Mr. Chair, my name is Olivier Nicoloff. I am the Director, Democracy, Commonwealth and Francophonie Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
On April 3, the Government of Canada announced its intention to close Rights and Democracy as part of its efforts to save money and be more effective. Because of the challenges that organization had experienced in the past, it was decided that it was now time to look to the future.
On April 5, the government announced the appointment of an interim board of directors whose mandate would essentially be to wind up the organization. Under the direction of the interim board, Rights and Democracy is now working on the effective winding down of its foreign programs while minimizing the impact of that work.
The Government of Canada remains committed to promoting freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world every day. From Canada's ambassador and embassy personnel around the world to the staff at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency in Ottawa, Government of Canada officials continue to work to support democracy and human rights internationally. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade funds democracy support projects around the world, mainly through the $3 million democracy envelope of the Glyn Berry program. DFAIT's democracy support is complemented by a much larger envelope for long-term good governance, human rights, and support for the rule of law managed by the Canadian International Development Agency, which totalled about $204 million in 2010-11.
Thank you, Mr. Chair.