The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today concluded his participation in the 78th Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (UNGA) high-level week, where he worked together with the international community to build a healthier, cleaner, and secure future.
As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to working with its international partners to defend the principles of freedom, peace, and equality the Declaration stands for, and to create a more just future for the generations to come. During UNGA, the Prime Minister met with world leaders and raised global issues, including foreign interference, the importance of the rule of law, climate change, and progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He also took the opportunity to condemn the Russian regime’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine as well as its decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, which affects the most vulnerable by exacerbating global food insecurity.
While in New York City, Prime Minister Trudeau advanced ambitious international action to support the 2030 SDG Agenda, a pathway for a peaceful, equal, and healthy world. In his role as Co-Chair of the SDG Advocates group, the Prime Minister spoke at the SDG Summit and announced over $125 million to support projects in line with the SDGs that advance quality education, sustainable public health care systems, efforts to help eradicate tuberculosis, and support for the empowerment of women and girls, including advancing through sexual and reproductive health and rights. He also reaffirmed Canada’s support for the UN and its efforts to advance the SDGs, announcing a $78 million contribution to support programs such as UNICEF, UN Women, and the UN Population Fund.
In the face of wildfires and storms in Canada, and extreme weather around the world, Canada continues to take action to fight climate change while building an economy that works for everyone. The Prime Minister highlighted a price on pollution as one of the most effective tools to cut emissions, and in the case of Canada, make life more affordable for people at the same time. He welcomed four new members to Canada’s Global Carbon Pricing Challenge, which calls on countries to put a price on carbon to cover 60 per cent of global emissions by 2030. At the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau announced new commitments from Canada to increase ambition on emissions reduction, notably on further reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.
To support Canada’s work globally, Canada will invest up to $168.6 million for climate adaptation and leadership, with a focus on women and girls. At UNGA, the Prime Minister also underscored the critical role that oceans play in the fight against climate change. Canada will invest $6.5 million to combat illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing to support oceans governance. During meetings with leaders, the Prime Minister discussed shared work to continue taking climate action while investing in clean energy and growing sustainable economies.
During the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development, the Prime Minister acknowledged that international public financing alone will not be enough to face the world’s challenges and emphasized the need to encourage more private capital toward the realization of SDGs, including by addressing how risk is assessed on investments in developing countries. The Prime Minister also announced Canada’s intent to allocate an additional 700 million Special Drawing Rights, representing approximately $1.3 billion, to the International Monetary Fund’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust to provide concessional financing to low-income countries. SDRs are an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.
At UNGA, Prime Minister Trudeau met with international partners to advance stability and sustainable development in Haiti. He highlighted Canada’s ongoing support to Haiti and announced $45 million to help feed school children through the World Food Programme and $3 million to strengthen the judicial system in the country through the UN Development Programme’s Basket Fund on Justice. He also announced the allocation of almost $26 million in previously announced funds to strengthen elements of the Haitian National Police. The Prime Minister commended the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for its ongoing leadership in addressing the needs of the Haitian people. He reiterated Canada’s support for inclusive political dialogue that allows for Haitian-led solutions to the crises, and he highlighted Canada’s commitment to pressuring those responsible for violence and instability, including through additional sanctions announced today on three members of Haiti’s economic elite.
“A better tomorrow requires effort, ambition, and dedication from those who want to create it. Canada and our like-minded partners have made clear that we’re serious about addressing the most pressing global challenges of our time, ranging from fighting climate change, to improving access to financing for developing countries, to supporting Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s war of aggression. Even in the face of overlapping challenges, I am optimistic we can face them and build a better future.”
- The Canadian delegation to UNGA included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, the Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen, and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault.
- While in New York City, Prime Minister Trudeau had bilateral meetings with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President of Chile Gabriel Boric, Prime Minister of Italy Giorgia Meloni, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, President of Kenya William Ruto, and Prime Minister of Haiti Ariel Henry.
- Following the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 2021 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) allocation, Canada has been working closely with other G7 and G20 countries to channel $100 billion USD (or 20 per cent of their newly allocated SDRs) to the benefit of low-income and vulnerable countries. Canada was among the first to complete its $1 billion contribution to IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), which provides concessional lending to low-income countries, and a $2.4 billion contribution to the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust, which helps countries address longer-term structural issues such as climate change. Canada’s plan to contribute an additional 700 million in SDRs to the PRGT brings Canada’s total SDR channeling commitment to the two IMF trusts to 25 per cent. Including Canada’s contributions to the IMF Administered Account for Ukraine, which provides SDRs to Ukraine, brings Canada’s total SDR channeling commitment to 48 per cent.
- In 2021, Canada launched the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge to expand the use of pollution pricing by strengthening existing systems and supporting emerging ones. The Challenge also serves as a forum for dialogue and coordination to make pricing systems more effective and compatible and to support other countries in adopting carbon pricing and cutting emissions on the path to net-zero by 2050.
- Canada is one of the largest contributors to the UN. In 2022-23, Canada’s funding to UN organizations totaled $2.49 billion.
- In 2022, Prime Minister Trudeau was named Co-Chair of the UN SDG Advocates group by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, with Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley. SDG Advocates work to raise global awareness of the SDGs and the need for accelerated action by using their respective platforms. Advocates include academics, politicians, artists, musicians and more, from around the world.
- In 2015, Canada joined all UN Member States in adopting ambitious goals for sustainable development, as outlined in Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda centres on a set of 17 SDGs, and encompasses the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The SDGs aim to improve the lives of all people, while protecting the planet.
- Over the past decade, Canada has been at the forefront of financing for development discussions at the UN. Canada has co-chaired the UN Group of Friends of SDG Financing since 2016. In May 2020, the prime ministers of Canada and Jamaica, alongside the Secretary-General of the United Nations, launched the Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond Initiative.
- Backgrounder: Canada supports strong, ambitious international action at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly