Green Party Statement for International Development Week

OTTAWA  — During this International Development Week, the Green Party of Canada reaffirms its commitment to achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals - critical to advancing international stability. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for the developing world and to global progress towards achieving the SDGs,” said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul. “Some modelling indicates that the pandemic risks raising the number of people driven into extreme poverty by 44 million in 2030, and as by as much as 251 million people under a ‘High Damage’ scenario.”

“The past year has underscored the interconnectedness and fragility of human populations. As we unpack lessons learned from this current health crisis, it is important to remember that Canada has responsibilities to our international neighbours,” said Ms. Paul. “We know that rich countries have already used their wealth and influence to snap up a majority of vaccines for themselves. Even with the COVAX facility, most vaccine distribution models predict that there will not be universal vaccination against COVID-19 in poor countries until 2023 or 2024. Not only will low-income countries have to wait significantly longer to vaccinate their own citizens, these delays will cost more lives proportionately compared to the wealthy countries and set back development. Canada should not be accessing vaccines from this facility.”

Ms. Paul said Canada must also act quickly to increase its overseas development budget, bringing it in line with our allies, many of whom have already surpassed the 0.7 per cent of GDP goal set out by Prime Minister Pearson. She also called for the restoration of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) with a mandate to provide overseas development assistance where it is most needed. “International stability rests on all nations being able to provide their people with basic needs and security. The pandemic has devastated global economies and stripped vulnerable populations of even their most basic sustenance in many countries. Canada has a role to play in supporting these countries as they seek to recover.” 

“The climate emergency has not disappeared, and it too is preventing progress towards achieving the SDGs, while triggering mass migrations of climate refugees, and exacerbating issues of food security and emergency preparedness,” said Ms. Paul. “Peace, prosperity and stability can only be achieved globally when all countries collaborate to fortify and uphold the rights of all. So, it’s vital that we continue to work multilaterally to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and prepare for the challenges ahead.  

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Rosie Emery

Press Secretary