Our Priorities

Priorities for 2013–2014

Contribute to economic prosperity through implementation of an updated Global Commerce Strategy, with an emphasis on expanding and diversifying commercial relationships with emerging and high-growth markets.

  • Implement an updated Global Commerce Strategy to improve the access of Canadian companies to key markets, capital, technology, talent, and trade-promotion and partnership-development support.
  • Seek an ambitious conclusion to the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and support ratification and implementation of a concluded agreement.
  • Seek an ambitious Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with India, advance free trade negotiations with Japan and South Korea, and deepen commercial engagement with Africa with an emphasis on investment promotion and protection.
  • Promote Canada as a reliable and responsible supplier of resources to global markets.

Promote democracy and respect for human rights, and contribute to effective global governance and international security.

  • Provide leadership on international human rights issues, develop a strategy to advance democracy, and work with partners to improve transparency and accountability for results within key international organizations.
  • Address international security challenges, including terrorism, transnational organized crime and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and promote security and stability in fragile states and regions.
  • Defend Israel’s right to exist and expand freedom and security in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Establish a cyber foreign policy to promote Canada’s Internet-related economic, security and foreign policy interests.
  • Operationalize the Office of Religious Freedom to promote tolerance and human rights, and encourage protection of religious minorities.

Reinforce the Canada-U.S. relationship and expand Canada’s engagement in the hemisphere.

  • Deepen commercial relations with the United States through support for innovation and foreign investment, and promotion of Canada as a stable and secure source of energy and energy technology.
  • Support the negotiation and implementation of the Canada-U.S. Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness, and enhance Canada-U.S. continental defence cooperation.
  • Implement targeted engagements in the Americas, including expanded commercial engagement, cooperation with Mexico, and support to Central American and Caribbean partners to address security challenges.
  • Engage with the Pacific Alliance, and enhance political and economic engagement with Brazil.

Increase Canada’s economic and political engagement in Asia.

  • Implement a plan for Asia designed to deepen targeted economic, security and governance partnerships.
  • Pursue deepened market access by advancing bilateral free trade negotiations with key partners, including Japan, Korea, India, and contributing to an ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement covering a market of 658 million people and a combined GDP of $20.5 trillion.
  • Pursue exploratory trade discussions with Thailand and deeper economic relations with China.
  • Continue to pursue foreign investment promotion and protection agreements with countries of interest such as Indonesia, Mongolia and Cambodia.
  • Deepen the partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and operationalize the ASEAN Connectivity Fund.

Consular Services: Enhance safety awareness for Canadians abroad.

  • Improve public awareness of consular services to mitigate the need for emergency assistance.
  • Innovate toward the delivery of a rationalized and efficient consular and emergency response program.
  • Reinforce the Emergency Watch and Response Centre function and continue to improve mission security and preparedness.

Implement Canada’s Arctic foreign policy to exercise sovereignty in the Arctic, in support of the Northern Strategy.

  • Implement priorities for Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council for 2013-15, including promotion of circumpolar economic development.
  • Seek to resolve boundary issues and to secure international recognition for the full extent of Canada’s extended continental shelf.

Lead Canada’s international effort to reduce poverty in developing countries and provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people in crisis. Priorities include efforts to:

Increase food security in developing countries

Food assistance and nutrition

  • Encourage flexible, predictable food security funding by the donor community.
  • Promote the use of social safety nets, food distribution systems, and school feeding programs.
  • Work with other countries to implement the Food Assistance Convention.
  • Support nutrition considerations in broader food security initiatives, including increasing programming to promote life-saving nutrient food supplements such as Vitamin A and salt iodization.
  • Support and strengthen national and regional food reserves, as well as food crisis alert and prevention systems.

Sustainable agricultural development

    • More than double Canada's investment in sustainable agricultural development.
    • Support national and regional agriculture strategies.
    • Strengthen agricultural and rural development policies and management processes particularly those affecting small rural farmers especially women farmers.

Research and development

Secure the future of children and youth in developing countries.

Child survival, including Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

  • Improve access to maternal healthcare in an effort to reduce maternal and newborn deaths
  • Invest more in child-specific, integrated health interventions, which include immunization, nutritional supplements, and clean water
  • Invest more in the prevention of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and in water, and sanitation, all of which directly affect mothers and children
  • Strengthen sustainable health systems that can provide quality health care to mothers and children
  • Help train health care workers to address the needs of mothers and children under the age of five

Access to a quality education

  • Improve access to basic education, particularly for girls
  • Improve the quality of education and promoting learning achievement with a particular focus on teachers and teacher training, relevant curriculum, and teaching/learning materials
  • Increase access to learning opportunities for youth in and out of school

Safe and secure futures for children and youth

  • Strengthen and implement frameworks to better protect the human rights of children and youth, particularly girls, who are at increased risk of violence, exploitation and abuse
  • Ensure that schools are safe and free from violence and abuse and are child-friendly learning environments
  • Help youth-at-risk find alternatives to violence and crime and engage as positive and productive members of their societies

Stimulating sustainable economic growth in developing countries.

Build economic foundations

  • Strengthen public financial management at national, regional and local levels
  • Improve legal/regulatory frameworks and systems to stabilize economies
  • Support governments and private sector companies to expand their business and integrate into regional and global markets
  • Build capacities to sustainably manage natural resources

Grow businesses

  • Strengthen support for micro, small and medium-sized private sector businesses, particularly those owned by women
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase availability of financial services (including microfinance)

Invest in people

  • Increase access to demand-driven skills training (including literacy and numeracy)
  • Increase workplace learning opportunities (particularly in agriculture)
  • Support learning initiatives which lead to business growth, market expansion and increased productivity

Work with the private sector as partners in development.

  • Support market-oriented incentives for the private sector to target investments that achieve meaningful development impact
  • Encourage multistakeholder partnerships with private sector and non-for-profit organizations that clearly benefit poor people in developing countries
  • Support innovations that generate game-changing solutions to international development challenges