Canada – Minister Joly concludes trip to Europe in support of Ukraine

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded her trip to Ukraine, France and Belgium, during which she met with European counterparts and reaffirmed Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

January 21, 2022 – Brussels, Belgium – Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today concluded her trip to Ukraine, France and Belgium, during which she met with European counterparts and reaffirmed Canada’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. This important work builds on engagement in recent weeks and months, including with NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and G7 counterparts.

Minister Joly began her trip in Kyiv, Ukraine, where she met with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister Denis Shmyhal, as well as with Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Dmytro Kuleba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Andriy Yermak, Chief of Staff to President Zelenskyy, to discuss pressing issues facing the people of Ukraine, including the economic instability caused by Russia’s ongoing aggression and destabilizing activities. Minister Joly reaffirmed Canada’s intention to provide additional support to Ukraine.

Minister Joly made clear that Canada stands with Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. Minister Joly underscored that Canada is resolute in its commitment to the preservation of global security, and she personally thanked those helping to safeguard it when she visited Canadian Armed Forces troops deployed to Canada’s training and capacity-building mission Operation UNIFIER.

In Paris, France, Minister Joly met with Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to exchange perspectives on issues of common interest, namely Russia’s military buildup in and around Ukraine. The ministers agreed that the only viable path forward for Russia is to engage in meaningful dialogue and de-escalation. Minister Joly also met with Louise Mushikiwabo, Secretary General of La Francophonie, to discuss ways to better support democracy, human rights and gender equality in the francophone world.

To conclude her trip, in Brussels, Belgium, Minister Joly met with Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO, to discuss NATO’s unified stance on Russia’s military buildup in and around Ukraine and NATO’s ongoing efforts to call on Russia to take steps to de-escalate the situation. She also met with Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, and Sophie Wilmès, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade. In these meetings, Minister Joly discussed the importance of defending multilateralism and the vital role of a co-ordinated responses in deterring Russian aggression in and around Ukraine, including through sanctions.

Throughout her visit, Minister Joly expressed her sincere thanks to her European counterparts for their warm welcomes, and she emphasized Canada’s unwavering commitment to the rules-based international order and to Euro-Atlantic security, including the security of Ukraine and its people.

The Minister will return to Canada on Saturday, January 22. All COVID-19-related public health rules and guidelines will be followed.

“Canada’s support for Ukraine is unwavering. In the face of Russian aggression, Canada is proud to stand with those who believe in Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. As I leave Belgium today, Canada’s commitment to Ukraine and its people is stronger than ever.”

– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

MPAI Concludes 2021 Approving New Context-Based Audio Enhancement Standard

 The Moving Picture, Audio and Data Coding by Artificial Intelligence (MPAI) standards developing organisation has concluded the year 2021, its first full year of operation approving its fifth standard for publication.

The standards developed and published by MPAI so far are:

1. Context-based Audio Enhancement (MPAI-CAE https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-cae/) – last approved – supports 4 identified use cases: adding a desired emotion to an emotion-less speech segment, preserving old audio tapes, restoring audio segments and improving the audio conference experience.

2. AI Framework (MPAI-AIF https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-aif/) enables creation and automation of mixed Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Processing and inference workflows. The Framework can be implemented as software, hardware, or hybrid software and hardware.

3. Compression and Understanding of Industrial Data (MPAI-CUI https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-cui/) gives the financial risk assessment industry new, powerful and extensible means to predict the performance of a company several years into the future.

4. Multimodal Conversation (MPAI-MMC https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mmc/) enables advanced human-machine conversation forms such as: holding an audio-visual conversation with a machine impersonated by a synthetic voice and an animated face; requesting and receiving information via speech about a displayed object; inter­preting speech to one, two or many languages using a synthetic voice that preserves the features of the human speech.

5. Governance of the MPAI Ecosystem (MPAI-GME https://mpai.community/standards/governance/) lays down the rules governing an ecosystem of implementers and users of secure MPAI standard im­plemen­tations guar­an­teed for Conformance and Performance, and acces­sible through the not-for-profit MPAI Store.

The Book “Towards Pervasive and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence” (https:/www.amazon.com/dp/B09NS4T6WN) illustrates the results achieved by MPAI in its 15 months of operation and the plans for the next 12 months.

MPAI is currently working on several other standards, some of which are:

1. Server-based Predictive Multiplayer Gaming (MPAI-SPG https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-spg/) uses AI to train a network that com­pensates data losses and detects false data in online multiplayer gaming.

2. AI-Enhanced Video Coding (MPAI-EVC https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-evc/), a candidate MPAI standard improving existing video coding tools with AI and targeting short-to-medium term applications.

3. End-to-End Video Coding (MPAI-EEV https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-eev/) is a recently launched MPAI exploration promising a fuller exploitation of the AI potential in a longer-term time frame that MPAI-EVC.

4. Connected Autonomous Vehicles (MPAI-CAV https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-cav/) uses AI in key features: Human-CAV Interac­tion, Environment Sensing, Autonomous Motion, CAV to Everything and Motion Actuation.

5. Mixed Reality Collaborative Spaces (MPAI-MCS https://mpai.community/standards/mpai-mcs/) creates AI-enabled mixed-reality spaces populated by streamed objects such as avatars, other objects and sensor data, and their descriptors for use in meetings, education, biomedicine, science, gaming and manufacturing.

MPAI develops data coding standards for applications that have AI as the core enabling technology. Any legal entity supporting the MPAI mission may join MPAI (https://mpai.community/how-to-join/join/) if able to contribute to the development of standards for the efficient use of data.

Visit the MPAI web site (https://mpai.community/) and contact the MPAI secretariat (secretariat@mpai.community) for specific information.

MPAI

Leonardo Chiariglione

00390119350461

http://mpai.community

ContactContact

Categories

  • Technology

Canada – Minister Ng concludes successful meetings with international WTO partners in Geneva

The rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, and international collaboration on trade and health issues continue to be essential to achieving a strong, sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

November 12, 2021 – Ottawa, Canada – Global Affairs Canada

The rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, and international collaboration on trade and health issues continue to be essential to achieving a strong, sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, concluded a successful visit to Geneva, Switzerland, where she met with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the WTO, as well as Ottawa Group members’ permanent representatives to the WTO and other key WTO international partners to discuss their shared priorities in preparation for the upcoming 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12).

During her visit from November 10 to 12, Minister Ng underlined the importance of reaching concrete outcomes on key initiatives at MC12 on the WTO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including an ambitious action plan to address pandemic preparedness and resilience. She thanked partners for the significant efforts that have gone into the development of the Declaration on Trade and Health: COVID-19 and Beyond, which is now supported by 56 WTO members. In addition to hosting a meeting of representatives from Ottawa Group member nations, over the three days of her visit, the minister met with:

Brajendra Navnit, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to the World Trade Organization
  Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of South Africa to the World Trade Organization
David Bisbee, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the
World Trade Organization
João Aguiar Machado, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the European Union to the World Trade Organization
Santiago Wills, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Colombia to the World Trade Organization and Chair of the Fisheries Subsidies Negotiations
Alan Ganoo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of Mauritius

Minister Ng emphasized the importance of ensuring that MC12 is as successful as possible, with meaningful progress on key issues such as fisheries subsidies, the domestic regulation of services, and a commitment to advancing progress on negotiations relating to the agriculture sector. The minister highlighted the importance of restoring a fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system and advancing progress on trade and the environment, and trade and gender, to create a recovery that delivers for all.

While in Geneva, Minister Ng also participated in the November 11 Remembrance Day ceremony at Canada’s permanent mission in Geneva and delivered remarks on behalf of the Government of Canada in honour of all who have given their lives in military service, and who continue to serve Canada.

“Now more than ever, Canadians and citizens around the world depend on open, transparent and rules-based trade to provide reliable access to essential goods and services and to support businesses as they plan for future growth and create jobs. It is important that Canada continue to engage with our WTO partners on developing meaningful outcomes for MC12 that meet Canada’s interests and support the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

– Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Alice Hansen

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

613-612-0482

Alice.Hansen@international.gc.ca

Canada – Canada Concludes a Successful Two Years as Guest of Honour Country at the Frankfurt Book Fair

FRANKFURT, Germany, October 24, 2021

Today, Canada concludes its unprecedented two years as the Guest of Honour Country at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Participating in the ceremonial handover of the Guest of Honour scroll, Canadian representatives exchanged the Frankfurt Book Fair scroll with representatives from the incoming Guest of Honour country, Spain. Canada was represented by Caroline Fortin, President of CanadaFBM2021, a consortium created by the Canadian Publishing Industry to plan and coordinate the literary program and the participation of Canadian publishers. Spain was represented by María José Gálvez, Spanish Ministry of Culture and Sport, Director General of Books and Promotion of Reading.

The Handover Ceremony included a moderated discussion between two distinguished authors, Canadian Dany Laferrière and Spain’s Manuel Vilas. The pair discussed their books and created links between the two countries via common themes in the two authors’ writing. During the event, Canada thanked Spain, as well as the 2023 Guest of Honour Slovenia and the 2024 Guest of Honour Italy, for their support in extending Canada’s Guest of Honour year.

After facing the remarkable challenge of COVID-19 and extending the Guest of Honour duties from 2020 into 2021, Canadian creators rose to the occasion. This year brought with it a round of firsts, including the very first virtual Guest of Honour pavilion, which provided guests the opportunity to experience the Canada pavilion from the comfort of their own home. The piece complements the physical pavilion, designed to reflect the richness of Canada’s natural environment that serves as inspiration for our authors and illustrators. This interactive digital space used innovative features including touchless, interactive screens featuring Canadian creators, video conversations with the literary delegations, and a stage for live events and cultural performances. The Fair also served as the first official state visit by Her Excellency Mary Simon, the Governor General of Canada, who was delighted to speak at the Opening Ceremony on October 19.

