1997 G7 Compliance Report: Canada

From "The 1997 G7 Compliance Report: From Lyon 1996 to Denver 1997"
Natalie Armstrong, Ina Kota, Jason Krausert, Eleni Maniatis, Nicholas Staines and Christina Tahoces, April 28, 1998

•  Compliance Scores by Issue Area
•  Macroeconomics
•  Trade
•  Microeconomics
•  Development
•  International Institutional Reform (UNCTAD IX)
•  Terrorism
•  United Nations Reform (Financial Obligations)
•  Human Rights
•  Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Chemical)
•  Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Land Mines)
•  Nuclear Safety and Security
•  Environment
•  Global Information Society
•  Transnational Organized Crime
•  Eastern and Central Europe
•  Middle East
•  Asia (Korea)
•  United Nations Reform (Agenda for Development)
•  European Conflict (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

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Compliance Scores by Issue Area

Commitment Grade
Macroeconomics (8) +1
Trade (22) 0
Microeconomics(29) +1
Development (36) 0
International Institutional Reform (UNCTAD IX) (44) -1
Terrorism +1
United Nations Reform (Financial Obligations) (1) +1
Human Rights (2) +1
Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Chemical) (3) +1
Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Land Mines) (3) +1
Nuclear Safety and Security (4) +1
Environment (5) 0
Global Information Society +1
Transnational Organized Crime 0
Eastern and Central Europe +1
Middle East +1
Asia (Korea) (4) -1
United Nations Reform (Agenda for Development) (3) +1
European Conflict (Bosnia-Herzegovina) +1

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Macroeconomics

"...we share a common commitment to a medium-term strategy: credible fiscal consolidation programs, successful anti-inflationary policies..."

Anti-inflation policies - score: +1

Canada has been effective in meeting this commitment. Canada has had an explicit target range for CPI inflation since 1991. The targets was to reduce CPI inflation from over 5% in 1991 to between 1-3%. CPI inflation has been at or below 2% since and including 1992. In 1996, the annual average CPI inflation rate was 1.6% - in the lower end of the target range. Indeed, in the latter half of 1996, the Bank of Canada had become concerned of potential deflation. Inflation has now edged upwards and in the early months of 1997, the year over year CPI inflation rate was just over 2%. The outlook for annual average inflation in 1997 is 1.7%.

In the early 1990s, the weak inflation was the result of tight monetary conditions and the cyclical downturn in the economy. Apart from some strength in 1994, the economy has remained weak and the negative output gap large since 1990. The Bank of Canada has estimated that the output gap averaged about 3.5% in 1996 and remains around 2.5% in early 1997. This has exerted a strong downward pull on inflation. However, since early 1995, the Bank of Canada has moved to ease monetary condition significantly. Declining from over 5% in early 1996, by early 1997 the 3-month T-bill rate had fallen to 3% - a level not seen since the early 1960s and some 200 basis points below the US counterpart. Due to Canada's large trade exposure (exports and imports both account for about 40% of GDP) Canadian inflation is also vulnerable to movements in the currency. The significant decline in the Canadian dollar from the end of 1992 through to early 1995 contributed to easier monetary conditions.

Over the past year, the currency has generally oscillated in the 72-74 cents US range and now appears to have bottomed out, as have interest rates. The Bank of Canada has started to move monetary conditions into neutral because from late 1996, the economy has started to show clearer signs of strength. Real GDP is expected to rise 3-3.5% in both 1997 and 1998 up from 1.5% in 1996. Even so, the output gap is not expected to close until around 1999 and, with the unemployment rate still above 9%, it is unlikely that inflation will emerge as a threat over the short term.

Fiscal consolidation - score +1

Canada has been very effective in meeting this commitment. The federal government has reduced the federal deficit significantly and has improved the long term sustainability of the Unemployment Insurance Fund and the Canada Pension Plan.

---Stringent federal deficit reduction ---

The Liberal federal government initiated a program of severe expenditure cuts and modest tax increases in its 1995/96 fiscal year budget buttressed by explicit deficit targets. The program was confirmed (with minor modifications) in both the 1996/97 and 1997/98 budgets. The program of expenditure cuts has hit all areas, including administration, transfers to persons and business and transfers to the provincial levels of government.

The 1995/96 budget announced in February 1995, introduced a program with a three year cumulative deficit reduction of $29 billion relative to what the deficit would have been otherwise. Of this amount some $25 billion was to derive from expenditure cuts - the bulk of which to were derive from departmental expenditures. The budget sought to reduce the then projected 1997/98 deficit by $13.3 billion. The 1996/97 budget introduced a further $1.8 billion in expenditure cuts mostly targetted for 1998/99. The 197/98 budget and other pre-budget measures increased expenditures by under $1 billion for each year through to fiscal 1999/2000. The 1997/98 budget expenditure increases were probably prompted by the considerable deficit target underrun - and perhaps by the impending federal election.

As a result of this program, the federal deficit on a public accounts basis has been reduced from $37.4 billion (5% of GDP) in fiscal year 1994/95 to a preliminary estimate of $19 billion (2.3% of GDP) in fiscal year 1996/97. The latest 1997/98 budget released in February targets a $6 billion deficit in fiscal 1998/99. The preliminary deficit figure for 1996/97 came in considerably lower than targetted and the final deficit is likely to come in nearer to $13 billion - already lower than the $14 billion target for 1997/98. This was almost entirely due to the very cautious assumptions underlying the budget projections. It now appears that the deficit may well turn into a surplus as early as 1998/1999. The public accounts balance is expected to turn into a surplus at about the same time as the output expected to close. This suggests that the public accounts balance is currently close to a structural balance position.

On a national accounts basis (which includes the sizable Unemployment Insurance Fund surplus), the federal deficit has also shown considerable improvement. It has fallen from $35.1 billion in calendar 1993 to $26.6 billion in 1995 and down to $15.9 billion in 1996. A modest deficit is expected in 1997 and the balance may well turn into a surplus in the closing quarters of the year. This suggests that the national accounts balance is already in a structural surplus position.

What to do with the impending surpluses became a focal issue in the recent federal election campaign. This was won by the incumbent Liberal Party on June 2. The right of centre Reform and Progressive Conservative parties campaigned for debt reduction and tax cuts, while the left of centre New Democratic Party campaigned for renewed program expenditures. The moderately left of centre Liberal Party campaigned for continued deficit reduction until the public accounts deficit is eliminated. Subsequently, the Liberal platform called for a mixture of renewed program expenditures and tax cuts.

---Unemployment Insurance Reform---

A major overhaul of Unemployment Insurance (now called Employment Insurance) has now been in progress since 1995. The main thrust of the changes have been to reduce benefits. Contribution rates were also increased in 1996. This has contributed towards a significant fund surplus. Despite the weakness in the economy, the fund has now been in surplus since 1993 and in 1996 the surplus on a national accounts basis reached $6.5 billion (0.8% of GDP). This has contributed significantly to the bottom line of federal financing requirements. Indeed, the UI surplus will probably allow the federal financing requirements to turn negative in fiscal 1997/98. The unemployment insurance fund balance is included in the national accounts measure of the federal deficit, but not in the public accounts measure.

