Archive for the 'Canada' Category

UN Watch Honors Top Canadian Minister for ‘Moral Courage,’ Drawing Praise from Dalai Lama

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GENEVA, May 22, 2014 – Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch presented its annual Moral Courage Award tonight to Canadian cabinet minister Jason Kenney, one of the country’s most influential national figures, a decision that drew strong praise from the Dalai Lama, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader who sent a special envoy to the Geneva ceremony attended by UN officials, ambassadors, and community leaders.

“UN Watch honors Minister Kenney for demonstrating the courage to lead in upholding the founding principles of the United Nations, and defending the true principles of human rights,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

“When others have been silent while serial perpetrators of human rights abuses like Iran and Syria seek to hijack the UN’s human rights and anti-racism causes, Minister Kenney has been a clear and consistent voice for their millions of victims, opposing tyranny, hypocrisy and injustice.” Continue reading ‘UN Watch Honors Top Canadian Minister for ‘Moral Courage,’ Drawing Praise from Dalai Lama’

Human Rights Activists and Community Leaders Praise UN Watch Award to Canadian Minister Jason Kenney

Kenney Tibet

The Dalia Lama sent special envoy Tseten Chhoekyapa to honor Jason Kenney as he received UN Watch’s Moral Courage Award tonight in Geneva.

GENEVA, May 22, 2014 – The Dalai Lama, a former political prisoner and numerous other human rights and community leaders sent congratulatory messages to Canadian cabinet minister Jason Kenney upon receiving tonight’s 2014 Moral Courage Award from UN Watch at a Geneva ceremony.

Click here to read messages from former Chinese political prisoner Rebiya Kadeer, the Canadian Friends of Burma, African Diaspora Association of Canada, Vietnamese Canadian Federation, All Pakistan Minorities Association, World Uyghur Congress, and Federation for a Democratic China. Other messages follow below.

The Dalai Lama: “I have great admiration for your leadership, the concern and active support you have shown for the Tibetan cause, and your role in enhancing Canada’s diverse multi-ethnic and multicultural society… I have been impressed by your efforts to support the rights of oppressed people around the world.” Continue reading ‘Human Rights Activists and Community Leaders Praise UN Watch Award to Canadian Minister Jason Kenney’

Canada FM: “UN should be ashamed to be associated with Richard Falk”

Falk’s Comments Cast Shame on United Nations

April 24, 2013 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Once again, United Nations official Richard Falk has spewed more mean-spirited, anti-Semitic rhetoric, this time blaming the attacks in Boston on President [Barack] Obama and the State of Israel.

“There is a dangerous pattern to Mr. Falk’s anti-Western and anti-Semitic comments. The United Nations should be ashamed to even be associated with such an individual.

“I respectfully call on the United Nations Human Rights Council—again—to remove Mr. Falk from his position immediately.

“Mr. Falk’s consistently mean-spirited comments cast a dark shadow over the United Nations and what it can accomplish. Comments like these do a great disservice to the fundamental values of the United Nations and to all freedom-loving people.”

Source: http://www.international.gc.ca/wet30-1/aff/news-communiques/2013/04/24a.aspx?lang=eng

U.N. rights official slams Canada, “concerned” over Aboriginal rights

Should the U.N. — which last year elected Assad’s Syria to UNESCO’s human rights committee — devote its scarce time and resources to free democracies and open societies such as Canada?

For context, note that the expert below works for the U.N. Human Rights Council, a dictator-dominated entity that just elected the Chavez government, Pakistan and Kazakhstan as members. They also elected a new vice-president: the representative from slave-holding Mauritania.

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The following press release was circulated today by the office of the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

Canada: UN expert calls for meaningful dialogue with Aboriginal leaders after weeks of protests

GENEVA (8 January 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, James Anaya, urged the Government of Canada and Aboriginal leaders to undertake meaningful dialogue in light of First Nations protests and a month-long hunger strike by Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation.

“I am encouraged by reports that Prime Minister Steven Harper has agreed to meet with First Nations Chiefs and leadership on 11 January 2013 to discuss issues related to Aboriginal and treaty rights as well as economic development,” Mr. Anaya said. “Both the Government of Canada and First Nations representatives must take full advantage of this opportunity to rebuild relationships in a true spirit of good faith and partnership.”

The announcement of the meeting followed weeks of protests carried out by Aboriginal leaders and activists within a movement referred to as ‘Idle no more.’ The movement has been punctuated by Chief Spence’s hunger strike that has been ongoing since 11 December 2012. “I would like to add my voice to the concern expressed by many over the health condition of Chief Spence, who I understand will be joining indigenous leaders at this week’s meeting,” the independent expert said.

The protests and hunger strike are carried in the context of complaints about aspects of the relationships between First Nations in Canada and the Government, including in the context of recent federal legislation and executive decisions affecting Aboriginal peoples. Continue reading ‘U.N. rights official slams Canada, “concerned” over Aboriginal rights’

Transcript: UN expert lists Canada and Switzerland as major abusers of freedom of assembly

Transcript from today’s concluding remarks by Maina Kai, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. Video of full speech above.

