INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Canadian Views On Advancing the Democracy Agenda

Published: Mon 5 Nov 2007 10:10 PM
VZCZCXRO8442
OO RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #2036 3092236
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 052236Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6859
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0345
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1258
UNCLAS OTTAWA 002036
SIPDIS
SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR G-FERRARO, DRL/MLGA-JORDAN, AND IO/RHS-OSTERMEIER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL KDEM PHUM UNGA CA
SUBJECT: CANADIAN VIEWS ON ADVANCING THE DEMOCRACY AGENDA
AT THE CD MINISTERIAL
REF: A. STATE 151024
B. OTTAWA 1828
1. (SBU) In a discussion with PolMinCouns on November 5,
Ben Rowswell, Manager of the Democracy Unit in the Department
of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), expressed
appreciation for reftel views on the upcoming 4th Community
of Democracies Ministerial in Bamako. He said that
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Deepak Obhrai (Member of Parliament from the ruling
Conservative Party) would lead the delegation, accompanied by
Liberal MP Mark Eyking, the Canadian Ambassador in Mali, and
a DFAIT Deputy Director General. The Canadians generally
support the draft declaration and share our views on the
importance of democratic governance and rule of law as well
as the vital role of NGOs and civil society. (He noted that
the Canadian Ambassador in Caracas had even recently
persuaded the Venezuelan government to back down on proposed
new restrictions on NGOs there.) At the invitation of the
Government of Mali, the Canadians will chair a discussion on
the Americas, but do not at present plan to raise Cuba or
Venezuela directly. Rowswell promised to make sure Obhrai
was at least aware of U.S. hopes that Canada and other
participants do discuss the state of democracy or lack
thereof in these countries at this meeting.
2. (SBU) Rowswell noted that the Canadians plan to cite as
an example of tangible programs their funding for a new
handbook for diplomats (ref b). They look forward to
discussions in Bamako about the Asia Pacific Democracy
Partnership, but Foreign Minister Bernier has not yet
formally accepted the DFAIT recommendation that Canada join.
On the UN Democracy Caucus, Rowswell cited its
"heterogeneity" as a limitation on real effectiveness, while
noting that it still had the potential to serve as a useful
forum between the G-77 and the North. Canada is awaiting
assessments due in February or March about the initial
programs of the UN Democracy Fund before making decisions
about future funding. DFAIT will also look into the
possibility of funding from either DFAIT or CIDA for the CD
Secretariat; Rowswell expressed appreciation for the generous
SIPDIS
USG contributions to this over the past year and a half.
Visit our shared North American Partnership blog (Canada & Mexico) at
http://www.intelink.gov/communities/state/nap
WILKINS
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