---Canada Pension Plan contribution rates increased---

The Canada Pension Plan is not part of the federal government balance sheet, but is administered jointly by the federal government and the provincial governments (with the exception of the separate Quebec Pension Plan). The plan moved into deficit in 1993 and there is serious concern about the long term viability of the plan. This is because the plan is organized on pay-as-you-go principles and the elderly dependency ratio is expected to increase significantly from the tail of the next decade. To address this issue, the federal and provincial governments agreed to raise the pension contribution rates. The pension contribution rate is to be increased from 5.6% of insurable income in 1996 to 9.9% in 2003, with most of the tax increase postponed until closer to 2003. The new measures imply that a plan surplus can now be expected by the turn of the decade.

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Trade

"We will ensure full and effective implementation of the Uruguay Round results according to the agreed timetables." (22)

Grade: 0

Background

(Source: World Trade Organization)

Details

The Trade Policy Review (TPR) Body of the WTO conducts regular reviews of member countries' trade policies. On November 18-19/96 this body conducted its fourth review of Canada's trade policies.

The following was derived from the Concluding Remarks from the Chairperson (source: WTO Secretariat):

Main conclusion of Chairperson: "Members fully acknowledged the export-driven growth in the Canadian economy over the past two years, the liberalization in certain sectors, and the various initiatives to review and update trade policy mechanisms. However, a number of concerns had been expressed at earlier reviews remain. These include continuing high levels of protection in the agricultural sector, the large number of anti-dumping measures still in force, and the problems of ensuring that policies shaped at federal level were fully carried through at sub-federal level. Other issues that received emphasis were remaining restrictions in the services sector and the manner of implementation of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing."

Canadian response to TPR comments:

Some points from Press Release entitled "Canada's domestic and external reforms help create stronger base for economic expansion" 11 November 1996 prior to the WTO Trade Policy Review:

Some points from 30th Quadrilateral Trade Ministers' Meeting in Toronto, April 30-May 2, 1997
Statement by Minister for International Trade, Art Eggleton:

Art Eggleton's Opening Statement to the Singapore Ministerial Conference of the WTO December 9, 1996:

Analysis

For the most part, the Canadian government has reaffirmed on several occasions its general support of the WTO Uruguay Round agreement and its intention to comply with the commitments in good faith and within the specified timetables. Minister for International Trade Art Eggleton summed up the pervasive Canadian position when he stated at the WTO Ministerial meeting in Singapore, December 1996: "Although trade policies and regulations have become more transparent through the trade policy review mechanism, WTO members still have much room to improve, particularly with notification of national measures and the timely provision of public access to WTO documents" and "I believe we should continue our efforts to further reduce tariffs, to accelerate the tariff cuts contained in the Marrakesh schedules, and to broaden the number of zero for zero agreements, including oilseeds and aluminum." While the Trade Policy Review Body has repeatedly criticized the Canadian government for slow progress in areas like agriculture, the Canadian approach in certain contentious areas (particularly domestically) appears to be a cautious and steady one. Canadian representatives at the WTO have defended this approach and pointed to general Canadian compliance with specific Uruguay Round agreements. As Canada is in the process of completion and implementation of the Uruguay Round results, the grade designated here is 0.

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Microeconomics

"...we pledge to carry out practical reforms, consistent with the specific situation in each of our countries, aimed at achieving a high level of employment and widely-share prosperity: these include tax and social system reforms to ensure that "work pays," particularly for the least well- off; lowering social security charges which place a burden on low-skilled jobs, in countries with high indirect labour costs; and improving public employment agencies."

(a) Labour supply - Score: +1
The federal government has been very effective in meeting this commitment. There have been four initiatives: reform to the unemployment insurance scheme, welfare cuts and child tax benefits and working .income supplement.

The objective of these policies has been to increase the opportunity cost of not working or to reduce the cost of working and thereby to increase the incentives for the unemployed to seek work. In the short term, these measures are expected to actually increase the unemployment rate. This is because the policies can be expected not only to induce more concerted job search by those already in the labour force, but also to induce entry into the labour force by those not currently looking for work. Unless the number of employed increases faster, the resulting increase in the labour force will register as an increase in the unemployment rate. Only in the longer term - when a larger labour participation rate also induces moderated wage demands - are these policies expected to reduce the unemployment rate.

---Unemployment Insurance Reform--

A major overhaul of Unemployment Insurance (now called Employment Insurance) has now been in progress since 1995. The main thrust of the changes have been to reduce both the access to and magnitude of benefits. Rules on eligibility have been tightened to exclude workers who are temporarily laid off as well as workers who quit voluntarily. The overhaul of the scheme has contributed to a large fund surplus subsequently allowing for a small decrease in premium rates in 1996 paid by both the employer and the employee. This translates into higher net incomes for employees further increasing the incentive to enter the labour force.

----Welfare cuts---

In Canada, welfare support is the fiscal and administrative responsibility of the provincial government. Over recent years, the provincial governments sector has also faced large fiscal deficits. The weak performance of the economy, the high unemployment rate and the burgeoning numbers on welfare have all made contributions. The provincial sector fiscal deficits have been exacerbated by the cuts to federal transfers to the provinces. The provincial government sector has responded with large cuts to welfare support. In the extreme case, the Ontario government has cut welfare support by 22%. The objective of this policy is to move the long term unemployed back into the labour force.

---Child tax benefits and Working Income Supplement---

The child tax credit was enhanced in the February 1997 federal budget for fiscal 1997/98. The Working Income Supplement was introduced in the 1996/97 budget. It supplements the income of the working poor. The objective of these policies is to reduce the cost of entering the labour force. This is particularly the case for single mothers for whom alternative child care is a major expense.

(b) Labour demand - score 0

The performance of the federal government on this commitment is mixed. This is because while the government has reduced unemployment insurance premiums, it has also increased pension contribution rates. The Federal government reduced the unemployment insurance premiums in 1996 and 1997 from 3% to 2.9% of insurable income. The pension contribution rate is to be increased from 5.6% of insurable income in 1996 to 9.9% in 2003, with most of the tax increase postponed until closer to 2003. Arguably, the two measures offset each other so that the net result looks mixed.

This commitment aims to increase employment by promoting employers' incentive to hire or retain employees. The main focus of attention in Canada has been on payroll taxes. Since the contributions are capped, the taxes are less onerous on high income earners. These taxes are borne by both the employer for employing and the employee for working. The argument is that this reduces both the demand for and the supply of labour and so results in higher labour costs and consequently lower employment and higher unemployment.

