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Democracy
Paragraphs Related to the Theme Paragraphs VII Summit

- Antigua and Barbuda - Argentina - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - Bolivia - Brazil - Canada - Chile - Colombia - Costa Rica - Dominica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Mexico - Nicaragua - Panama - Paraguay - Peru - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Suriname - Trinidad and Tobago - United States - Uruguay - Venezuela -
Reports
Date:  6/18/2010 
Canada is reinforcing its relationships with key bilateral partners in the Americas to achieve common objectives, pursue mutual interests, and advance shared values. Recognizing that the Americas are a diverse and dynamic region, Canada strives to engage constructively with all countries in the hemisphere in the spirit of cooperation established in the Charter of the OAS, while maintaining our core belief in the value of democratic governance, including freedom, human rights and the rule of law. In an effort to strengthen bilateral relationships, Canada has increased its engagement in the region through numerous high-level visits by the Governor General, the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers. In recognition of the region’s importance to Canada, in 2008 Prime Minister Harper named a dedicated Minister for the Americas, Minister of State Peter Kent. Minister Kent has conducted regular visits to the region in order to strengthen Canada’s bilateral and multilateral ties in the hemisphere and to bolster Canadian engagement on key hemispheric issues. Canada has also strengthened its diplomatic capacity through the increased deployment of civil servants to the region.
Paragraphs: 3 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/18/2010 
Canada is committed to advancing its interconnected and mutually-reinforcing objectives of strengthening democratic governance, security and prosperity in the region. Canada’s objective with respect to democratic governance is to strengthen democratic institutions, practices and principles that safeguard freedom, human rights and the rule of law. Canada’s approach involves promotingfree and fair elections, supporting independent civil society and media, and working with multilateral organizations in the region.

Canada’s efforts to enhance regional security and stability aim to combat the threats posed by illegal drugs, organized crime, pandemics and natural disasters. Canada has made a significant new investment to combat transnational criminal activity in the Americas, establishing the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) in December 2009. The objective of the ACCBP is to enhance the capacity of States, government entities and international organizations to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational criminal activity. ACCBP programming consists of $15M per year for activities such as training, legislative drafting and advocacy and awareness-raising.

Canada also conducts anti-crime efforts in the region through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the OAS Inter-American Drug Control Commission (CICAD), as well as through the Ministerial Meetings for Public Safety (MISPA) and Justice Ministers and Attorneys General (REMJA). Canada’s annual contributions provide support for efforts in the region to address drug control, corruption and human trafficking. Canada also contributes to training and technical assistance aimed at improving international legal cooperation, as well as mentoring programs and criminal justice reform.

