Aid money only part of solution -- WIPO development agenda must also be recognized

The following was written to Alex McDonough in reply to a press release she sent out about Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously adopting a motion calling on the government to honour its commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The federal government’s International Policy Statement released earlier this year was deeply disappointing because it lacked any commitment, let alone any enforceable timetable to meet Lester Pearson’s international aid goal of 0.7% adopted as the international standard developed nations must meet, in order to help eradicate poverty and disease around the world.

I wrote:

Aid money is only part of the solution. If for every dollar in aid money Canada continued to promote policies that extract more than a dollar in "intangibles" such as Patent and Copyright royalties, we are not helping the situation. There are alternatives to the legacy models of PCT (Patent, Copyright, Trademark) and related trade and monetary policy which not only helps eradicate poverty and disease around the world, but also strengthen local economies around the world.

Please look into the WIPO Development Agenda work. Please also strongly speak with others in the NDP caucus to oppose the backward-facing changes to Copyright that are expected to be tabled next week, and will make this situation even worse. Canada must not adopt the anti-development proposals in the 1996 WIPO treaties, and instead push for forward-looking directions.