouched. In their words, tied aid provisions help build relations of mutual benefit between Canada and developing countries~. (GR, 63)  6.4 Targeting ODA Significantly the government has agreed with the Parliamentary Committee~s recommendation that support for basic human needs should account for a minimum of 25% of ODA. Currently included in CIDA~s definition of basic needs is primary health care, basic education, family planning, nutrition, water and sanitation, and shelter, as well as humanitarian assistance and food aid directed to emergency relief. Bilateral commitments, as calculated by CIDA, to the first six basic needs ranged from 32.3% in 1992/93 to 18.4% in 1993/94.  Together all forms of food aid (only emergency relief is counted as basic needs) and humanitarian assistance comprised 21.5% of ODA in 1992/93 and 18.5% in 1993/94. These figures indicate that CIDA might consider that the target has already been reached despite other studies (using a more narrow UNDP and UNICEF definitions of basic needs) which place CIDA~s performance well below 25%. While government reiterates its commitment to reaching an ODA/GNP ratio of 0.07%, the target is virtually meaningless since it will be reached only when Canadas fiscal situation allows it. (CITW, 43) The more specific targets for Africa and for the least developed countries from the last policy statement, Sharing Our Future, have not been repeated. Africa is now to ~receive the highest share of resources, presumably anything above 33% (allocations are divided between Africa, Asia/Pacific, and the Americas). There is no target for the poorest countries or peoples other than Canada will continue to provide most of its ODA to low income countries. (CITW, 43) There are no development targets or priorities set out for Latin America, the Caribbean or Asia. The role seen for Canadian NGOs in Canada~s relations with developing countries is to be the subject of a new policy framework with CIDA, ~based on the principle of complementarity of action~ (CITW, 44).  Earlier the Statement recognizes that NGOs ~are active in supporting human development and in shaping the management of the global commons and other global challenges, acting locally and internationally in pursuit of a global vision. (CITW, v) The government will be open to ongoing participation of these NGOs, as well as other sectors of Canadian society, in the policy making processes. The government also wants to expand the number of personnel exchanges between CIDA and its Canadian partners, especially NGOs. (CITW, 44)
6.5 Central and Eastern Europe Long resisted by the development community in Canada, responsibility for the implementation of Canadian aid activities in Central and Eastern Europe have been transferred to CIDA, with the guarantee that the program is not funded at the expense of ODA priorities. How this protection is to be measured is not clear in an era of declining budgets. Policy direction for the program is to remain with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). 6.6 The Policy Making Process The policy making process for ODA is to be more firmly rooted with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The relative autonomy of CIDA in influencing government international assistance policy, while eroding during the early 1990s, is to be further restricted by a joint DFAIT and CIDA committee, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (and not the President of CIDA), to oversee systematic policy coordination between the two organizations. (CITW, 50) This committee is likely to enhance the potential for policy coherence; the opportunities for a foreign policy agenda which stresses human development priorities are also present. But the particular directions of the government's foreign policy during its first year raises questions whether these opportunities will be taken up.
7. A Canadian Agenda for Global Security "Protecting our security within a global framework" is one of three main objectives to be pursued by the Government in its foreign policy. From the outset, however, a strong link with the leading objective of prosperity is clear, with the Government ascribing to "a security policy that promotes peace in every part of the world with which Canada has close economic and political links". (CITW, 24) Asia and Latin America, which have prominence in the prosperity section, are seen perhaps for the first time as regions with which we should pursue security relationships. Africa is not entirely left out, as was the case in the Committee's report, with commitments by Canada to "focus on working with key African countries to development international and regional frameworks that can anticipate and prevent conflict, and on addressing those factors...that undermine common security on the continent." (CITW, 31) 7.1 A Broad Concept of Security The government ~embraces the need to adopt a broader concept of security encompassing both military and non-military factors, including those economic, political and social in nature.  The Statement recognizes that new approaches, new instruments, new institutional roles and political responsibilities in the maintenance of international security must be developed. (CITW, 24) This had been a primary recommendation of CCIC and its members as well as academics, and security policy research institutions. CCIC urged the government to adopt a common security agenda which would invest in peacebuilding as both a moral and global security imperative.
