Canada – Canada participates in second Global Disability Summit 

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, participated in the 2022 Global Disability Summit, during which the Minister highlighted past commitments Canada made on disability inclusion in international assistance.

February 17, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

At home and abroad, Canada is committed to increasing the meaningful participation of people with disabilities in the design and implementation of programs, policies and initiatives.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, participated in the 2022 Global Disability Summit, during which the Minister highlighted past commitments Canada made on disability inclusion in international assistance. These commitments include signing onto the Global Disability Summit Charter for Change, honouring Canada’s G7 $400-million commitment to girls’ education, and hosting the 2019 Global Action on Disability Network Annual General Meeting.

Minister Qualtrough also referred to Canada’s new commitments, which include supporting local disability rights organizations in developing countries and advancing disability inclusion in the paid and unpaid care agenda.

She addressed the Together for Learning Campaign, Canada’s three -year international campaign to promote quality education and lifelong learning for refugees, forcibly displaced, and host-community children and youth. As part of the campaign, Canada will reaffirm its commitment to inclusive education and lifelong learning opportunities for all children and youth around the world during this year’s Together for Learning Summit. 

“Human rights and inclusion for all marginalized groups, including persons with disabilities, are at the heart of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. A new series of commitments has been put forward by Canada at this year’s Global Disability Summit. In line with my mandate to provide greater assistance to people with disabilities in developing countries, we will focus on strengthening disability inclusive programming and advocacy, together with our partners.”

– Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“The inclusion of persons with disabilities in every part of society – at home and around the world – is a priority for Canada. We’re proud to join the Global Disability Summit to participate in an important meeting that puts disability inclusion at the centre. It’s an opportunity for Canada to show leadership in this vital work, and also to learn from others how we can build a barrier-free country and world.” 

– Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

An estimated 15% of the world’s population (that is, 1 billion people) lives with a disability; this percentage is higher in situations of armed conflict (source: World Report on Disability, World Health Organization and World Bank, 2011).

Children with disabilities are more likely to be denied access to quality education (source: World Report on Disability, World Health Organization and World Bank, 2011).

The meaningful inclusion of persons with disabilities around the world is a priority for Canada and is in line with our efforts under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Canada is committed to supporting the education of the world’s most marginalized, including refugee, other forcibly displaced children and youth, and the communities that host them.

Canada strongly supports the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Together for Learning Summit: Engaging Displaced Youth to Transform Education, which will take place from March 30 to 31, 2022, will be centred on the perspectives of displaced youth and their advice on inclusive and quality education systems. 

Jane Deeks

Director of Communications

Office of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Canada – Minister Joly participates in Third Global Conference for Media Freedom

Canada believes in free and independent media because freedom of the press is the bedrock of a healthy democracy.

February 10, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Canada believes in free and independent media because freedom of the press is the bedrock of a healthy democracy.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, concluded her virtual participation in the Third Global Conference for Media Freedom, which took place on February 9 and 10 and was hosted by Estonia

Throughout her participation, Minister Joly emphasized that a strong democracy relies on access to diverse and reliable sources of news and information and, ultimately, a shared set of facts. These facts enable members of society to develop informed opinions, hold governments and individuals accountable and constructively participate in public debate. The Minister also highlighted Canada’s commitment to supporting and strengthening free and independent media around the world.

With this in mind, the Minister announced the following funding in support of media freedom:

 $636,048 in funding to support the International Press Institute in its work of strengthening the safety of journalists in Sub-Saharan Africa
$1 million in funding to support UNESCO’s Global Media Defence Fund in 2022; the Global Media Defence Fund helps organizations around the world promote media freedom.

Minister Joly also participated in a panel discussion on disinformation and freedom of expression. She illustrated the dangers of disinformation through the example of the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, where Russia continues to push false narratives to undermine the Ukrainian government through overt and covert disinformation. Minister Joly was clear that Russia must de-escalate and cease its disinformation activities.

At the conference, Minister Joly and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, U.K. Minister for South Asia, the United Nations and the Commonwealth, presented the Canada-United Kingdom Freedom Award for Media Freedom to Vietnamese journalist Pham Doan Trang for her work in advancing democracy and human rights in Vietnam.

In addition, Minister Joly congratulated Eva-Maria Liimets, her Estonian counterpart, for organizing a successful conference. As the United Kingdom concluded its co-chairship of the Media Freedom Coalition, Minister Joly thanked the U.K. for its leadership in the coalition since its inception. Canada looks forward to working with the Netherlands as the Netherlands assumes co-chairship of the coalition.

