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February 10th, 2022

International Development Week: Liberal Government needs to uphold Canada’s commitments to the world

The NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs and International Development, Heather McPherson, released the following statement:

This week is International Development Week - a week to recognize and celebrate the vital contributions that Canadians are making around the world to eradicate poverty and build a more just, peaceful, and inclusive world for all.

In recent years, Canada hasn’t played a role on the world stage like we had in the past. From helping the world get vaccinated to upholding human rights, Canada has responsibilities which this government can’t ignore.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequities worldwide and it is reversing decades of progress on poverty, gender equality, healthcare, and education.

We know that none of us are safe until all of us are safe. It is increasingly clear that the fight against COVID-19 is a global battle and requires a global response that includes vaccine equity. It is crucial that the Liberals support the Trade Related Intellectual Property (TRIPS) waiver to allow a temporary easing of intellectual property rights related to COVID-19 vaccines to facilitate their production in the developing world and that the Liberal government extends support to help low-income countries distribute and administer the vaccines.

Over the past decade Canada has fallen behind on our commitments globally with declining levels of spending on official development assistance. Now more than ever, we need Canada to be back, to play its role on the international stage in upholding human rights, to engage in diplomacy and peacekeeping, and to assist the world’s most vulnerable.

On behalf of New Democrats, I extend my deepest appreciation to Canadian civil society organizations and all those who work tirelessly to create a more sustainable world.