These new approaches will be oriented by ~movements...away from security policies and structures based on containment towards new architectures designed to build stability and cooperation~. (CITW, 24) While these new approaches are indeed welcome, a fundamental shift in priorities on the security axis seems to be missing in the discussion which follows in the Statement. The rhetoric of non-military issues and the link between security and development is not met with a commitment to decrease spending on military preparedness to the benefit of building peace and international cooperation. Moreover, the government~s broader conception of security is very much seen in relation to ~new threats to stability~ facing Canadians from an increasingly hostile world and a deteriorating global environment. Thus, the threats to security now are more complex than before. A whole range of issues that transcend borders -- including mass migration, crime, disease, environment, overpopulation, and underdevelopment -- have peace and security implications. (CITW, 10) Poverty, inequality, the lack of human rights, ethnic and religious tensions are the new sources of conflict and instability. Interdependence for the government implies that ~our well-being and our national interest are inextricably linked to global developments~ (CITW, 11). Global interdependence is indeed a central element influencing Canadian well-being. But rather than a defensive response to external threats, a common security agenda, as proposed by Canadian NGOs, stresses global collaboration between peoples, equity within and between societies, and the resolution of the underlying causes of poverty and conflict. The result would be an integrated peacebuilidng agenda. Positively, the relationship between security and development assistance - leading to human security - is an integral part of the government~s approach. Where the Parliamentary Committee rejected the notion of ODA contributing to the broader security and peacebuilding agenda, the Statement makes this link. International development assistance - plays a critical role in addressing many of the key issues that now head the global security agenda. Problems such as environmental degradation and growing disparities between rich and poor affect human security around the world and are areas where Canada can make an effective contribution by promoting sustainable development through its program of development cooperation." (CITW, 25-26) The root causes of conflict and instability - the new security issues - are seen to be met by international development but unfortunately no shift in resources accompanies this thinking. 7.2 Peacekeeping and A New Defence Policy? The foreign policy Statement does not deal substantially with the military aspects of Canada~s security. The Defence White Paper, issued in response to the Special Joint Parliamentary Committee Reviewing Defence Policy, is cited, affirming that peacekeeping will be a primary international contribution of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is not, however, portrayed as the only international role. The Statement reaffirms the view that a multi-purpose combat capable force is still required to meet international commitments. There is no reference to the Canadian armed forces or roles beyond the framework of peacekeeping. CCIC has argued, along with Project Ploughshares, for
more of a policing role in our approach to peacekeeping. The Government is firm on the continuing need for combat training. In the view of those who pressed for a primary priority to peacebuilding in the Canadian security agenda, the governments attempt to maintain a full three-service expeditionary combat capability unnecessarily reduces Canada~s fiscal capacity to allocate resources to various military and nonmilitary aspects of this agenda.  Canadian NGOs and others have been making specific recommendations to reduce and reorient the purposes of defence expenditures from its current level of C$11.9 billion to C$7.6 billion. A part of these savings would pass into the international assistance spending envelope to raise ODA towards 0.7% of GNP or C$4.5 billion. Rather than a multi-purpose role, Canada~s defence forces would be limited to peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention and enforcement operations that protect or restore political peacemaking process rather than impose a particular outcome. The government is committed to reducing its defence expenditures, through cuts in personnel, infrastructure and capital programs, but no budget figures were suggested in the Defence While Paper. The Statement highlights the government~s commitment to maintain Canada~s longstanding commitment to peacekeeping. Where the Parliamentary Committee and NGOs argued for ~clear and consistent criteria~ for UN intervention and for Canadian involvement in these mission, the government seems more inclined to advocate for ~workable principles~ (GR, 10) to guide UN action rather than hard and fast criteria. At the same time, the government also reiterates its intention ~to be selective in its peacekeeping involvement~ (GR, 12) based on Canadian experience and skills. This includes attention to ~improvements in the means of implementing United Nations peacekeeping and peace enforcement decisions in a timely and effective way~ (CITW 27). Canada is leading a study, already underway, of major options for enhancing the UN~s rapid-reaction capability. The government Statement is used to highlight a number of areas where the government has already made commitments to increasing skills and capacity in peacekeeping. This includes the establishment of the Lester B. Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. This Centre will offer courses to international peacekeepers and support research. The focus will also be on a more diversified approach to peace operations, including the increased use of civilians and cultural training, both of which CCIC has advocated. NGOs will be continuing to push for and provide leadership on a full range of innovative approaches to peacebuilding and conflict resolution, including supporting indigenous peace processes and methods. Regrettably, in the section on ~instruments for building security~ the government devotes only one line to a review of UN economic and social activities underway, a key area in a broader definition of global security, which, given the acknowledgments above, should be a high priority. It is notable that throughout the documents dealing with security issues, even as security is broadly defined to including peacebuilding, there is no mention of the role of NGOs in
contributing to this agenda. No attention is devoted to the relationship between NGOs and the Department of National Defence in complex humanitarian operations, picking up the Committee's and CARE's reference to a tripartite commission (humanitiarian, political and security). Preventive diplomacy is mentioned as a new important area but only a list of high profile Canadians to undertake this kind of work at UN levels is mentioned. Some priority is also given to conflict resolution mechanisms, including those within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (formerly the CSCE) and the Organization of African Unity. Peacebuilding is listed as an essential goal and defined as "the process of reinforcing efforts to build peace through economic and institutional rehabilitation and critical to sustaining the efforts of local populations". It goes on to commit Canada's international assistance program to "foster peacebuilding through technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of societies emerging from conflict to meet the needs and aspirations of their populations." (CITW, 26) Clearly this is an area of expertise where the case for NGOs can and should be made and where the link needs to be made more clearly with military aspects of security, including demobilization and the arms trade. While all of these commitments are substantial and essential for a common global security agenda, ultimately Canada~s contributions to peacebuilding will be determined by the degree to which the defence and international assistance budget envelopes are related to a common security agenda and away from a strictly military ~multi-purpose combat-capable forces~. 7.3 Multilateralism and UN Reform The United Nations will continue to be a key vehicle for pursuing Canada's global security objectives. "The success of the UN is fundamental, therefore, to Canada's future security." (CITW, 27) Over the years, Canada has made a very significant contribution to multilateralism, however the character of that commitment seems to be changing in the foreign policy Statement. The emphasis is primarily on trade fora (G-7, NAFTA, APCE, EU, etc.) that will build and maintain a rules-based multilateral system. Clearly, a rules based multilateral system that facilitates trade is important. However, little thought has been given to the role of rest of the UN system. Canadian concern is focussed on a particular set of institutions (primarily trade and peacekeeping) that are seen as particularly important for Canada's national interest. This may be a very narrow definition of Canada's self- interest. Clearly the changes that are creating a global economy must be addressed by effective international institutions. But the economic is merely one facet of a larger transformation. In areas such as technology, environmental sustainability, disease control, population, crime, etc., changes that are global in character are also occurring. The government itself recognizes that there are significant number of interdependent issues that will require international cooperation to solve. In our increasingly inter-dependent world we need to re-vision and renew the entire family of UN institutions, not just the economic institutions. If we do not the transition to a global society will be rougher that it need be. With respect to specific issues of reform, the Statement raises the issue of the functioning and representivity of the Security Council. The government suggests that "more can be done to