“A free and independent media plays a vital role in building democratic societies. Canada is committed to working with the international community to protect media freedom and support those that defend it.”

– Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs 

CaixaBank participates in the financing of six wind farms in Poland by EDP Renewables

Barcelona – WEBWIRE

• Transaction is CaixaBank’s largest sustainable project finance operation in Poland to date.

• Reinforces the bank’s commitment to working closely with Polish businesses and support the country’s energy transition objectives through increased use of renewable energy.

CaixaBank has participated in the underwriting of a green loan facility for the long term financing of six wind farms by EDP Renewables, the world’s fourth largest renewable energy producer. The agreeement covers the financing of the development, construction and operation of six wind farms with an aggregate capacity of 149.4 MW. The commercial tranche of 655 million zlotys (PLN), equivalent to €144 million, is supported by the European Investment Bank, CaixaBank and Santander, with a partial guarantee by EKF (Denmark’s Export Credit Agency).

The six wind farms are geographically dispersed across Poland, throughout the south-eastern, north-western and northern part of the country. More precisely, the Kozlowo and Krasin wind farms are located in the Warmian-Masurian province, the Lichnowy and Chojnice wind farms are in the Pomerania province, Piatkowo is in the Kujawsko-Pomorskie province and the Bogoria wind farm is in the Swietokrzyskie province.

EDP ​​Renewables wind farms will benefit from the renewable energy support scheme based on auctions organized in 2018 and 2019 by the Polish State and they constitute one of the largest wind energy financing operations in the country to date.

CaixaBank in Poland

This green loan is the largest project financing deal for CaixaBank in Poland to date. Through this loan, CaixaBank further reinforces its commitment to both the Polish economy and businesses to help them deliver on the energy transition objectives as the country moves to increase its production of renewable energy, especially at a time of great rises in the price of fossil fuels.

CaixaBank has had a presence in Poland since 2007 when it opened a branch in Warsaw. From there, the company offers corporate and transactional banking services, such as guarantees, bilateral loans, short-term and long-term financing, factoring, confirming, and other services. The branch has both helped CaixaBank become a relevant participant in Poland’s corporate banking landscape.

CaixaBank, committed to sustainable financing 

CaixaBank is among the financial institutions most committed to sustainability given that it has a Plan for Socially Responsible Banking that supports the UN  Sustainable Development Goals.    

Through its initiatives, the Bank supports environmentally friendly initiatives and projects that contribute to preventing and mitigating climate change and encourage the transition to a low-carbon economy and social development.   

In 2021 the bank has mobilised €31.37 billion euros in sustainable financing, an increase of 150% compared to 2020. 

In the area of sustainable loans, in 2021 CaixaBank has issued 105 loans for a total value of €11.59 billion. This figure represents an 131% increase compared to 2020, marking a new record for the bank.

CaixaBank ended 2021 as the sixth bank in sustainable financing in EMEA, according to Refinitiv, and is the highest ranked Spanish bank.

In the area of bonds, in 2021 CaixaBank has participated as a bookrunner in the issuance of 18 ESG bonds, for a total of €16.2 billion, excluding the bank’s own issuances.

The bank has further issued four own green and social bonds to support the UN  Sustainable Development Goals, for a total value of €3.5 billion. These four bonds add to the three issued in 2019 and 2020, making CaixaBank the European bank with the largest volume of own ESG bonds in euros, with a total of seven issuances – four green and three social bonds – for an aggregate value of €6 billion and £500 million.

CaixaBank’s international presence 

CaixaBank maintains an international presence through its International Banking network of representative branches and offices as well as cooperation agreements with international banks. In addition, it owns BPI in Portugal, the country’s fourth largest financial institution by assets. 

CaixaBank’s International Banking business offers corproate and investment banking services to its clients with operations abroad, as well as business banking services to large local corporates. It has a global team of over 150 professionals, 27 international service points and agreements with more than 1,760 correspondent banks.

The CIB/IB (Corporate & Institutional Banking / International Banking) network of CaixaBank is made up of branches in Germany, France, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, all of them, with the exception of Portugal, authorised by both the Spanish and local regulators to enable them to provide comprehensive financial services to meet the needs of businesses operating locally.

