How Canada advances democracy in the world
Democracy, inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity and human rights are core values shared by Canadians.
These are the priorities that guide our foreign policy and international development assistance.
Canada advances democracy around the world by promoting the full participation of all citizens in the decision-making processes and institutions affecting their lives. This includes an emphasis on including women, youth and marginalized groups.
To do this we:
- work to establish and maintain international standards for democracy, protection of human rights and the rule of law through its participation in international and multilateral organizations
- support democracy bilaterally, through our network of missions abroad
- support international development projects, working with local actors and civil society organizations
Our efforts focus on the following themes:
Supporting and strengthening civil society
Civil society organizations create a crucial link between citizens and their elected governments, and are essential to all democracies.
Increase media independence and freedom of the Internet
These two characteristics are essential to an informed and open society and encourage participation in political processes.
Supporting legislatures and other advocates
Legislatures play a critical role in ensuring that governments work in a responsible and transparent manner.
Supporting electoral institutions and processes
Free, fair and inclusive elections, organized periodically by strong institutions and conducted in accordance with international standards, are essential for any functional democracy.
Strengthen political systems with several competitive political parties
Canada recognizes the importance of political parties for functional democracy and encourages the development of inclusive and representative political party systems.
Support respect for the rule of law
Canada promotes respect for the rule of law. We encourage legal reforms that contribute to the development of independent, impartial and accessible justice systems. We encourage governments that are subject to the law to protect the rights of all citizens.
Promoting and protecting human rights
Human rights are founded on the human dignity inherent in all human beings and are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. Canada considers them to be the minimum standards to enable people to live with dignity and to be protected from all forms of violence.
Political participation of women
The empowerment of women and girls, through their active and meaningful participation, including elected representatives, is not just a question of numbers. It is also about creating spaces where they can express their needs and interests and influence decisions that affect them.
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