improve existing proceedures without enlargening the Security Council, a step that would require reform of the UN Charter". (GR, 9) The government is not advocating for an expanded Security Council. The government is also concerned to put the UN on a sound financial basis and "is advancing proposals to provide the UN with financial resources that do not depend on contributions from member governments" (GR, 10) 7.4 Regional and Other Security Issues The government Statement places an even stronger emphasis on a broadly-based approach to regional security issues than the Parliamentary Committee's Report. While multilateralism remains a priority, "we can now also capitalize on our own identification and partnership with several regions to achieve our objectives." (CITW, 6) Where the Committee Report places NATO high on the agenda and devotes considerable attention to its importance, other regional security arrangements receive significant attention in the government~s documents. Notably, a security dialogue with Latin America, the Asia-Pacific and Africa - not even mentioned in the Committee report - all warrant attention. While the government's support for early warning and preventive diplomacy mechanisms within regional organizations such as the Organization for African Unity is laudable, much of the regional agenda also seems to be driven by fiscal concerns. Thus, given the number of conflicts world-wide and the UN's limited resources, partners need to be found to help the UN carry the burden of peacekeeping and peace enforcement. (CITW, 28) The government Statement assures Canadians that arms control and disarmament remains high on the government~s agenda. Our highest priority is to secure international agreement to indefinitely and unconditionally extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the most effective international instrument for stopping nuclear proliferation....There has been highly unfortunate North-South polarization in the NPT extension debate, based in part on the argument of some that the Treaty benefits ~haves~ at the expense of ~have-nots~....We will continue to reach out to all parties, encouraging moderation and pragmatism in the review of Treaty implementation and extension, while pressing for continued nuclear disarmament. (CITW, 32) With respect to conventional weapons the government reaffirms their commitment to the UN Arms Register, although there is no mention of CCIC's recommendation linking to arms sales to human rights records (as well as register adherence). But the government does say "Canada will keep under review the effectiveness of advocating the prohibition of arms exports to nonreporting countries..." (CITW, 33) The link between military expenditures and the use of foreign policy instruments such as ODA is highlighted in a number of areas, reflecting the broader trend with donors on conditionality in this area. (CITW, 33) Also reflected in this area is the government's support for demobilization and civil training of police. On land mines, the government lays out its commitment to strengthen and broaden the scope of the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. It also commits Canada to controlling the spread and use of land mines and states that "Canada has not exported any antipersonnel land mines since 1987." (GR, 20) In general, the government makes the case that "our controls on the export of military goods are among the most restrictive of Western countries~. (CITW, 33)
While a fundamental shift has not been achieved between Canada's global security and defence policy, some considerable achievements have been made on advancing a global security policy and integration agenda.
8. Democratization of the Policy Making Process The government has re-affirmed its "Red Book" commitment todemocratizing policy, albeit in a less ambitious form. The Statement highlights several commitments involving Parliament as well as citizens and foreign policy experts. The government pledges to continue special debates in the House, a significant development in the last year and a half. There continues to be a strong formal emphasis on Parliamentary committees as a means of "involving Canadians" on policy issues. There is also a commitment for Ministers to meet informally with committees. Unfortunately, this heightened emphasis on committees' roles has not been matched by new resources to strengthen research, and the ability to bring in outside witnesses and travel. The government "will draw on expert opinion in developing and adjusting foreign policy to a much greater extent than ever before." (CITW, p.49) Consultations with the public and interested groups will be expanded and institutionalized by drawing on current experiences with the trade International Trade Advisory Committee and Sectoral Advisory Group on International Trade processes and the annual human rights consultations. (These experiences reflect a double standard between consultation with business and NGOs. Business is active developing policy in serious on-going meetings. NGOs' opinions are heard in infrequent, often one-off events.) As mentioned earlier, the National Forum will be repeated each year as an annual event bringing together representatives from various sectors of Canadian society to provide government with advice on foreign policy debates. The next Forum in April will focus on reform of multilateral organizations. Instead of establishing the Centre for Foreign Policy Development (a "Red Book" promise) the Department will set up an undefined "mechanism" for foreign policy "consultation, research and outreach that will bring together governmental practitioners, parliamentarians, experts and citizens." (CITW, p. 48) The "mechanism" takes over the budget residue of the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security (CIIPS) which had recently been managed by the Canadian Co-operative Security Program (which funded various academic and NGO research and public education activities). The Government is also committed to broader partnerships with provincial and other levels of government..