The empirical evidence supported by Finance Canada is that reducing payroll taxes has only a limited and short-term impact on the demand for labour. This is because in the longer term it is the worker who ultimately bears the brunt of the tax. The portion of the tax directly levied on the employer is ultimately passed onto the worker in the form of lower wages.

(c) Labour institutions - score: +1

The evaluation here is mixed. The federal government in conjunction with the provincial governments has been very active in setting up public sector employment agencies as well as raining programs. However, it is not at all clear that these programs have been at all effective.

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Development

"We renew our commitment to secure substantial flows of official aid and to improve the quality of this aid. The whole international community should be mobilized in this effort and new donors should assume growing responsibility, so that the burden is more equally shared." (Paragraph 36 (Sub-Section 2)

Overall Grade: 0

As a means of explaining Canada's grade on this commitment, what follows is a breakdown of the commitment into three component parts. Such a breakdown will illustrate that with action having been taken on some of these sub- components, and little if any action having been taken on others, Canada could be said to be in the process of meeting the commitment, therefore warranting an overall grade of zero.

Securing Substantial Flows of Official Aid - Grade: -1

Continuing budgetary pressures have prevented the Canadian government from meeting this commitment. As in all G7 countries, with the exception of Japan, efforts to reduce Canada's budget deficit have meant that the $2.11 billion net ODA budget of 1996/1997 is to be reduced by 7.2% to $1.96 billion for the 1997/1998 fiscal year. If next year's 7.3% reduction is adhered to, Canadian ODA will have experienced a decline of 29% since 1993/1994. Although the reductions to Canada's ODA during the current fiscal year were planned prior to the Lyon Summit , the government, of course, had the option of altering those plans following the summit. Thus, having chosen to maintain the scheduled cuts, the Canadian government's action could be said to be contrary to the requirement that G7 members seek to secure substantial quantities of ODA.

Although "securing substantial flows of official aid" is a subjective phrase that is open to interpretation, to interpret this commitment as allowing a reduction in ODA would contradict past actions of G7 members. For instance, in May of 1996, just one month before the Lyon Summit, the G7 countries and the other members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted a report entitled "Shaping the 21st Century: The Contribution of Development Co-operation". Endorsed by the OECD Council at Ministerial Level later that month, the report states in at least two places that, [aid donors] need to sustain and increase official development assistance if we expect to see a reversal of the growing marginalisation of the poor and achieve progress toward realistic goals of human development. It is equally clear than [sic] an effort to build stronger compacts with developing countries on a foundation of shrinking resources and declining commitment will lack credibility.

Having endorsed this report, which recommends as a minimum the maintenance of current ODA levels, it is reasonable to infer that a commitment by G7 members, made less than a month later, to secure substantial quantities of aid would require at least the continuance of the status quo, as opposed to a reduction in ODA as Canada has done.

As well, all G7 members maintain the goal of dedicating 0.7% of their gross national product (GNP) to ODA. To the extent that the 0.7% of GNP figure can be used as a quantifiable referent or standard for what the G7 countries define as a substantial quantity of aid, the fact that Canada has not as of yet reached that threshold means that the 1997/1998 reduction in aid levels does not bring the country closer to securing substantial levels of official aid as was committed to at the Lyon Summit. Thus, Canada cannot be said to have complied with this component of the above commitment.

Improving the Quality of Aid - Grade: +1

Improving the quality of aid involves any action that enhances the developmental impact of ODA including the reducing of tied aid levels, increasing the grant element of a country's aid program, undertaking action to relieve third world debt loads, directing development assistance toward areas with the greatest developmental requirements, and undertaking institutional reforms that lead to better aid programs, and therefore to the more effective usage of aid resources. By this definition, Canadian ODA has been of a fairly high quality, with between 95% and 100% of Canada's aid being provided in the form of grants, with "virtually all of its outstanding ODA debt owed by the poorest countries" having been forgiven , and with the bulk of Canada's bilateral ODA being traditionally focused on Africa, the continent with the most widespread and ongoing developmental needs.

The post-Lyon Summit period has seen CIDA undertake a number of actions to maintain and to improve the quality of its ODA, and thereby, bring Canada largely into compliance with this aspect of its 1996 summit commitment. For instance, although the 1997/1998 ODA reductions mean that aid quantities to Africa will decline, approximately 44% of bilateral Canadian aid will still be directed toward that continent. As well, in December of 1996, a new contracting system was introduced to increase the efficiency of CIDA's contract-formation procedures. That same month also saw the creation of a new website which is partially intended to increase the quality of Canada's development policies by giving the public input into the areas of economic and social development, and environmental protection.

CIDA has also undertaken to further the implementation of its Results-Based Management (RBM) policy. RBM refers to a management approach that focuses on analyzing the results of projects in order to ensure that aid dollars achieve the maximum possible developmental impact. Although RBM was adopted in January of 1995, and introduced in March of 1996, related new initiatives include improved results-based reporting procedures in the 1997/1998 Main Estimates, and the undertaking of year-end assessments of the developmental impact of projects carried out in each of CIDA's four geographically-defined branches. Furthermore, the process of conducting in- depth performance assessments of CIDA's six ODA priority areas will continue, with the assessment of the Agency's basic human needs programming being completed in 1997/1998, and with its infrastructural services funding being reviewed in 1998/1999. As each of the above reforms will improve CIDA's ability to develop effective programming that will provide greater developmental benefits to aid-recipient countries, it can be concluded that Canada has largely complied with its commitment to improve the quality of its development assistance.

Promoting More Equitable Burden Sharing - Grade: 0

Only limited evidence was found of Canadian efforts to achieve a more equitable degree of aid burden sharing. "Burden sharing" refers to the concept in which responsibility for the provision of development assistance is spread out amongst numerous donors, primarily so that no single donating country or group of countries experience a disproportionate share of the expense. As stated in the above commitment, burden sharing involves encouraging both existing donor countries and institutions, as well as new donors to assume their fair share of the aid burden, and to ensure that the aid that is provided is effective in promoting development.

The Canadian government's efforts since the Lyon Summit to encourage existing donor countries and institutions to improve the quality and quantity of aid that they provide appear to be somewhat limited. On September 30, 1996, in a speech to the Development Committee of the World Bank, Finance Minister Paul Martin stated that "Canada is strongly committed" to "improving the development impact" of lending by the World Bank and other international financial institutions (IFI). Toward that end, Mr. Martin outlined a number of recommendations including increasing the dialogue between the IFI's and the developing countries, promoting IFI accountability and project-lending effectiveness, ensuring that lending supports private sector development in the third world, and creating indicators to measure the developmental impact of IFI loans. Finance Minister Martin also stated that IFI's (especially the International Monetary Fund), and bilateral donor countries should increase the resources allocated to third world debt relief, and thereby limit the quantity of aid resources that are in effect diverted from developmental pursuits to the repayment of third world debt.