Canada’s efforts to increase prosperity in the region include promoting responsible investment and open markets to create new opportunities and jobs. Canada is pursuing robust bilateral and regional free trade agreements, double taxation agreements, foreign investment protection agreements, stronger financial and bank institutions, and a comprehensive development assistance agenda.
Paragraphs: 5 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/18/2010 
The consolidation of democracy in the Americas is a priority for Canada. Canada is working with other OAS Member States and the Secretary General to ensure the full application and strengthening of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. In 2009, as in previous years, Canada introduced an OAS General Assembly resolution on the subject.
In response to the coup d'état in Honduras, Canada’s Minister of State for the Americas participated in high-level missions to Tegucigalpa in support of mediation efforts. Minister Kent remained in regular contact with all key interlocutors, encouraging them to reach a resolution that would restore Hondurans’ trust in democratic institutions and advance the country’s reintegration into the hemispheric community..
In 2008, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) committed significant resources over three years to build the OAS’ institutional capacity. In 2009, CIDA also contributed to the OAS' Americas Electoral Assistance Initiative which supports Member States in developing stronger, more transparent electoral practices and institutions. CIDA is also providing support to the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the Americas (FIPA) to facilitate parliamentary dialogue and exchange. Through its support for FIPA, Canada contributed to efforts aimed at strengthening the efficiency of the legislative branch and its ability to promote democratic governance and to implement policies to maximize gains from trade, create jobs and reduce poverty. Canada assisted with the organization of the fifth FIPA bilateral trade workshop held at the Argentine Congress on March 16, 2010.
At the bilateral level, Canada provides assistance to help form more effective, transparent and accountable public institutions. CIDA contributed in 2009 to budgetary support for the strategic plans of four public institutions which play a key role in exercising democratic governance in Bolivia. CIDA also assisted Haiti's National Identification Office to modernize its capacity to maintain a unified national civil registration and identification system.
Additionally, Canada is supporting civil society advocacy to strengthen the implementation of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. For example, Canada funded the Carter Center to engage with governments and civil society to encourage application of the Charter.
In addition, the Government of Québec provided financial support for the co-ordination of OAS activities in Haiti, in particular those related to good governance and democratic development.
Paragraphs: 78 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/18/2010 
Canada is committed to promoting effective participation of local government institutions and local community groups in the democratic process, at home and abroad.
Domestically, the Government of Canada works with provinces, territories, municipalities and other partners to realize the hopes Canadians hold for themselves and their families. Through its Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada is providing a significant amount of stimulus to help Canadian workers and communities manage through the global recession. In the Americas, Canada has invested in initiatives that enhance citizen participation in political decision-making at the local level and empower local governments. In Haiti, CIDA has supported Haitian government institutions in developing a national local development policy and implementing a co-ordination structure that represents local development stakeholders. Additionally, Canada provided support to the Caribbean Forum for Local Government for the development of a Regional Policy and Cooperation Framework on Local Governance which aims to promote and foster good local governance throughout the region.
The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA,) has supported the work of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), an organization representing Canada’s municipal government. FCM’s extensive work in Latin America and the Caribbean continues to focus on improvement of local governance and democratic practices, and development of overseas partners’ capacity to deliver essential services, promote economic growth and encourage the participation of their citizens. FCM has implemented a municipal partnership program with programming in Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Program activities included assisting the Federation of Latin American Cities, Associations, and Municipalities in sharing best practices on decentralization and democratic governance in the region.
Paragraphs: 79 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/18/2010 
Canada is party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACAC), and participates in the Committee of Experts of the Follow-Up Mechanism for Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC). Canada is currently the Vice-Chair of the MESICIC which is undertaking its third review round on how states are implementing the IACAC.

At the November 2009 Conference of States Parties of the UNCAC, Canada actively participated in the negotiation of the terms of reference for an effective, transparent, and inclusive UNCAC implementation review mechansm. Canada also participates in ongoing UNCAC working groups on asset recovery and technical assistance.

In 2009-10, Canada provided technical assistance through the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to advance the implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption and in support of anti-corruption objectives more generally.

Canada has made a significant new investment to combat transnational criminal activity in the Americas, establishing the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) in December 2009. One of the ACCBP's six priorities is to provide support for anti-corruption and transparency measures and assist in the effective implementation of legislative frameworks such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (IACC).
Paragraphs: 80 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Date:  6/18/2010 
Canada works with other countries in the hemisphere enhancing legal mechanisms for information sharing, principally through the inter-American Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA). At the last REMJA meeting in Brazil in February 2010, Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General worked with counterparts from the region to strengthen access to justice and international legal cooperation.
The Government of Canada is committed to transparency and accountability. Canada’s Access to Information Act gives Canadian citizens the right to access information in federal government records. The Privacy Act provides citizens with the right to access personal information held by the government and protection of that information against unauthorized use and disclosure.
Paragraphs: 81 Paragraphs VII Summit: -

Related Resources
Access to Information Act
Agence canadienne de développement international | Canadian International Development Agency
Canada and the Americas: Priorities & Progress
Department of Justice Canada | Ministère de la Justice Canada
Fédération canadienne des municipalités
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada | Affaires étrangères et Commerce international Canada
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada | Affaires étrangères et Commerce international Canada
Le Canada dans les Amériques: Priorités et progrès
Loi sur l'accès à l'information
Office of the Auditor General of Canada | Bureau du vérificateur général du Canada