Why Keep Canada Off Security Council?

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Canada does not deserve a seat on the UN Security Council

by ForeignPolicy.ca

 May 19, 2020

 Despite its peaceful reputation, Canada is not acting as a benevolent player on the international stage. Rather, Canada ranks among the twelve largest arms exporters and its weapons have fueled conflicts across the globe, including the devastating war in Yemen.

 

In a disappointing move, Canada refused to join 122 countries represented at the 2017 UN Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination. Ottawa has also been an aggressive proponent of the nuclear-armed NATO alliance, and currently leads coalition missions in Latvia and Iraq. 


The petition will be delivered to UN member states prior to the vote for the security council seat in June.

 

Echoing Trump’s foreign policy, Canada has backed reactionary forces in the Americas. The Trudeau government has led efforts to unseat Venezuela’s UN-recognized government, while propping up repressive, corrupt and illegitimate governments in Haiti and Honduras. Canada also lent its support to the economic elites and Christian extremists who recently overthrew the democratically elected indigenous president of Bolivia.

 

In the Middle East, Canada has sided with Israel on almost every issue of importance. Since coming to power the Trudeau government has voted against more than fifty UN resolutions upholding Palestinian rights backed by the overwhelming majority of member states. The Canadian government has refused to abide by 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334, calling on member states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied in 1967.” On the contrary, Ottawa extends economic and trade assistance to Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. Should it win a seat on the UNSC, Ottawa has stated that it will act as an “asset for Israel” on the Council.

 

Canadian mining companies are responsible for countless ecological and human rights abuses around the globe. Still, Ottawa defends the most controversial mining firms and refuses to restrict public support for companies responsible for abuses. The chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights criticized the Trudeau government for refusing to rein in mining abuses while the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes has decried the “double standard” applied to Canadian mining practices domestically versus internationally.

 

Falling short of its responsibilities as a global citizen, Canada continues to oppose the Basel Ban Amendment on the export of waste from rich to poor countries, which became binding in late 2019 after ratification by 97 countries. Ottawa also failed to ratify the United Nations’ Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Ottawa has refused to ratify more than 50 International Labour Organization conventions. In November 2019, Canada once again refused to back a widely supported UN resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

 

Violating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Trudeau government sent militarized police into unceded Wet’suwet’en Nation territory to push through a pipeline. The UN Human Rights Committee recently documented various ways Canada is failing to live up to its obligations towards indigenous people under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

 

Ignoring front-line victims, Ottawa refuses to keep Canada’s dirty oil in the ground. Canada is on pace to emit significantly more greenhouse gases than it agreed to in the 2015 Paris Agreement and previous climate accords. Already among the world’s highest per capita emitters, the Canadian government is subsidizing further growth of heavy emitting tar sands, at the expense of impoverished nations who’ve contributed little to the climate crisis but bear the brunt of its impacts.

 

The international community should not reward bad behaviour. Please vote against Canada’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.

 

 

Signatures

 

David Suzuki, Award winning geneticist/broadcaster

 Roger Waters, co-founder Pink Floyd

 Noam Chomsky, linguist, author & social critic

 Ellen Gabriel, artist and activist

 Roméo Saganash, former MP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou

 Sid Ryan, former president of Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario

 Rawi Hage, novelist

 Amir Khadir, former Quebec National Assembly member

 Pam Palmater, Chair in Indigenous Governance, Ryerson

 Judy Rebick, activist and author

 Jord Samolesky, Propagandhi

 Steve Ashton, long-serving member of the Manitoba legislature and cabinet minister

 George Elliott Clarke, poet and professor

 Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize co-winner (1976)

 Trevor Herriot, author and activist

 John Clark, activist

 Charles Demers, comedian & author

 Alain Deneault, essayist and philosophy professor

 Martin Duckworth, laureate of the 2015 Albert-Tessier Prix du Quebec for cinema

 Cy Gonick, former Manitoba NDP MLA and founding editor of Canadian Dimension

 John Greyson, film-maker & professor

 Syed Hussan, Migrant Workers Alliance

 El Jones, activist, educator, journalist and poet

 Gordon Laxer, author/founding Director Parkland Institute

 Monia Mazigh, PhD, author and activist

 Jim Manly, Member of Parliament 1980-88

 Kanahus Manuel, activist

Tim McCaskell, educator & activist

 Sheelah Mclean, co-founder Idle No More organizer

 Serge Mongeau, author & editor

 Mike Palecek, former National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers

 Dimitri Roussopoulos, author, and long-time peace movement activist

 Clayton Thomas-Müller - Director, Author, Senior Campaign Specialist - 350.org

 Rinaldo Walcott, professor

 Ingrid Waldron, author & professor

 Harsha Walia, author & activist

 Antonia Zerbisias, journalist & activist

 Greg Albo, Professor of Politics, York University

 August Arnold, journalist and author

Antonio Artuso, Front uni contre le fascisme et la guerre

Nik Barry-Shaw, author

Corey Balsam, National Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices Canada

 Susan Bazilli, PhD - Director, International Women's Rights Project

Ron Benner, artist

Karl Beveridge, artist

 Raul Burbano, activist

 Nancy Brown, teacher/librarian, peace/human rights activist

 David Camfield, activist and academic

 Stefan Christoff, artist & activist

 Carole Condé, artist

 Gerry Condon, Veterans for Peace (US), former president

 Chris Cook, broadcaster, editor

Deborah Cowen, Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto

Raju J Das, York University

 udith Deutsch, academic

Gord Doctorow, educator

 artine Eloy, antiwar and human rights activist

 arren Ell, Photographer

Gary Engler, author

Yves Engler, author & activist

Joe Emersberger, author

Richard Falk, Professor of International Law emeritus, Princeton University

Kiran Fatima, co-chair Toronto Association for Peace & Solidarity

 Richard Fidler, Author and Activist

 Miguel Figueroa, President, Canadian Peace Congress

 Don Foreman, Canadian Union of Postal Workers

 Alan Freeman, author & economist

 Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in International Development Studies Saint Mary's University

 Dr. Todd Gordon, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University

 Peter Gose, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Carleton University

 Harry Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Osgoode Hall Law School

 Tracy Glynn, activist and writer

 Cory Greenlees, activist

 Malcolm Guy, documentary film director/producer

 Michael Harris, author

 Jamelie Hassan, artist

 David Heap, teacher-researcher; peace & human rights advocate

 Evert Hoogers, CUPW (retired)

 Pierre Jasmin, artiste pour la paix

 Dru Jay, author & activist

 David Kattenburg, University instructor & journalist

 Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence (USA)

 Gary Kinsman, activist and author

 Harry Kopyto, legal activist

 Jonathan Kuttab, International human rights lawyer

 Dimitri Lascaris, lawyer/journalist/activist

 Ed Lehman, Regina Peace Council

 Raymond Legault, activist, Collectif Échec à la guerre

 Tamara Lorincz, PhD candidate and member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace

 Martin Lukacs, journalist

 Eva Manly, retired filmmaker

 Robin Mathews, author

 Amy Miller, filmmaker

 David Mivasair, retired rabbi

 Bianca Mugyenyi, activist, former Co-ED The Leap

 Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

 Dr. Susan O'Donnell, researcher, writer and activist

 Nino Pagliccia, activist and freelance writer

 Dr. Idrisa Pandit, academic

 Brent Patterson, activist

 Justin Podur, author and professor

 Judi Rever, journalist and author

 Karen Rodman, human rights activist

 Richard Roman, retired professor, writer

 Reuben Roth, Professor

 Herman Rosenfeld, Socialist Project

 Grahame Russell, Co-Director - Rights Action

 Joan Russow, activist

 Cory Greenlees

 Sakura Saunders, activist

 Harold Shuster, Independent Jewish Voices-Winnipeg

 Ken Stone, President - Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

 Donald Swartz, Carleton University

 Koozma J. Tarasoff, peace activist

 Marianne Vardalos, PhD Department of Sociology

 Jay Watts, co-chair Toronto Association for Peace & Solidarity

 Paul Weinberg, author

 Barry Weisleder, federal secretary, Socialist Action

 Elizabeth Whitmore, activist

 Ellen Woodsworth, writer, organizer and former Vancouver City councillor

 Dwyer Sullivan, board member - Conscience Canada

 Dr. Thom Workman, professor, University of New Brunswick

 Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat.

organisations

 Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) - Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain

 Mining Watch

 Independent Jewish Voices/ Voix juives indépendantes

 Mouvement Québécois pour la Paix

 Solidarité Québec-Haïti

 Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War

 Council of Canadians - London Chapter

 Canada Palestine Association-Vancouver

 International League of Peoples’ Struggle

 Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Paix Juste

 Socialist Project

 Canadian BDS Coalition

 Socialist Action

 Canadian Boat to Gaza,

 Leap Montreal

 CAIA Victoria

 Freedom Flotilla Coalition

 Gaza Freedom Flotilla Australia

 Regina Peace Council

 Al-Haadi Musalla

 

The petition will be delivered to UN member states prior to the vote for the security council seat in June.

 

*If your group or organization would like to endorse the open letter, please write to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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