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Canada Suspends Voluntary Commonwealth Funds

Canada Suspends Voluntary Commonwealth Funds
Canada Suspends Voluntary Commonwealth Funds

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says Canada will suspend $20 million in funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka.

Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper boycotted the Commonwealth summit last year(2013) in Colombo, Sri Lanka, because of concerns about the government’s human rights record.

Meanwhile Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma also has expressed his disappointment over the decision taken by Canada to suspend funding to the Commonwealth.


Issuing a statement Mr. Sharma said,

The Government of Canada has informed Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma of its decision to suspend contributions to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation over the next two years. This mutual and voluntary fund is the principal means for provision of technical assistance to Commonwealth countries.
Mr Sharma expressed disappointment at this step but looked forward to the resumption of the contributions.
He recalled that Canada has a long and valued record of support for the work of the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation.
Mr Sharma said the difficult adjustments to Commonwealth development programmes would be made, and expressed confidence that important priorities agreed by Commonwealth member states collectively can still be delivered, with results and impact for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth in accordance with the current strategic plan. 

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