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Canada’s humanitarian agenda to be discussed in Ottawa

By Apartment613 on May 3, 2016

Guest Post by Julia Sanchez (President-CEO, Canadian Council for International Co-operation)

Ottawa cares. From the Syrian refugee crisis to sustainable local development, Ottawans are committed to engaging responsibly and proactively with global issues and as global citizens. And amidst such great global humanitarian need, there is no better place or time than this to think about how we can all help.

In that spirit, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), the Canadian Association of Independent Development Professionals (CAIDP), and the School of International Development and Global Studies (SIDGS) at the University of Ottawa are co-hosting a public event next Tuesday on Canadian humanitarianism at Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington St.).

On May 23-24, the international community will come together in Istanbul for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit. The Summit comes as the world is experiencing extreme human suffering. Armed conflicts and natural disasters have reached staggering levels. Nearly 60 million people, half of them children, have been forced from their homes in recent years. We are in the midst of the greatest displacement crisis since the Second World War. Over 218 million people each year are affected by disasters, costing the global economy more than $300 billion annually. The result of these tragic, complex and ever-evolving realties is an overstretched and under-resourced humanitarian system.

On the evening of May 10, two weeks before the Summit, Ottawans will have the chance to consider, debate, and engage on these challenges as well. The free event (details and registration here on Eventbrite) will feature two panels. The first will include some of Canada’s leading international humanitarians – including former senior UN humanitarian official Catherine Bragg, deputy secretary-general of the Canadian Red Cross Susan Johnson, and former president of Médecins sans Frontières James Orbinski – commenting on the opportunity for Canadian leadership, engagement and partnership at the Summit.

The second panel will consist of representatives from the government and major Canadian political parties – Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Conservative Foreign Affairs Critic Tony Clement, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière, and Green Leader Elizabeth May – invited to offer their perspectives on Canada’s role at the summit.

Both panels will be moderated by CBC Senior Correspondent Susan Ormiston. The panels will be both preceded and followed by public receptions, including a humanitarian fair showcasing the work of some of Canada’s leading humanitarian organizations. The event is being deliciously supported by Whole Foods Lansdowne Park and Dominion City Brewing Co., as well as by, which will enable the audience to engage in a digital Q&A session with the humanitarian expert panel.

Canada at the World Humanitarian Summit: Opportunities for Leadership and Legacy will run from 5:30-9:00 on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at Library and Archives Canada (395 Wellington St.). All details and registration are available here.