Endnotes: 1. CCIC, Towards An Agenda for a Common Future~, mimeo, February 1993. 2. These core values include a commitment to social and economic justice, to equality and equity, to selfdetermination and democratic development, to the pursuit of peace, to respect for diversity (of cultures, peoples and biological life forms), and to environmental integrity. 3. An earlier Defence Policy White Paper was released in November 1994 in response to a Special Joint Committee Reviewing Canadian Defence Policy. A foreign policy "statement" allows the government much more policy 4. In response to a similar focus in the Report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee, the Council wrote the following commentary: . Strengthening all aspects of Canadian culture within North America is indeed an important goal for Canadian policy.... . [However] the emphasis ... is on the material benefits for Canada from cultural and learning exchanges....Where is the understanding of Southern concerns around the penetration of Northern values and cultures into their own societies? Where is the discussion of cultural values and sustainable development as a concept which is rooted in diversity and cultural appropriateness? Where is the discussion of the rights of indigenous peoples and the protection of their cultural values and ways of life? What about issues relating to the transfer of appropriate technologies for southern development? What is the impact of the new provisions in GATT and NAFTA relating to the protection of ~intellectual property rights for northern TNCs in the face of the free appropriation of indigenous knowledge and plant resources in the South.? These are all issues which deserved some attention by the Committee if Canadian culture and learning is to contribute to global citizenship. In CCIC, Canada's Foreign Policy: Principles and Priorities for the Future, A Report of the Special Joint Committee Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy, A Review and Analysis of the Report~s Recommendations, mimeo, November 1994, p. 18. 5. The disproportionate emphasis on economic and trade objectives throughout the Statement represents a significant shift from earlier policy statements. In the 1970s and 1980s the statements on Canadian foreign policy were rooted in the themes of sovereignty, promoting justice and democracy, and collective security (in the context of the Cold War). 6. The CCIC brief stated ~that Canadian foreign policy hold primary the values of social and economic justice, equality and equity, popular participation, human-centred development and sustainability; and that a central concern for Sustainable Human Development in Canadian foreign policy be the promotion of economic, social, cultural, civil and political human rights, with particular reference to, those of the world's urban and rural poor, women, children and youth, workers, refugees and displaced persons, indigenous peoples and disabled persons. It went on to state ~that Canadian foreign policy, both in principle and practice, treat internationally recognized economic, social, cultural, civil and political human rights as inseparable and indivisible~. 7. Honourable Andr Ouellet and Honourable Roy MacLaren, Letter to the Co-Chairs of the Joint Parliamentary Committee Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy, February 7, 1995, p. 5.
8. Ibid, pp 4 & 5. 9. The government will consider its actions on a case-by-case basis. Ibid. p. 5. 10. Ibid., p. 5. 11. Little or no mention is made in the Statement about aboriginal rights, the rights of minorities, refugees and displaced persons, for which the Special Joint Committee and the government have received many recommendations. 12. The Special Joint Parliamentary Committee~s Report, in contrast, had made positive reference to the Dutch experience of reciprocal sustainable development agreements as one avenue for the government to explore. 13. Canada's Foreign Policy: Principles and Priorities for the Future: A Report of the Special Joint Committee Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy, November 1994, pp 48 - 49. 14. In contrast the Parliamentary Committee had recommended that it is not part of the mandate of CIDA to promote Canadian exports~ and recommended additional untying of Canadian aid, in concert with other donors. In any event, statistics are not available to confirm the degree to which the government is implementing the current regulations on the tying of aid. These current regulation are a minimum of 50% bilateral aid (excluding food aid) tied for the least developed countries and for Sub-Saharan Africa, and 33% for other developing countries. Bilateral and multilateral food aid remains tied at a rate of 95%. 15. CIDA's own internal studies indicate that data relating to funding of basic needs from its Corporate Memory Bank is unreliable. Further work is now underway to clarify the definition of basic needs and to provide more accurate calculation of basic needs programming. 16. A number of recent developments within CIDA suggest that the agency is moving away from its longstanding commitment to responsive programming with Canadian NGOs. New allocation criteria insist that NGO programs by 1996/97 be consistent with bilateral priorities in Country Program Development Policy Frameworks, rather than the program priorities for CIDA as a whole. Increasingly, bilateral projects are being streamlined into an open bidding system for the private sector, from which NGOs and NGIs are excluded. As well the future of ~Country Focus~ NGO projects funded through bilateral channels is in question. These projects since the mid 1980s have responded to a range of Canadian NGO initiatives on a ~sole source~ basis and have permitted a scale of programming formerly only feasible for the largest NGOs with the strongest fundraising base. 17. Honourable Andre Ouellet and Honourable Roy MacLaren, Letter to the Co-Chairs of the Special Joint Committee Reviewing Canadian Foreign Policy, February 7, 1995, page 2. 18. Project Ploughshares, ~Comments on the Defence While Paper~, mimeo, December 1, 1994.