Canada’s closes out its successful Guest of Honour presence with several highlights that showcased Canadian literary talent, arts, culture and landscapes throughout 2020–2021 around Europe. In total, 167 literary events with 160 creators and 219 cultural events featuring 417 artists were held in Germany and online, as well as across 50 different cities. With Canadian creators taking centre stage, interest in Canadian-produced content saw a rise. At more than 350 titles, the number of Canadian books translated into German surpassed expectations. In addition, 58 Canadian authors and illustrators participated virtually and in person at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Much of Canada’s programming is still available to view on the Canadafbm2021 website or on its YouTube page, including five author panels produced in collaboration with CBC/Radio-Canada:

Leading Ladies of Canadian Literature
Mapping Canada
Poetry on the Mainstage
Preserving and Protecting Languages and Culture
The Canadian Audacity of Children’s Literature

Forty-nine of Canada’s events and installations will continue into 2021 and 2022. While the official year may have concluded, we welcome visitors to continue to enjoy these projects and events occurring in and around Germany. More information can be found at canadafbm2021.com/event-calendar.

Canada is grateful to have been featured as Guest of Honour country and would like to thank the Frankfurter Buchemesse for inviting Canadian creators to participate. Canada’s Guest of Honour role is the result of a collaboration between Canadian Heritage, Global Affairs Canada, provincial and territorial governments, CBC/Radio-Canada, the National Gallery of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, the National Film Board, Destination Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts, Telefilm Canada and Canada FBM2021. A number of other federal, provincial and territorial cultural organizations are also collaborators in this initiative.

“2020 certainly was a challenging year for the world, with the arts and culture sector being particularly hard hit. With a successful Frankfurt Book Fair behind us, Canadian authors, illustrators and creators can hit the ground running as they explore new business opportunities and marketplaces abroad. The world is hungry for Canadian content, and the relationships forged through this event will feed that hunger to an audience always searching for more.”

—The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage

“As the Guest of Honour, Canada was at the center of the action at the 2021 Book Fair. Her Excellency the Right Honorable Mary May Simon, Governor General of Canada, was joined by a stellar group of authors and artists at the Opening and Canada Nights, and our pavilion welcomed thousands of visitors. Our publishing and creative industries received a tremendous international boost on which to build in the coming years.”

—H. E. Stéphane Dion, Canada’s Ambassador to Germany and Special Envoy to the European Union and Europe

“At the closing event of the Frankfurter Buchmesse in October 2019, I stated that Canada would surprise the international publishing community. Two years later, I can confidently say ‘mission accomplished’—and I’m not referring to the global pandemic that sprung on us and postponed our Guest of Honour plans by a year! Canada FBM2021 presented Canada’s Guest of Honour pavilion, and developed a virtual counterpart to complement it, the first of its kind in the history of the fair. Canada’s official literary delegation of authors and illustrators was showcased via virtual and interactive content and programming, as well as through live, on-stage performances and discussions. This widely accessible yet intimate literary experience has shined a light on the richness of Canadian literature and will no doubt have a long-term benefit on the Canadian publishing industry.”

—Caroline Fortin, President of Canada FBM2021

Camille Gagné-Raynauld

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

camille.gagne@canada.ca

Canada – Minister Ng concludes successful meeting on WTO reform in Paris

A rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, is essential to achieving a strong, sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 7, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

A rules-based multilateral trading system, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) at its core, is essential to achieving a strong, sustainable and inclusive global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, concluded a successful visit to Paris, France, where she chaired the Canada-led Ottawa Group on WTO Reform, and attended an informal meeting of WTO ministers, hosted by Australia. Citing cooperation between WTO members as key to success at the upcoming WTO 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), Minister Ng highlighted the importance of concluding an agreement on fisheries subsidies, achieving a multilateral declaration on trade and health, an outcome on agriculture domestic support, concluding the Joint Statement Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation, and refocusing efforts on WTO reform.

At the Ottawa Group meeting, Minister Ng led discussions on the importance of a trade and health outcome at MC12. Minister Ng noted the significant work the group has undertaken to reach out to dozens of WTO members to ensure that taking action on trade and health is a priority at MC12.

The Ottawa Group also discussed how the group could advance other emerging issues at the WTO after MC12. Minister Ng emphasized the importance of restoring a fully functioning dispute settlement system and advancing progress on trade and environment and trade and gender. 

“Canadian businesses rely on open, stable, and rules-based trade. Canada will continue to work closely with our WTO partners to strengthen the multilateral trading system. We will continue to lead and support meaningful outcomes for MC12 to support strong economic growth in Canada and around the world as we recover from this COVID-19 pandemic.”

– Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade 

Established in 1995, and comprising 164 members, the WTO administers trade agreements, provides a forum for trade negotiations, handles trade disputes, monitors members’ trade policies to help ensure compliance with WTO trade agreements, and administers technical assistance and training for developing countries.

Led by Canada and known as the Ottawa Group, this representative group of WTO members addresses the specific challenges that put stress on the global multilateral trading system. The Ottawa Group is identifying ways to achieve meaningful, realistic, and pragmatic reforms to the WTO over the short, medium and long terms.

MC12 will take place from November 30, 2021, to December 3, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Chris Zhou

Office of the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

343-551-0457

chris.zhou@international.gc.ca