The Finance Minister's speech itself, however, is not sufficient to judge Canada as having complied with its Lyon Summit commitment. Nonetheless, the detailed outlining of the above recommendations, in conjunction with the speech's repeated references to a number of commitments and recommendations that were contained within the Lyon Summit's Economic Communique suggest at least an acknowledgement of Canada's summit commitments, and represent an effort by the Canadian government to undertake initial steps toward mobilizing the international aid community.

The evidence of the government's efforts to encourage new donors to assume a greater responsibility for the provision of development assistance is also fairly limited. It should be noted, however, that the ability of any G7 country to promote more equitable aid burden sharing is constrained by the sovereignty of potential new donors. In other words, G7 members cannot force new donors to assume a greater prominence in the international aid effort if the latter are unwilling to accept such a responsibility. Therefore, the developed world's efforts to promote burden sharing are largely restricted to undertaking international advocacy to persuade new donors to increase the quantity of aid that they provide.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of examples of how Canada has sought to encourage greater burden sharing between existing and new aid donors. First, on January 13, 1997, it was announced that CIDA and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a letter of intent through which CIDA would provide development programming training to the Korean institution. By providing such training, CIDA will help to increase KOICA's capacity to establish and implement effective development assistance programs, thereby enabling South Korea to assume a greater burden of the international aid effort. As well, similar results should accrue from the posting of a Chilean aid officer at CIDA in April of 1997. Although these two initiatives are not sufficient to warrant a conclusion that Canada has fully complied with its Lyon Summit commitment to promote more equitable burden sharing, they do illustrate that Canada is aware of the commitment that was made, and again has taken tentative steps toward meeting it.

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International Institutional Reform (UNCTAD IX)

44. "UNCTAD IX was a major milestone, in the renewal of UNCTAD. In close partnership with the other member States, we succeeded in reforming UNCTAD's intergovernmental machinery and in refocusing its work on a small number of priorities to promote development through trade and investment with the aim of facilitating the integration of developing countries in the international trade system. We are committed to the implementation of these reforms."

Grading: -1

Background

The goal of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is to ensure that international trade is a force for the durable development of all people and nations. It is designed to promote development through trade and international economic co-operation.

The 9th United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD IX) was concluded on May 11 in Midrand, South Africa. Recognizing that disparities between and within nations could be eliminated only through a global partnership, member States of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development set priorities for policies and concrete action.

Reaffirming their commitment to "partnership for development", the States agreed to practical measures to help developing countries reap the benefits of globalization and development.

The Midrand Declaration states that the partnership for development must be based on a clear definition of roles, the establishment of common objectives, and the development of joint action. This calls for:

  1. strengthening intergovernmental co-operation between developed and developing countries,
  2. co-operation between developing countries should be enhanced with special attention to the least developed countries,
  3. more effective co-ordination and complementarity of multilateral institutions,
  4. mobilization of human and material resources towards development through dialogue and common action between governments and civil society,
  5. partnerships between public and private sector to achieve higher growth rates and greater development.

Analysis

In the Canadian government's foreign trade and development policy record since the Lyon Summit, there have been no direct references to UNCTAD or the courses for future action delineated in the UNCTAD IX final text specifically. Thus, in so far as the Canadian commitment to "reforming UNCTAD's intergovernmental machinery" is concerned, it has been achieved only as far as Canada has been represented in the general UNCTAD IX process after May 1996 eg. General Assembly endorsement of the outcome of UNCTAD IX adopting 28 proposals recommended by the Economic and Financial Committee in December 1996.

Canada has pursued unilateral initiatives to "promote development through trade and investment with the aim of facilitating the integration of developing countries in the international trade system" in the general and broad context of Canadian foreign trade and development policy, with no reference to UNCTAD IX. They are such things as:

1997

1996

While Canadian actions were not specifically pursued in the name of UNCTAD IX declarations, there were significant steps taken to facilitate the integration of developing countries into the international trading system. Moreover, aside from the Lyon communiqué, there has been no further mention of Canadian measures to reform the intergovernmental machinery of UNCTAD IX.

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Terrorism

"We rededicate ourselves and invite others to associate our efforts in order to thwart the activities of terrorists and their supporters, including fund-raising, the planning of terrorist acts, procurement of weapons, calling for violence, and incitement to commit terrorist acts."

Grade: +1

In line with the commitment to examine and implement, in cooperation with all States, all measures likely to strengthen the capacity of the international community to defeat terrorism, Canada and the rest of the P8 met in Paris on July 30, 1996, (less than one month after the G-7 Summit). The Communiqué issued at the Paris Summit, called on all States to adopt the measures laid down in the Ottawa Declaration of December 12, 1995. Furthermore, it called on all States to adopt measures laid down in the Paris Communiqué to deter activities of terrorism, including the planning of terrorist acts, fund-raising, procurement of weapons and incitement to commit terrorist acts. In total the Paris Communiqué put down 25 recommendations.

Canada is present on various UN Committees on Terrorism and works with the UN to promote the implementation of measures to eliminate international terrorism. One of these is the Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism set up by the General Assembly to elaborate conventions on the suppression of terrorist bombings and on acts of nuclear terrorism. This Ad Hoc Committee had its first meeting on Monday, February 24th 1997, and it also has a mandate to address means of further developing a legal framework of conventions dealing with international terrorism. However, its first priority as dictated by the General Assembly resolution on Terrorism 51/210 and as recommended by the Paris Communiqué is to consider an international convention on suppression of terrorist bombings.

At its first session, the Committee was submitted two draft conventions to facilitate its efforts to shape international law on the question of Terrorism. The first, and the one of interest to this compliance study, was a working paper submitted by France on behalf of the G-7 and Russian Federation which in effect, was a draft international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings. It covers issues such as definition, detention and extradition of suspects and efforts to prevent terrorist actions.

In short, Canada has rededicated itself and has invited others to thwart terrorism within the plurilateral context of the G-7 through its participation at the Paris Summit and through its participation in the various UN Committees on Terrorism, particularly the Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism.

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United Nations Reform (Financial Obligations)

Commitment: Chairman's Statement - Global Issues, Paragraph 1
"Conscious of the risks that the present financial crisis poses to the United Nations' ability to function, we are resolved to promote in parallel and as soon as possible a long-term solution based on the adoption of a more equitable scale of contributions, on scrupulous respect by Member States for their financial obligations, and on the payment of arrears."

Grade: +1

Canada is contributing actively to the work of the Carlsson Group of 16 countries drawn from around the world, which is dedicated to strengthening compliance with obligations the UN Charter and to accelerating the pace of multilateral renewal.

First priority is the ongoing financial crisis of the UN. There has been some encouraging progress in the establishment and early results of the Efficiency Board, and in a second year of zero overall budget growth. Furthermore, there is a growing awareness of the need for financial and administrative restructuring. In Lloyd Axworthy's notes for an address to the 51st General Assembly to the UN (Sept. 24, 1996), Axworthy called again for all members to pay dues unconditionally in full and on time. He went further to ask why it is that over half of members are failing to meet this standard and why some are failing entirely to pay.

