Canada focuses on protecting democracy at Summit for Democracy

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Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

By Caribbean News Global Caribbean News Global fav Canada focuses on protecting democracy at Summit for Democracy

OTTAWA, Canada – Prime minister, Justin Trudeau, joined leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector at the Summit for Democracy, to take collective action to strengthen and revitalize democracy, and tackle the greatest threats facing our democracies. The virtual event, hosted by the president of the United States of America, Joe Biden, comes at a time when democracies around the world are facing unprecedented challenges.

“We must work together to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. I thank president Biden for hosting the important Summit for Democracy, which comes at a critical moment for our democracies. Together, we must continue to work to safeguard our institutions, counter the rise of authoritarianism, and protect and expand democratic rights and freedoms worldwide in order to create a more secure, stable, and prosperous world for future generations,” said Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada.

In Canada’s national statement, prime minister Trudeau emphasize that democracy is not something countries can take for granted, and that leaders need to work together to constantly renew our democracies so that they continue to deliver for people. He will also affirm that Canada remains committed to working collaboratively with governments and defenders of democracy, including journalists, civil society leaders, academics, and beyond, to promote democratic renewal at home and abroad.

To advance democracy and defend against authoritarianism, the prime minister announced the establishment of a new Canadian centre to better support democracy and good governance around the world.

“Canada will also strengthen its capacity to provide fast and flexible support to fragile or emerging democracies through international assistance and diplomatic efforts. This will improve the timeliness, flexibility, and agility of responses to sudden democratic and human rights crises,” the prime minister, added. “To continue to advance respect for human rights, Canada will provide $5 million in additional funding to the Office of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2021.

“Canada will also increase support for the US State Department’s emergency assistance and capacity building programs focused on protecting LGBTQ2 persons, religious minorities, and civil society organizations (CSO) through contributions of $1 million each to the Global Equality Fund, the International Religious Freedom Fund, and the Lifeline Embattled CSO Fund,” said Trudeau.

The prime minister also highlighted Canada’s strong global leadership to address arbitrary detention by establishing the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations, which has been endorsed by more than 65 states. In 2022, Canada will continue to demonstrate leadership to advance shared democratic values and ideals as Chair of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), chair of the Freedom Online Coalition, and Co-chair of the Media Freedom Coalition.

“The government of Canada recognizes that for democracy to prosper, it must be inclusive,” prime minister Trudeau announced that “Canada will increase its support for women’s leadership and political participation through a new contribution of $1 million to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy with a focus on ASEAN countries.

“Digital technologies possess enormous potential for public good, but we must ensure that the rights and freedoms that individuals enjoy offline are also protected online. Canada has been a champion for digital inclusion and human rights online, including the freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, as well as online privacy,” the prime minister announced a call for proposals, with a value of $3 million to support innovative initiatives to ensure that technology supports democracy and open societies.

“Preventing and fighting corruption remains a critical component of democratic renewal. To address and fight corruption globally, Canada will convene a high-level roundtable in 2022 to examine effective ways to strengthen international legal frameworks to combat corruption globally. Canada will also continue to support capacity-building initiatives to enhance the ability of foreign states to combat corruption, such as organized crime and money laundering, and ensure the transparent governance of national resources in developing countries.

“Democratic renewal begins at home,” the prime minister emphasized that governments “must work to ensure that people in all their diversity, including marginalized people, can make their voices heard.”

Throughout the Summit, the prime minister showcased Canada’s extensive domestic action to defend democracy and safeguard our institutions, including through the Plan to Protect Canada’s Democracy.

“At home and abroad, the government of Canada remains steadfast in its commitment to democracy, which is best suited to tackling the great challenges of our time and addressing the issues that matter most to Canadians. Together we will continue to advance democracy at home and around the world so we can build a better future for everyone.”

Dominic LeBlanc, minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities, said: “Canada reaffirms its commitment to work with our partners around the world to address threats and to demonstrate how we can safeguard our own institutions. Public trust is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy and we continue to work collaboratively to ensure Canadians have confidence in their democratic institutions and processes.”

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