Minister Hussen concludes trip to Colombia that marks 70 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Colombia
August 31, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, today concluded a 4-day trip to Colombia, during which he reaffirmed Canada’s role as a key ally in supporting Colombia’s development, humanitarian, peace and security objectives.
In Bogotá, Minister Hussen met with Francia Márquez, Colombia’s Vice President and Minister of Equality and Equity, Álvaro Leyva, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as other key government officials to discuss shared commitments to gender equality, diversity, poverty reduction and human rights. He welcomed Colombia’s commitment to developing a feminist foreign policy and a national action plan on women, peace and security. During round-table discussions, Minister Hussen engaged with key civil society organizations on the accomplishments and ongoing challenges in implementing Colombia’s 2016 peace accord, including the government’s Total Peace policy.
Minister Hussen also spoke at a reception to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Colombia, where he highlighted Canada’s $64 million international-assistance investment for fiscal year 2022 to 2023 aimed at poverty eradication and gender equality. He also confirmed Canada’s ongoing commitment to collaboration in areas such as gender equality, inclusive economic growth, climate action, education and health.
At a project launch event in Bogotá, Minister Hussen confirmed Canada’s role as the main donor for gender equality in Colombia by announcing funding for 2 projects implemented by UN Women, in partnership with the Colombian government. Canada will contribute $6 million over 5 years to the Caring Societies project, which supports public policies and programs that recognize, reduce and redistribute the amount of unpaid care work disproportionately shouldered by women and girls. Canada will also extend the Budgeting for Equality project to 2 years and increase its budget from $1 million to $1.5 million. While ensuring that national and local planning and budgeting processes include gender equality considerations, the funding will also strengthen local women’s rights organizations’ capacity in advocating for gender equality financing.
During a visit along the Colombia-Venezuela border in the department of La Guajira, Minister Hussen gained first-hand insights into the region’s migration challenges and on-the-ground dynamics. His visit included conversations with migrants and binational Indigenous community members at key service points and a visit to a local school that supports education in emergencies for refugees, migrants and host communities. There, he learned more about the work being done through the UN’s Education Cannot Wait initiative and Canada’s Together for Learning campaign.
In the city of Riohacha, La Guajira, the Minister attended the Colombian launch of Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE), during which he announced $7 million in funding for the Pan American Health Organization and $7.9 million for UNICEF Colombia. As countries around the world continue to recover from the disruptions to health systems caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, this CanGIVE funding will support Colombia’s continued efforts to protect those most at risk from COVID-19 infection and reinforce Colombia’s public health systems.
While in La Guajira, Minister Hussen also attended a Voices of Youth event related to sexual and reproductive health and rights to engage youths and Indigenous people in the region and witness the results achieved through Canada’s collaboration with local partners.
“Colombia is a close and valued partner for Canada in Latin America. Numerous ties bind us, and we share a commitment and desire to continue our relationship as allies and make the most of our common interests, which include gender equality, human rights, peace and economic cooperation.”
- Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development
Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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