Axworthy also called for countries to join Canada in demonstrating political will, both in paying dues and in moving forward the difficult task of reviewing the scale of assessments to better reflect capacity to pay.

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Human Rights

"We will take care to ensure that women as well as men benefit fully and equally from the recognition of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which were reiterated on the occasion of the Beijing Conference, and that the rights of children be respected." (2)

Compliance Grade: +1

Axworthy - February 5, 1997 "A commitment to human rights is fundamental to Canadian values and identity. Human rights issues will be a consideration in any relationship we have."

Beijing Conference, September 1995 - resulted in the adoption, by consensus, of the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action. To assist in measuring Canada's compliance to the above human rights commitment, the Platform for Action contains strategic objectives --actions which are to be taken by governments -- which suggests that compliance must entail meeting a number of these objectives. It is evident that such desired government action has for the most part already been exercised by Canada at the domestic level. Nonetheless, the following analysis represents new and or improved/sustained initiatives on the part of the Canadian federal government. In the final analysis, China is addressed. Despite China not being the focus of the Beijing Conference some have suggested that Canada is undeserving of a positive compliance score because of its trade relationship with China. But as the examples below illustrate, it is clear that Canada's China policy does possess a human rights contingent and essentially the value one accords to this human rights approach is thus a subjective determination

Children's Rights
February 1997 - Axworthy - "this issue (children's rights) is a priority for Canadian foreign policy."

Domestic:

International:

Women's Rights:

Axworthy - "The principle of promoting women's rights as part of Canada's human rights us fundamental to Canada's interpretation of its domestic and international obligations."

Country Specific Intiatives:

General:

Canada's China Policy: The Approach Is Constructive Engagement:

The Chretien government has identified human rights as part of its top three Canadian foreign policy objectives (in the context of Projecting Canadian values and culture in the world). However, some scholars have argued that Canada's human rights stance has been reduced to mere rhetoric because of an alleged emphasis of trade over human rights (i.e Team Canada missions). In response, the Chretien government has argued that "Trade on its own does not promote democratization or greater respect for human rights. But it does open doors. It creates a relationship between governments and societies, within which we can begin to speak about human rights." The Chretien government also argues that its approach to human rights issues is contingent upon, and thus country specific, the status of the human rights violating State. Despite the controversy, it is equally valid to suggest that sanctioning human rights violators is often more harmful to those who are in need of human rights protection. Thus, Canada aims not to punish but to influence. As Axworthy argues, "dialogue and engagement represent the most useful avenues for influencing governments."

New Canada-China Initiatives

Thus, Canada is complying with its human rights commitments both domestically and internationally as the test case, China, illustrates that Canada continues to work towards the improvement of China's human rights record. Canada continues to provide technical and legal advice, establish joint committees, increase awareness of international standards, establish linkages and networks, and strengthen existing services to support women's and children's rights. Clearly, private diplomacy has proven to have its benefits, especially in recognition of China's traditionally adverse response to States who publicly pressure China improve its human rights situation.

Other Examples of the Canadian Approach:

Canadian Involvement in Multilateral Fora:

  1. OAS - Canada is co-chair of the Working Group on Human Rights and Development
  2. Commonwealth - Canada works actively in the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) on Nigeria, Gambia, and Sierra Leone. Canada has provided a $2.2 million Democratic Development and Capacity-Building Fund for these countries
  3. ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference
  4. ILO - Canada took leadership role at December 1996 WTO ministerial meeting to establish core labour standards for all members to adhere to and Canada is currently working in the ILO to produce a new convention on the elimination of the most intolerable forms of child labour.

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Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Chemical)

Grade: +1

After the Lyon Summit, Canada continued to work to implement this convention through its participation in the Ad Hoc Group on the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention in Geneva. Canada also has a representative in the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Working Group on Biological and Toxin Weapons. Both the Ad Hoc Group and FAS work to establish and negotiate BTWC verification measures and incentives. Their work on verfication has paved the way for the Review Conferences to initiate steps toward adopting a legal protocol.

Even before the Lyon Summit, Canada considered the establishment of a verification or compliance regime to be a key priority for this Convention. On December 2, 1996, the UN issued a press release on the Conference on Biological Weapons Convention. It stated that the "Fourth Review Conference of the States Parties to the BWC took note of a report of its Committee of the Whole which indicated, among other things, that there was wide support for intensification of the work of an ad hoc group on the design of a verification protocol for the international treaty." Also, on April 1, 1997, the Ad Hoc Group of States Parties to Biological Weapons Convention issued a press release which stated that significant progress was made in the identification of potential basic elements to be included in a verification protocol for consideration at the next session of the Ad Hoc Group in Geneva from 14 July to 1 August, 1997.

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Non-Proliferation of Weapons (Land Mines)

"We call upon states to spare no effort in securing a global ban on the scourge represented by the proliferation and the indiscriminate use of anti-personnel land mines and welcome the moratoria and bans already adopted by a number of countries on the production, use and export of these weapons, unilateral reductions in stockpiles as well as initiatives to address this urgent problem." (3)

Compliance Grading: +1

Result: 50 States met and pledged to work together (the Ottawa Group), regionally and globally, for a total ban on (AP) mines

Action Plan 1997: the Ottawa Action Plan integrates efforts for a ban with a commitment to increase resources for assistance to mine victims, mine awareness, and mine clearance operations.

  1. the promotion of a resolution being prepared for the UN General Assembly calling on all states to end the use of anti-personnel mines and to begin negotiations to outlaw them, regional and national initiatives to prohibit and eliminate land mines and ten follow up meetings to deal with various aspects of the problem.
  2. Commitment to work together and support for UNGA 51 resolution on the implementation of national bans and prohibitions [as of February 1997 - 156 countries have committed themselves to the UNGA 51]
  3. Regional seminars are currently underway on prohibition of AP mines.
  4. until universal ban is signed, the Ottawa Group pledges to encourage universal adherence tot he current prohibitions as contained in the amended Protocol II of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
    • From this meeting, Axworthy invited all States to come to Ottawa in 1997 December to sign a new treaty completely outlawing these weapons (Subsequently, Axworthy has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize as a result of his decisive action on the banishment of anti-personnel landmines)
    • Ottawa follow-up conference - 24-27 June 1997 Brussels, Belgium — with the mandate of assessing progress made since the Ottawa Group met, initiating negotiations on a text of a legally binding ban, and starting the process of acquiring signatures

Domestic:

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Nuclear Safety and Security

"We stress the necessity of further progress in the establishment of relevant domestic legislation and in the enhancement of the international regime of nuclear liability as well as in the preparation of an international convention on the safety of radioactive waste management." (4)

Compliance Grading: +1

Domestic:

In Canada, 22 nuclear power plants meet close to 20% of the nation's electricity needs. Ontario alone depends upon nuclear power for 60% of its energy use/consumption.