Annex - Canada in the World: Where Does Africa Fit In? Overview The tabling of the Government Response and Statement only serves to confirm the dominant position Latin America and Asia will hold in Canada's foreign policy. As a Government committed to putting trade and the Canadian economy at the top of the agenda, it is not surprising that Africa receives less attention. The dominant values of prosperity for Canada is not necessarily a good fit with the values and traditions required to promote sustainable human development in Africa. On a positive note, the Government recommits CIDA to continuing a priority on Africa in our international development assistance, our global security is seen as tied into stability in all regions of the world including Africa, and Africa even gets a passing mention in the trade section. Where the latter two were distinctly missing from the Special Joint Committee's report, the Government statement broadens our foreign policy interests in the region. Human rights are missing from both reports as a distinct policy objective with different regional implications. The Statement does acknowledge a need for a mix of foreign policy instruments and greater policy coherence. The following section builds on the comments already highlighted throughout the preceding analysis on sub-Saharan Africa and should be considered in collaboration with other documents produced by CCIC's Africa Policy Reference Group, including the brief to the Special Joint Committee and an analysis of how Africa fared in the Committee report. Official Development Assistance The Government response agrees with the Committee's recommendation that Africa should continue to receive the highest proportion of ODA. While the Committee report gave the figure of 45% of geographic bilateral programs to be maintained, the Government document does not elaborate targets here or elsewhere. There is a danger that aid for Africa may drop without defined targets and this will have to be closely monitored. A commitment to the percentage should be spelled out in a more defined way by the government, along with ensuring a concentration on the poorest people in sub-Saharan Africa. Rather than affirming that the poorest countries will receive the most support, as would obviously impact Africa, the Statement suggests that "a major portion of ODA resources should be focused on a limited number of countries, with programs maintained in other countries through low-cost, administratively simple delivery mechanisms" (GR, p 67). Regional allocations will be reviewed on a regular basis, although the government Response does not state the criteria for those reviews. Nor do we know how country or subregional focuses will be determined. The emphasis of bilateral programs over regional approaches remains vague. CIDA's 1991 Africa 21 placed a priority on regional programming while more recently the Secretary of State for Africa has indicated support for strong bilateral programs. According to the Statement,
"programming [in Africa] will be firmly rooted in individual countries but support for regional initiatives will grow as they assume greater importance" (CITW, p. 43). Nothing is contained in the statement about reengagement in East Africa following cuts to seven of the poorest countries in Africa in the last government. Most of the priorities listed for CIDA are positive and imply support for Africa, including the 25% commitment to basic human needs, which may be allocated the highest in Africa. Participation of women remains key in Africa, as does support for human rights and democratic development and environmental sustainability. Private sector development, if it is used to promote African initiatives, particularly micro-credit and small business as opposed to promoting Canadian goods and services -- including in infrastructure-- will be positive. The Statement fails to mention the devastating consequences of HIV/AIDs on the continent and how Canada will support Africans in their struggle with HIV/AIDS. Similarly, food security and support for small- scale agriculture, the key to development in Africa, receives no attention. It remains to be seen whether the indication that CIDA will focus on sectors important to Canada such as agriculture will cover this. Prosperity for Africa? The government Statement acknowledges early on that per capita GDP in sub-Saharan Africa is stagnated and in some countries has declined. Unfortunately, the "promotion of prosperity and employment" section offers the poorest countries little to address this economic decline. Canadian companies will be encouraged to test the potential of "emerging African and Middle Eastern market, including post-apartheid South Africa" (CITW, p. 21). Of paramount importance to Africa, the Government agrees with the Committee recommendation that structural adjustment programs (SAPs) should be linked with poverty reduction. "We will work with international agencies, development countries and affected groups to ensure that structural adjustment programs integrate objectives for poverty reduction, environmental protection, gender equity and human rights. CIDA will continue its long-standing commitment to help vulnerable groups cope with the effects of adjustment" (GR 64). Canadian NGOs helped bring this issue to the Committee's attention and have argued that Canadian support should cease for orthodox SAPs which undermine African states and increase poverty. No mention is made of the need for a fundamental review, including on conditionality. The review of international financial implications at the National Forum this year is an opportunity to review the impact of the World Bank and IMF SAP policies on Africa, as well as development programs. A G-7 discussion of these issues is also welcome but basic issues of reform need to also be discussed in the context of the United Nations Social Development Summit. The commitment in the government response of working to increase the accountability and transparency of the IFIs, including Canada's role, is very positive. The Canadian Government has been a leader in promoting debt relief to sub-Saharan countries and has indicated a commitment to continuing this on multilateral debt, including at the Paris Club. NGOs argued that Canada should promote the outright cancellation or substantial