…I cannot address all the questions that have been brought in. But I would like to refer to just a few things. One is that breaches of freedom of association and breaches of peaceful assembly cut across the entire world. There’s not a single region in this world that has not received a communication from my mandate regarding violations or alleged violations. They cut across, and the breaches are both in law and in practice.

There are some places, some countries, where the laws are particularly harsh in terms of restricting the freedom of association, and for these ones, I’ll just mention just a few:  in Algeria, Belarus, Canada, in particular in terms of the province of Quebec, Ethiopia, Jordan, Malaysia, Russian Federation, and Switzerland, in the Canton of Geneva, especially. But I’ve also got to note that in some of these countries, these laws are being challenged in court, as is in Malaysia and as well in Switzerland.

But what I’m trying to show with this is that the risk to the freedom of expression cuts right across the world and there’s no country exempt from them, and there’s no way I will pick and choose which countries I will pay attention to.

Canada’s speech to UNHRC: Commissioner Navi Pillay & her staff “failed to do proper due diligence”

UN Watch transcript of statement by Canada to UN Human Rights Council, delivered by Ambassador Elissa Golberg, June 18, 2012, under Agenda Item 2 (High Commissioner’s Report).

Thank you, Mr. President.

Canada is disappointed that in a world where Iran’s treatment of political prisoners, hard-line governments like Belarus’ jailing of human rights defenders, and countries like Sri Lanka have yet to ensure full accountability in addressing serious human rights violations, the High Commissioner would misguidedly include the reference in her report to the situation in Quebec.

She and her staff have failed to do proper due diligence on this matter. Had they done so, they would have uncovered some basic facts that demonstrate the folly of equating Canada with others that she spoke of. Continue reading ‘Canada’s speech to UNHRC: Commissioner Navi Pillay & her staff “failed to do proper due diligence”’

Testimony to U.N.: Rights chief Navi Pillay should quit picking on Canada while handing propaganda coup to Pakistan and Zimbabwe

UN RIGHTS CHIEF SLAMS CANADA WHILE HANDING PROPAGANDA COUP TO PAKISTAN AND ZIMBABWE

UN Watch Testimony before the 20th session of the UN Human Rights Council, delivered under Agenda Item 2 (High Commissioner’s Report), 18 June 2012. Audio.

Thank you, Madam President.

UN Watch welcomes the human rights documentation in the High Commissioner’s report, which only underscores the need for this council to address the world’s worst violators.

In Syria, President Assad is slaughtering his own people. The UN monitors, sent in to help stop the violence, have suspended their mission because, as they explained it, there was too much violence.

All UN agencies must now send a clear message that the Assad regime has no legitimacy. Yet the very opposite message was sent when UNESCO recently elected Syria to its human rights committee. Continue reading ‘Testimony to U.N.: Rights chief Navi Pillay should quit picking on Canada while handing propaganda coup to Pakistan and Zimbabwe’

Blame Canada: U.N. rights chief “alarmed” over Canadian law, but silent on China, Iran & Saudi Arabia

GENEVA, June 17 – Canada will be put in the company of some of the world’s worst abusers of human rights tomorrow when the UN’s highest human rights official expresses “alarm” over Quebec’s new law on demonstrations during her opening address to a meeting of the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, revealed the Geneva-based monitoring group UN Watch, which obtained an advance copy of her speech. Other states on the UN watchlist include Syria, Pakistan and Zimbabwe.

“Moves to restrict freedom of assembly continue to alarm me, as is the case in the province of Quebec in Canada in the context of students’ protests,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will say tomorrow, according to her draft speech. Continue reading ‘Blame Canada: U.N. rights chief “alarmed” over Canadian law, but silent on China, Iran & Saudi Arabia’

As much of the world starves, UN sends hunger probe to… Canada

The National Post (Canada)
May 5, 2012, p. A20
EDITORIALS

By Hillel Neuer

Olivier De Schutter is the UN Human Rights Council’s “Special Rapporteur on the right to food,” a post initiated by Cuba. Tomorrow he begins an 11-day investigation of Canada.
De Schutter’s senior adviser, Priscilla Claeys, previously worked with Oxfam Canada, part of the group that is unofficially coordinating his visit, and with Rights and Democracy—a Canadian agency soon to be shut down—where she collaborated with the UN office of Jean Ziegler, co-founder of the “Muammar Qaddafi Human RIghts Prize” and De Schutter’s predecessor.

“There is no food and no clean water, nothing,” Mahmoud, a 12-year-old boy from Homs, Syria, told Reuters Thursday. “There is no shop open and we only have one meal a day. How can we live like that and survive?”

According to the World Food Program, half a million people don’t have enough to eat in Syria. Fears are growing that the regime is using hunger as a weapon.

This is the kind of emergency which should attract the attention of the UN Human Rights Council’s hunger monitor, who has the ability to spotlight situations and place them on the world agenda. Yet Olivier de Schutter of Belgium, the “Special Rapporteur on the right to food,” is not going to Syria.

Instead, the UN’s food monitor is coming to investigate Canada. Continue reading ‘As much of the world starves, UN sends hunger probe to… Canada’