Test Case: China

International:

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Environment

"We commit ourselves to strong action and anticipate in 1997 a successful outcome of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention."

Grade: 0

It was difficult to give Canada a grade which would reward efforts made with regards to this commitment, and simultaneously reflect the dismal reality of Canada's record on Climate Change and the position it will likely take in Denver and Kyoto. It is also difficult to determine what the G-7 leaders meant by "successful outcome". For the benefit of the environment, a successful outcome should mean that all parties would agree to reduce greenhouse gases to levels which would promote environmental sustainability. However, this ideal will inevitably be tempered by political interests and economic realities and a "successful outcome" may likely be defined simply as an agreement on targets and timetables reached by all parties at Kyoto. Unfortunately, the latter definition lends itself more for describing a political, not an environmental victory.

Nevertheless, with so many differing views on the policies and measures that could be adopted to meet agreed targets and timetable, and with many countries, including Canada, already failing in their commitment to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000, a successful outcome to the Climate Change Convention will be difficult to achieve, no matter how "successful" is defined.

Canada has participated in negotiations to draft a text for an international agreement committing developed countries to cutting their emissions of greenhouse gases in the first decades of the 21st century. However, when discussing timetables and targets for emissions reductions, Canada is arguing against a reduction of carbon dioxide by 10-20% by the year 2005, calling this goal unrealistic and proposing that objectives be set for the 2010-2015 period without quantifying them. On a more positive note, Canada submitted Building Momentum-Sustainable Development in Canada to the Fifth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 7-25, 1997. Part of the report dealt with measures Canada is currently taking in the transportation industry to reduce its harmful effects to climate change, the depletion of the ozone layer, the spread of toxic organic and inorganic substances, and other environmental problems.

Ruth Archibald, the Head of the Delegation of Canada to the Commission on Sustainable Development Inter-Sessional Ad-Hoc Working Group, stated the following on 25 February 1997:
"A successful outcome at the Conference of the Parties meeting in Kyoto in December 1997 is critical in addressing the climate change issue. In our view new commitments should be environmentally effective, realistic, enforceable, and achievable in a cost effective manner. Like many other countries, Canada is unlikely to meet its goal of stabilizing greenhouse gases at 1990 levels by the year 2000. This does not mean that we are standing still. Canada has an active national program of initiatives aimed at mitigating climate change...We hope that world leaders gathered at the Special Session will give a special impetus to all parties to propel climate change negotiations forward." All of which Ms. Archibald stated in her address to the Chairman of the Working Group is true. Canada is taking certain steps to improve its record on Climate Change. However, it also cannot be denied that Climate Change is not on the top of Canada's environmental priorities. Forests, oceans, and the Arctic dominate the Canadian environmental agenda. Climate change appears under the guise of transportation and even then it is beaten by cross-related issues such as gender equality, youth, education and health. Thus, while Canada has taken action to mitigate climate change, it is evident by the way the federal government has structured its environmental priorities that Canada has not committed itself to taking strong and meaningful action to adhere to the agreed upon commitments in the Climate Change Convention, as the G-7 commitment calls for. If the government had, they would be allying with the European Union on the issue of carbon dioxide reduction. Canada is saved from a negative grade for compliance on this issue because of its involvement in the climate change negotiations, its initiatives in the transportation industry to reduce carbon dioxide levels, and Ruth Archibald's word that Canada is committed to propel the Climate Change Convention forward.

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Global Information Society

"We will support public and private efforts to increase the use of information and communication technologies for development and encourage international organizations to assess the appropriate role which they can play."

Grade: +1

Analysis:

In early December 1996, Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy announced the creation of a national partnership to build a Canadian International Information Strategy (CIIS). CIIS is a government-wide approach being developed under the leadership of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in conjunction with the private sector to reach foreign markets more effectively, convey Canada's messages abroad, influence international audiences, and employ new information technology. Through the use of modern technologies such as satellite transmission and electronic networks, the Strategy aims to establish a permanent, technically advanced, and cost-effective presence that will carry Canada's message to the world well into the 21st century.

CIIS will allow for new information technologies to be used as tools to achieve Canadian foreign-policy goals. Canada's public and private sectors are already using the full range of communications technologies to reach out to the world in the fields of education, development assistance, human rights, and the cultural industry. In the NGO sector, for instance, the International Development Research Organization (IDRC) has advanced the progress of information technologies and information networks for development. In addition, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funds information-technology and distance-learning related projects around the globe, from Africa to Asia.

CIIS will facilitate the process of articulating the principle Canadian themes and messages to international audiences such as democracy, respect for human rights, tolerance, as well as, bilingualism, multiculturalism, respect for diversity, the rule of law, a market economy moderated by unifying social programmes, and flexible federalism. As one of the most wired and high-tech nations in the world, Minister Axworthy has argued that Canada is well placed to wield "soft power" and to act as a knowledge broker.

The first main aim of CIIS involves the establishment of a comprehensive approach to project abroad information about Canada. This approach will entail both selling the structures (that is, the hardware and software) and spreading the content (that is, Canadian values). Therefore, by strategically using this information and by influencing other countries through the presentation of attractive models and ideas, Canada has the capacity to exert political, economic, and cultural influence. The second aim of the Strategy will involve the usage of new information technology as a tool to fulfil Canada's foreign-policy goals. These technologies possess great potential for addressing human rights abuses or international crime - areas where the rapid international exchange of information is essential. Moreover, these technologies can help establish free media to counter hate propaganda, bolster democracy, and reduce the likelihood of conflict in troubled regions. Most importantly, CIIS will become a significant focus of Canada's development-assistance efforts.

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Transnational Organized Crime

"Therefore, we commit ourselves to:...Resist the enormous threat posed by narcotic traffickers, by implementing the UN conventions against drugs, and intensifying efforts to put traffickers behind bars and prevent them from laundering their money."

Grade: 0

Background
The United Nations (UN) has had a long history of attempting to curb the threat that is posed by the international dealing in illicit drugs. In 1961, the UN adopted the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, which was followed ten years later by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Building on these past achievements, the UN approved the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances on December 19, 1988. [1] The 1988 Convention is comprehensive and outlines what constitutes an illegal narcotics offence; gives guidance regarding how the judiciaries of UN member states should deal with such offences; provides for the confiscation of drug-related profits, illegal substances, and illegal drug-processing equipment; and requires that signatories adjust their laws in accordance with the provisions of the Convention. The Convention also establishes guidelines for appropriate extradition procedures, and other forms of international cooperation in the prosecution of those accused of narcotic-related offences. In addition to these measures, the UN General Assembly's Political Declaration and Global Programme of Action, adopted on February 23, 1990, calls on member countries to curb international drug trafficking by limiting the global markets that exist for narcotics traffickers through such means as implementing policies that discourage the use of illegal substances, and which seek to treat and rehabilitate drug abusers.

