Our Priorities

Global Affairs Canada will focus on the following integrated priorities to advance the government’s international agenda in 2016-17. In delivering on these priorities, the department will collaborate closely with other federal entities and provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, and engage constructively with a diversity of Canadian and international stakeholders. It will ensure the highest standards of service to Canadians, particularly those requiring consular assistance abroad. The department will more fully integrate its policy, program and public affairs capacities and will ensure that its workforce reflects gender equity and diversity at home and abroad.

1. Advance Canada’s values and interests through leadership and constructive engagement on key global issues with strategic partners, including at the UN and other multilateral institutions such as La Francophonie.

  • Increase support for peace operations, mediation, conflict-prevention, reconstruction and early recovery efforts.
  • Contribute to international peace and security by acceding to the UN Arms Trade Treaty and working with allies and other countries to confront challenges, including the spread of terrorism and radicalization, transnational organized crime and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Enhance Canada’s leadership on clean energy and international efforts to combat climate change and mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable, including through climate finance mechanisms.
  • Advance inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism, respect for diversity and human rights, particularly the rights of women, girls, indigenous peoples, those forcibly displaced and others at risk of discrimination or violence.

2. Contribute to inclusive Canadian and global prosperity with an emphasis on expanding and deepening trade and investment relationships with large, fast-growing markets, such as China and India, and traditional partners.

  • Implement and expand Canada’s network of free trade agreements, including by developing strategies to implement the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, consulting on Canada’s potential participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and implementing trade agreements with Israel, Chile and Ukraine.
  • Support key sectors, including clean and sustainable technology, particularly as they apply to infrastructure and natural resources, and promote Canadian cultural and creative industries.
  • Develop a new Canadian Trade and Export Strategy to attract foreign investment, help businesses leverage trade opportunities in key markets, advance Canadian values through responsible business conduct and mobilize small- and medium-sized Canadian businesses to foster growth and global value chain penetration.
  • Advance global prosperity, including by leveraging development and climate financing, supporting local economic development, fostering an inclusive trade and investment architecture and strengthening the capacity of developing countries to support broad-based sustainable growth, including through increased trade.

3. Reinforce Canada’s relations with the United States and key bilateral partners to advance Canadian interests.

  • Work with the United States to reduce impediments to trade and commerce, improve border facilitation and security and strengthen joint environmental stewardship through public diplomacy and advocacy.
  • Enhance co-operation with the United States and Mexico to foster a competitive, secure and sustainable North American region, including by developing an ambitious clean energy and environment agreement and participating in a North American Leaders Summit.
  • Expand targeted economic, security and governance partnerships with China and elsewhere in Asia, including by leveraging international development results.

4. Strengthen Canada’s contribution to reducing poverty and inequality, supporting fragile states, building resilience and responding to humanitarian needs.

  • Create a new policy and funding framework to focus Canada’s international assistance on helping the poorest and most vulnerable, in a manner that empowers people and supports sustainable growth including through implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Lead evidence-based global efforts to improve the health of women, adolescents and children and to secure a better future for children and youth.
  • Foster development innovation and effectiveness, including by strengthening international assistance transparency, delivery mechanisms and partnerships.
  • Provide timely, effective and coordinated needs-based responses to humanitarian and other crises.