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This week’s PD News headlines explored education and its impacts on public diplomacy, from female empowerment to terrorist prevention. 

Ramadan is usually a time for fasting, prayer and renewal of religious devotion. For some local Muslims, this year’s Ramadan will also be a time to organize and send some relief to those facing hunger and famine. From Toronto to Ottawa and Calgary, members of the International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) are teaming up with students and Muslim volunteers to prepare and pack about 1,500 supply kits to be delivered to thousands of families in Somalia.

This Sunday, Vancouver will, once again, hold the annual World Partnership Walk in beautiful Stanley Park to benefit the excellent work of the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, which works at the grassroots level in Africa and Asia to “tackle poverty on many fronts: improving access to quality education and health, increasing food security, creating economic opportunities for women and men, and building strong, resilient communities and local institutions”. The foundation engages Canadians from all walks of life, supported by the tireless devotion of volunteers. 

Lynch is an international exchange student coordinator with the Avon Maitland District School Board, and works helps find host families for over a hundred international students every year. Lynch started as a host family herself, and continues to host international students.One of Lynch’s international students this year is Yuko Kawabe, a 16 year old who attends school in Tokyo, Japan. Yuko is joined by Laura Trigueros, a 17 year old exchange student from Spain.

Canadian Minister of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussein, has arrived in Egypt to advance education exchange opportunities between Egypt and Canada. During his visit, Hussein attended the Canadian International College in Cairo where he met with the President of the college and Canadian Ambassador to Egypt Troy Lulashnyk. There are plans to establish the University of Canada in Egypt which will provide accredited degrees from Canadian universities.

The Australia Council for the Arts has announced that nine established Aboriginal Art Curators are taking part in an international exchange program at the 57th Biennale in Venice. Ozco's Executive Director Strategic Development and Advocacy, Dr Wendy Were explained that the First Nations Curators Program at the 2017 Venice Biennale builds on the First Nations Curators Exchanges held at 8th Asia Pacific Triennial in 2015 and in New Zealand in 2017 involving Australians, New Zealanders and Canadians.

When thinking of Arctic diplomacy, one is drawn to the significant work of the Arctic Council.  One may also think of the United Nations system and the important work being done under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to settle claims related to the continental shelf.  What is often forgotten in the mix of Arctic politics and diplomacy is the central role of bilateral relations in advancing cooperation and understanding between nations and people in the High North.

Canada will set up a new financing institute in Montreal to help co-ordinate private sector investments in developing countries.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau made the announcement during a press conference in Montreal on Friday. The Development Finance Institute (DFI) will facilitate partnerships between small and medium companies in the private sector in order to leverage investment in developing countries, particularly in sustainable development and poverty reduction.

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