Analysis
While the Canadian government has undertaken some actions to curb narcotic trafficking since the Lyon Summit, such actions do not appear to have been taken with the above UN documents in mind. Therefore, it cannot be said that Canada is fully in compliance with its above commitment. Measures adopted by Canada have included participating in discussions with the Guatemalan government on drug- related issues, after which Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axworthy stated that "...Canada will do whatever it can to help [the Guatemalan government] deal with corruption, narcotics trafficking and terrorism, and to establish the rule of law." [2] As well, on September 21, 1996, the UN-associated Inter-Parliamentary Council, of which Canada is a member, unanimously endorsed a set of recommendations on the implementation of the results of the World Summit for Social Development. These recommendations included provisions that urged governments to strengthen domestic laws regarding money laundering, organised crime, narcotic trafficking, and the seizure of money acquired through illegal drug deals. [3] Furthermore, on December 19, 1996, Canada agreed to renew the Canada-Mexico Memorandum of Understanding on the fight against drug trafficking.

There are a couple of reasons for why these measures cannot be seen as bringing Canada into full, or almost full compliance with its commitment to curb international drug trafficking and money laundering. First, neither the above actions, nor the sources consulted in preparing this study make significant reference to, or provide for the further curbing of money laundering in Canada. This aspect of the commitment, therefore, does not seem to have been adequately addressed. Second, in announcing the measures described above, no mention was made of their having been motivated by the desire to further implement the 1988 UN Convention or the 1990 Programme of Action. Consequently, the extent to which such actions are in line with these UN documents must be judged as being largely by chance, and therefore, cannot be said to constitute a fulfilment of Canada's commitment to implement the UN agreements. [4]

Nonetheless, the actions taken by the Canadian government are not insignificant enough to warrant a complete dismissal. For instance, Foreign Affairs Minister Axworthy's statement about providing the Guatemalan government with assistance in dealing with narcotic trafficking could reasonably be seen as a public statement of intent for future action that would involve a commitment of resources should they be required. The same could be said of the government's endorsement of the Inter- Parliamentary Council's set of recommendations for fighting international drug dealing and for the measures to combat it. The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding with Mexico also presumably entails a commitment of resources or other assistance by the Canadian government. Finally, the above actions illustrate that fighting international organised crime and drug dealing is a priority for the government. Thus, although Canada cannot be said to be in full compliance with its commitment, the above measures illustrate not only the government's acknowledgement of its responsibilities to curb international drug trafficking, but also its efforts to act upon those responsibilities in the post-Lyon Summit period. A grade of zero, therefore, is warranted.

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Eastern and Central Europe

"We actively support the process of economic and political transition under way for over five years in Central and Eastern Europe." Grade: +1

Analysis:

The Canadian Government's record in the domain of economic and political transition in Central and Eastern Europe has been impressive and its contribution, substantial. In particular, Canada has actively supported the process of economic transition under way in Central and Eastern Europe through trade and investment initiatives. Such initiatives have not only strengthened Canada's trade and investment ties in the region but have also supported economic development in these newly-democratized countries and significant European markets through the promotion of Canadian technology and expertise.

In 1996, three successive trade missions to Eastern Europe were undertaken either by the Minister of International Trade or by his Foreign Affairs colleague. In Poland, International Trade Minister Eggleton signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which the Polish export credit agency (Kuke) and its Canadian counterpart, the Export Development Corporation (EDC), will back a joint project in Morocco. In Russia, the Minister announced that large private sector Russian firms would now be eligible for EDC loans. In addition, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will fund three new projects valued at $5.2 million to support economic, environmental, and legal reforms in that country. In Ukraine, Canadian businesses signed several trade contracts, and Foreign Affairs Minister Axworthy announced a contribution of $7.5 million for four projects to upgrade hydroelectric power plants.

The Canadian Government, however, also continues to support the political transition under way in Central and Eastern Europe. At the end of December 1996, Minister Axworthy announced that Canada would participate in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) mission to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to investigate the issues surrounding the Serbian municipal elections of 17 November 1996 and the subsequent repeal of their results in certain municipalities. According to Minister Axworthy, Canada's participation in this mission represents the country's "recognized expertise in democratic development and, in particular, the role Canada has played in the region, such as Bosnia, in the conduct of democratic elections."

The following list is a record of further initiatives that have been pursued by the Canadian Government since the last G7 Summit in Lyon, France:

1997

1996

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Middle East

"We reaffirm our determination to enforce full implementation of all UN Security Council resolutions concerning Iraq and Libya only full compliance with which could result in the lifting of all sanctions."

Grade: +1

Background

On August 7, 1990, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 661 which put in place a comprehensive economic embargo on Iraq in response to that country's August 2, 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The embargo prohibited UN members from undertaking any trade or financial transactions with the Iraqi government, with the exception of the UN-approved provision of humanitarian items such as food and medical supplies. [5] In an effort to tighten the sanctions, the Security Council passed resolution 665 on August 25, 1990. Resolution 665 created the Multinational Interception Force which was mandated to "halt all inward and outward maritime shipping in order to inspect and verify their cargoes and destinations and to ensure strict implementation of the provisions related to such shipping laid down in resolution 661 (1990)." [6] In order to ease the hardships that the above sanctions had created for the Iraqi people, the Security Council passed resolution 986 in 1995. Under a May 1996 agreement between the UN and the Iraqi government, resolution 986 permits Iraq to sell two billion dollars worth of oil every six months, and to use those funds to purchase medical and other humanitarian supplies.

Next, the sanctions that have been imposed on Libya stem from that country's involvement in supporting international terrorism. Dating back to the early 1980's, the UN embargo on Libya was strengthened in 1992 in response to Libya's suspected involvement in the bombings of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, and of the French UTA flight 772 in 1989. In addition to the previously implemented trade sanctions, the 1992 measures require that UN members sever all air links with Libya, and refrain from providing the Libyan government with aviation parts or service. [7] The sanctions against Libya were further reinforced in 1993 when Security Council resolution 883 placed a limited freeze on Libya's international assets, and banned the sale to Libya of some types of oil-processing equipment. [8]

Analysis

By the time that the above commitment was made at the Lyon Summit, Canada was already in full compliance with the UN resolutions pertaining to Iraq and Libya. [9] For instance, immediately following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Canada banned the import of Iraqi oil, restricted Canadian exports to Iraq, curtailed export promotion activities, froze Iraqi assets, and discontinued cultural and academic programs. [10] With respect to Libya, Canada had, prior to the Lyon Summit, banned the export of oil equipment, required that permits be issued to all companies wishing to export to Libya, restricted Canadian provision of aid to that country's aviation industry, supported the UN arms embargo, and has undertaken further measures to restrict Canadian businesses from becoming active in Libya. [11]

Although no new initiatives seem to have been undertaken in the post-summit period, this is largely the result of first, the high level of compliance that existed prior to the making of the commitment, and second, the fact that no new UN resolutions have been adopted requiring an intensification of the sanctions against Iraq and Libya. [12] Thus, with no new actions being necessary to bring Canada into line with existing UN resolutions as a result of Canada's plus one level of compliance before the Lyon Summit, and having maintained effective enforcement of the sanctions following the summit, the maintenance of Canada's plus one grade is justified.

