Minister Paradis Announces New Support to Strengthen Democracy in Ukraine

Canada supports Ukraine’s efforts to restore stability and implement democratic reforms

July 30, 2014 – Winnipeg, MB – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, hosted a roundtable with members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community in Winnipeg to discuss current development challenges in Ukraine as well as Canada’s continued support to Ukraine to respond to Russian acts that undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Following the roundtable, the Minister announced Canadian support for the Strengthening Multi-Party Democracy project, whose goal is to strengthen democracy and the role of civil society in Ukraine.

“Canada has been steadfast in its opposition to Russian aggression and occupation in Ukraine, and is proud to be among the strongest international supporters of the Ukrainian government’s efforts to restore stability and implement democratic and economic reforms,” said Minister Paradis. “This new initiative will help Ukraine move toward a free, democratic and prosperous society by advancing democracy for all Ukrainians, including marginalized groups such as women and young people.”

The goal of Canada’s international development program in Ukraine is to improve democratic governance and economic opportunities for Ukrainians. This project adds to other Canadian efforts to improve the central voter registry, to improve election laws and to develop the capacity of an independent judiciary to improve recognition for human rights. This project will help translate the Euromaidan protest movement into a sustained political movement and help ensure their continued participation in the political process.

“Canada continues to be greatly concerned by the events in Ukraine and we demand that Russian-backed insurgents immediately withdraw from the crash site to allow Ukrainian and international authorities to conduct a credible and unimpeded investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17,” added the Minister.

In 2014, Ukraine was re-confirmed as a development country of focus for Canada’s international development efforts, as well as being designated a priority country under Canada’s recently released Global Markets Action Plan. Canada is working with the Government of Ukraine to assist with the reforms needed to realize the country’s full economic potential and build a sound public institutional and legal environment for closer integration with Europe.

Quick Facts

  • Canada has been providing development assistance to Ukraine since that country’s independence in 1991 that have achieved significant results. For example, in 2012-2013 Canada’s investments aimed at advancing democracy in the country:
    • Supported the development of a new legislation and a policy framework for a comprehensive juvenile justice system encompassing prevention, sentencing and rehabilitation; and
    • Increased court efficiency and fairness in resolving commercial disputes for Ukrainian businesses by piloting pre-trial settlement procedures.
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper was the first G-7 leader to visit Ukraine after the Euromaidan protests, and the first foreign leader to meet bilaterally with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko following his inauguration on June 7, 2014.
  • Canada has increased its support for democracy and rule of law in Ukraine since 2013, in response to recommendations by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, while continuing to support sustainable economic growth in Ukraine.
  • Canada sent election observers to Ukraine for the 2004, 2010 and 2014 presidential elections, as well as during the 2006, 2007 and 2012 parliamentary votes.
  • Canada confirmed that Ukraine as one of 20 countries of focus in 2007 as part of Canada’s Aid Effectiveness Strategy: in 2014 that status was re-confirmed.

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Contacts

Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
343-203-6238
sandrine.perion@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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