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Foreign Affairs Minister concludes successful meetings with public and private sector leaders at World Economic Forum

January 26, 2019 – Davos, Switzerland – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded her trip to Davos, Switzerland yesterday, where she participated in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting.

In Davos, the Minister spoke about Canada’s priorities at home and abroad. She discussed the importance of creating the conditions for women to succeed and our obligation to speak out for women who face obstacles and whose rights are violated. She also highlighted why targeted measures to support the middle class and those working hard to join it—such as those Canada has introduced—reduce inequality and build fairer and more resilient societies. The Minister also reiterated Canada’s firm defence of human rights, democratic values and the international rules-based order.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Freeland met with some of Canada’s partners in the Lima Group, a group of countries in the Western Hemisphere committed to addressing the humanitarian, political and economic crisis in Venezuela. Following their meeting, a group of those countries announced that they would recognize Juan Guaidó, President of Venezuela’s National Assembly, as interim president of that country. In other meetings, Minister Freeland also spoke strongly in defence of the people of Ukraine, its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Minister held bilateral meetings with business leaders, including Michael Evans, President of Alibaba, and Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, as well as Marc Carney, Governor of the Bank of England. She also met with ministerial colleagues, including:

  • Enzo Moavero Milanesi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy;
  • Taro Kono, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan;
  • Kang Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of  Korea;
  • Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore;
  • Ayman Safadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Jordan;
  • Ana Birchall, Deputy Minister of Romania;
  • Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade; and
  • Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine

The Minister used these meetings as an opportunity to highlight Canada’s deep concerns regarding China’s actions against Canadian citizens and to thank those partners who have spoken up in defence of the rule of law and against arbitrary detentions and the death penalty.

Quotes

“Canada has an important message to deliver to the world about building a strong and prosperous middle class, including through free trade, standing up for human rights and the rules-based international order and combatting climate change. The World Economic Forum meetings in Davos provided an important opportunity to share that message with leaders from the public and private sectors alike.”

– Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • The WEF Annual Meeting brings together the world’s private sector, public sector and civil society leaders to focus on international solutions.
  • This year’s theme was Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It aimed to address global challenges while recognizing the growing complexity of a world shaped by the competing and conflicting narratives, values and ambitions of nations, industries and societies.
  • Minister Freeland was joined in Davos by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development; the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance; and the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification.
  • Minister Freeland participated as a panellist at three of the WEF’s official sessions: The Geopolitical Outlook, Tackling the Growth Paradox and Female Leadership at a Tipping Point.
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