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Asia (Korea)

"We urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ... to develop the dialogue and cooperation with the Republic of Korea ..., this being the only means of achieving permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and ensuring a more stable and more secure future for the Korean People."

Grade: -1

Our research indicated that the Canadian Federal Government has taken no initiative to comply with this commitment. The only mention of Korea in the Federal Governments Statements and Speeches, Press Releases or other government publications pertains to Team Canada's trade initiatives with the Republics. Other sources, such as the daily newspapers, make no mention of Canada urging dialogue between the Republics (to our knowledge).

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United Nations Reform (Agenda for Development)

"We will continue and reinforce our efforts to improve the functioning of the UN in the economic and social fields and its impact on development. We will continue to work in partnership with other members to complete the processes underway, including Agenda for Development, and initiate further processes as required."

Grade: +1

Background:

The main objectives of the United Nations' Agenda for Development are the promotion of economic development, social development, and environmental protection. Furthermore, the Agenda for Development is dedicated to the improvement of the quality of life through the eradication of poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy, the provision of adequate shelter, the advancement of women, securing employment for all, and protecting the integrity and sustainable use of the environment. Democracy, participation, and transparent and accountable governance, as well as, the protection and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms are indispensable foundations for development. The Agenda for Development, therefore, testifies to the renewed commitment of Governments of all countries to mobilize national and international efforts in pursuit of development and to revitalize and strengthen international development cooperation.

Analysis:
While the Canadian Government has not adopted any initiatives specifically in the name of Agenda for Development, it has, nonetheless, advanced other processes that are consistent with the main objectives outlined in this UN document.

In his September 24, 1996 address to the 51st General Assembly of the United Nations, Foreign Affairs Minister Axworthy called on the member states of the UN to commit themselves to collectively work together in support of the UN and in support of advancing the key objective of "sustainable human security," both in the context of addressing more traditional military threats to peace and security and in response to new threats. Furthermore, he announced that Canada would offer a roster of human rights experts available for rapid deployment as part of larger peacebuilding operations and for specialized human rights tasks. Canada will be co-ordinating its efforts with Norway and other countries to ensure coherent focussed support for UN efforts. The goals of the human rights roster include:

In addition, Minister Axworthy pointed to the need for better international co- operation on human rights to advance sustainable human security and singled out the plight of the world's children as a priority area for Canada. Canada participated in the World Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm in August 1996, and announced that it will move resolutely to conclude the negotiation of the Optional Protocol of the Convention of the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography. Axworthy stated that Canada would use its development budget to support education, poverty alleviation, and the provision of economic alternatives.

The Canadian Government has sponsored many projects this past year that are intended to promote all forms of development in several countries around the globe:

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European Conflict (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

"We support the High Representative in his work of preparation with the Parties of the establishment of new institutions: the Collective Presidency, the Council of Ministers, the Parliament, the Constitutional Court and the Central Bank. We shall provide the future authorities with the necessary constitutional and legal assistance."

Compliance: +1

Canada continues to play an active role in Bosnia. Concerning legal and constitutional assistance, Canadian involvement is evident in a number of fora. Canada has assisted in the development and implementation of the Guiding Principles of the Civilian Consolidation Plan 1997-1998 -- considered to be the first step towards a sound legal and constitutional foundation for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that all members of the G7 stress that primary responsibility for the preservation of peace and stability in Bosnia lies with the Parties of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Accordingly, Canada provides assistance primarily through multilateral efforts and continues to emphasize a focus on peace-building, capacity-building, and work towards stronger democratic institutions (reconstruction). Therefore, it might be worthwhile to consider the compliance of all G7 members in the context of capacity building principally through multilateral fora.

Canadian Involvement in Bosnia

Multilateral

OSCE
Canada has played a leading role in election planning and observation

Office of the High Representative (OHR), Carl Bildt

Peace Implementation Conference (PIC) Steering Board

International Police Task Force (IPTF)

SFOR

Bilateral:

"By the end of 1997, national and entity governments in Bosnia should be functioning and assuming more responsibility; municipal elections should be completed; economic recovery should be taking hold...Both towns and countryside should be safer because land mines are being cleared; because the IPTF and the local police forces are cooperating; because war criminals are being brought to justice; and because gradually, refugees and the displaced are returning home." AXWORTHY - Peace Implementation Council, December 4, 1996.

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Notes

[1] This brief history came from United Nations, "United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances," (New York: United Nations, 1988), n.p.. This document is available on the internet at http://undcp.or.at/conventions/0679h.txt.

[1] Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), "Minister Axworthy Welcomes Anti-Corruption Efforts of Guatemalan Government," This Week in Trade and Foreign Policy, (September 16-23, 1996), (Ottawa: DFAIT, 1996), n.p.

[3] Inter-Parliamentary Union, "Priority Actions for Implementation by Parliaments of the Results of the World Summit for Social Development: Findings and Recommendations of the Inter-Parliamentary Council," (September 21, 1996), (Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union, 1996), n.p.

[4] This criteria for defining what constitutes compliance was mentioned in a preparatory document that was provided to members of the University of Toronto G7 Research Group prior to initiating this study. The original source is unknown.

[5] Kim R. Nossal, Rain Dancing: Sanctions in Canadian and Australian Foreign Policy, (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Inc., 1994), p. 195. See also John Kirton, "Liberating Kuwait: Canada and the Persian Gulf War," Canadian Foreign Policy: Selected Cases, Edited by Don Munton and John Kirton, (Scarborough: Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1992), p. 384.

[6] United Nations Security Council, Resolution 665, (August 25, 1990). n.p. This document was obtained from the internet at http://www.nd.edu/~aleyden/res665.html

[7] Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, "Libya," (Ottawa: DFAIT). Internet Source: http://www.dfait- maeci.gc.ca/english/foreignp/dfait/policy_papers/ 93_04_e/s19.html

[8] anon., "Libya Violated Flight Ban - UN Security Council," (May 20, 1997), n.p.. Internet Source: http://www.yahoo.com/headlines/970520/international/stories/libya_1.html

[9] This was pointed out during personal interviews with Fred Mattuck (May 21, 1997) and Michel Actessier (May 21, 1997), whom are both officers with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

[10 Nossal, Rain Dancing, p. 194. See also Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), "Appendix 1," n.p., Internet Source: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/english/ foreignp/dfait/policy_papers/93_04_e/s37.html

[11] Canada, DFAIT, "Appendix 1," n.p.. Michel Actessier, Personal Interview, May 21, 1997.

[12]This latter factor was mentioned in personal interview with Ginette Tognet on May 21, 1997.

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