OTTAWA — A major international report has concluded that the Trudeau government’s lofty rhetoric about being “back” on the world stage needs the added “heft” of more foreign aid spending.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reached that conclusion in a report released today by its Development Assistance Committee.
The report is part of the OECD’s rotating five-year review of member countries, and its findings undercut the government’s attempts to lobby for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council in the coming years.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland are both bound for the UN General Assembly later this month, where the campaigning will continue for the two-year temporary seat that would start in 2021.
The OECD says Canada deserves credit for its renewed engagement on the world stage, including its global advocacy for the rights of women and girls in developing countries, but it needs to spend more on overseas development assistance.
It says that the government’s recent new spending of $2 billion over five years on foreign aid simply isn’t enough to restore spending to 2012 levels — the last time the OECD reviewed Canada’s aid budget and found it lacking.