Canada to boycott UN-backed disarmament conference

UN Watch to organize protest of North Korea’s presidency outside August session in Geneva

GENEVA — In advance of the expected announcement today by Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird that Ottawa will boycott a UN-sponsored conference on disarmament, UN Watch issued the following statement:

“UN Watch salutes Canada for being the first country to denounce North Korea’s outrageous presidency of the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based monitoring group which first reported the story.

“The UN has a great role to play in ending the scourge of war, but it cannot be credible on peace and security when it asks the foxes to guard the chickens,” said Neuer.

“We call on all 65 CD member states—especially major democracies like the US, France, Germany, UK, India, Japan, Italy, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland—to register their strong protest,” said Neuer.

“It shouldn’t be business as usual when a ruthless dictator is allowed to chair what UN chief Ban Ki-moon recently called ‘the undisputed home of international arms control efforts.’”

UN Watch announced today that it will be organizing a protest outside the CD’s Geneva meeting in August, at the UN European headquarters, when North Korea will begin chairing the third part of the 2011 session.

“Our protest will call on the international community to rally around North Korean victims of the regime’s inhuman practices, instead of legitimizing the perpetrator,” said Neuer. UN Watch together with 25 other NGOs recently brought North Korean victim Guang-il Jung to testify in Geneva.

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