reduction of Africa's debt -- particularly its multilateral debt -- and should call for an international agreement to that end. Canada should also work to reduce or eliminate Export Development Corporation and Canadian Wheat Board debt to sub-Saharan Africa. NGOs have argued that progress on previous G-7 statements be evaluated at the upcoming G-7 meeting in Halifax. A Global Security Framework In "protecting our security within a stable, global framework", Africa is included within this framework. In approaching a continent marked by instability and conflict, the Government statement proposes a mix of policy instruments to influence change. "As part of this effort, Canadian policy will focus on working with key African countries to develop international and regional frameworks that can anticipate and prevent conflict, and on addressing those factors such as environmental degradation, population growth and poverty that undermine common security on the continent. We are also promoting greater respect for human rights and democracy through organizations such as the Francophonie and the Commonwealth (CITW 31)." A focus on preventive diplomacy, early warning and post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation has positive implications for Africa. Contrary to the Committee report, the Government accepts a role for CIDA, along with other government departments, in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. This role should include support for indigenous peace processes which ensure the full involvement of women, economic and social support for reconstruction, as well as the training of NGOs in conflict resolution and early warning. There is no reference to Canadian involvement in emergency humanitarian operations, briefly discussed in the Committee Report. At the same time, given the experience of Rwanda and Somalia, there may be opportunities to push for what the Committee suggested as "systematic exchange of information, and the establishment of an ongoing tripartite liaison body or roundtable to follow Canada's participation in emergency humanitarian operations." Positively, the government Statement includes a section on the relationship between arms or militarization and development, and an ongoing commitment to the UN Arms Register for conventional weapons. A focus on arms flow to and within Africa requires Canadian leadership. The commitment to the issue of landmines is critical for Africa, where over a dozen countries are severely affected. Regrettably, the Statement makes no significant mention of refugees and displaced people, although the Bureau for Global Affairs offers some opportunity to approach in an integrated fashion the millions of Africans displaced as a result of conflict and scarce resources. Sustainable development issues are not highlighted from a regional perspective in the Statement, although they are obviously key for the future of Africa. Canadian support for the UN Convention on Desertification and its implementation, mentioned in the Statement, will remain crucial for certain regions of Africa. Similarly, the work on African issues of both the
International Development Research Centre and the International Institute for Sustainable Development are significant Canadian contributions to promoting sustainable human development in that continent. Strengthening Human Rights, Democratic Development and African Institutions As mentioned earlier, there is no distinct objective laid out for supporting human rights and democratic development, including on a regional basis, although frequent mention is made of these issues. Canada in the World rightly juxtaposes the triumph of South Africa, where the "power is moving into the hands of the electorate" with the democratic reversals in Nigeria. The Government's support for democratic development is welcomed, in particular since it includes direct reference to the importance of civil society and commitments beyond Canadian involvement in elections, as Canadian NGOs have urged. "Canadian election monitors are a familiar sight the world over from South Africa to Cambodia, from Mozambique to El Salvador. But the Government recognizes that elections alone are not sufficient for democracy to take root in a society. It is also vital to encourage the development of a democratic culture and civil society - one that is pluralistic and participatory, that allows for the expression of diverse views and that offers its members the opportunities and resources to participate in the life of their community and country (CITW pp 35-36). Africa needs both strong governments and strong civil societies. The Organisation for African Unity gets a vote of confidence from the Government in the attribution that "regional cooperation in Africa...is possible. This is a welcome and positive development" (CITW, p. 7). No mention is made of Canadian commitment to subregional structures such as the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). The importance of Canadian ties in Africa through "valuable fora" such as the Commonwealth and La Francophonie are mentioned in the Statement, including our role in promoting human rights and democratic development. Also given support in the Statement is the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, which has strong programs in Africa. The other reference to Africa in the area of human rights is Canadian support for action on Rwanda. In the fulfilling the objective of "projecting Canadian values and culture", the Statement indicates that Canada "helped move the international community on the human rights situation in Rwanda in 1994 by calling for a special meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights. We will also seek to enhance the role of the newly appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Our successful efforts to establish war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia sought to ensure that justice is done" (CITW, p. 35). Notable support and leadership has come from Canada in ensuring international legal instruments are set up and implemented to deal with crimes against humanity. NGOs, in the human rights and development field, have encouraged this leadership and argued for strong Canadian voices denouncing human rights violations in several African countries at bilateral and multilateral levels.