The institution also has 18 representative offices on all five continents: Milan (Italy), Istanbul (Turkey), Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (China), Singapore, Dubai (United Arab Emirates), New Delhi (India), Cairo (Egypt), Algiers (Algeria), Johannesburg (South Africa), New York (USA), Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Lima (Peru), Sydney (Australia) and Toronto (Canada). It also has two Spanish Desk teams in Austria’s Erste Bank (Vienna) and Mexico’s Inbursa (Mexico City), to serve CaixaBank’s business customers in these markets. 

CaixaBank’s International Banking network is the only AENOR-certified international banking network in Spain.

Hong Kong – Hong Kong, China participates actively in APEC 2021 Economic Leaders’ Week (with photos)

Hong Kong, China participates actively in APEC 2021 Economic Leaders’ Week (with photos)


     Hong Kong, China has actively participated in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2021 Economic Leaders’ Week, pledging support for international cooperation in fighting against the pandemic and championing free trade as a solution for the post-pandemic global economy recovery.
     The APEC Economic Leaders’ week is the annual event of APEC, concluded by the Economic Leaders’ Meeting to advance various trade and investment initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region and to give political support at the highest level to the APEC process.
     APEC 2021 is hosted by New Zealand under the theme of “Join, Work, Grow. Together.” Of the various activities held during the APEC 2021 Leaders’ Week conducted via video-conferencing, the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, participated in the Economic Leaders’ Meeting tonight (November 12) and the APEC Business Advisory Council Dialogue last night (November 11), while the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, attended the two-day APEC Ministerial Meeting on November 8 and 9.
     Speaking at the Economic Leaders’ Meeting tonight, Mrs Lam stressed Hong Kong, China’s determination to join all APEC member economies to navigate through the pandemic, and the importance to guard against resurgence of the pandemic which would set back some of the progress made in the road to recovery. She noted that Hong Kong, China has donated 7.5 million doses of COVID vaccine to the World Health Organization’s COVAX to help vulnerable countries fight the pandemic.
     Mrs Lam gave an account of Hong Kong, China’s reassuring economic outlook. She said, “Being one of the world’s freest economies, sixth largest trading entity and third largest destination of foreign direct investment, we are benefiting from the revitalised manufacturing activities and resumption of demands around the world as shown by our 14.2 per cent year-on-year growth in goods export in the third quarter of this year. Our economy has grown by 7.0 per cent year-on-year in the first nine months and we are expecting 6.4 per cent for the whole year.”
     Mrs Lam said that efforts in achieving a full-fledged economic recovery must go hand in hand with unimpeded progress towards sustainable development goals. Having overcome severe political challenges with staunch support of the Central People’s Government, Hong Kong, China has formulated an array of initiatives to support the achievement of sustainable development goals. She introduced some of the key measures, including the recently announced Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050, the development of Hong Kong, China into a green finance hub, the development of a complete innovation and technology ecosystem in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and more.
     In conclusion, Mrs Lam reaffirmed Hong Kong, China’s unequivocal support for multilateralism and international cooperation in overcoming the global crisis and delivering an inclusive and sustainable recovery. As a champion of free trade, Hong Kong, China steadfastly stands by the rules-based multilateral trading system and will collaborate constructively with other World Trade Organization members for a meaningful outcome at the 12th Ministerial Conference.
     At the end of the meeting, Mrs Lam and Leaders of other APEC member economies endorsed the Aotearoa Plan of Action to implement the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040. The APEC 2021 Economic Leaders’ Declaration that represents APEC’s commitment to strengthening regional cooperation in fighting against the pandemic and pursuing an inclusive and sustainable recovery was issued.

Japan – Hitachi Participates in COP26 as a Principal Partner

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501) is participating in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, from October 31 to November 12, in the capacity of “Principal Partner.” Hitachi is offering presentations at Conference seminars, set up exhibits, and hold events both online and outside of the Conference venue.

The Hitachi’s Group at the COP26 Green Zone

Hitachi is becoming a climate change innovator, helping governments, cities and companies cut their greenhouse gas emissions, as part of efforts to achieve a decarbonised society. Hitachi decided to take the role of Principal Partner at COP26 to demonstrate to the world its strong commitment to achieving this goal. The Group is accelerating activities aimed at achieving carbon neutrality at all Hitachi factories and offices worldwide by FY2030, and throughout the entire value chain by FY2050. By leveraging Hitachi’s green technologies and digital innovations, the Group will contribute to resolving issues in the field of climate change.

Taking advantage of the many opportunities offered by COP26, through dialogues with stakeholders, the Group will strive to meet its commitments through collaborative creation and by accelerating the global expansion of the environmental business.

Following is an outline of Hitachi’s initiatives at COP26:

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