The Toronto Star’s Haroon Siddiqui describes how Canada suffered a “humiliating failure” at the United Nations for failing to get that coveted seat on the Security Council:
CAIRO—The sizeable Arab and Muslim bloc at the United Nations did play a big role last month in Canada’s humiliating failure to get elected to the Security Council.
This is the assessment of Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, which represents 22 nations with 280 million people. These states are also members of the Organization of Islamic Conference, which represents 57 nations with 1.4 billion people worldwide.
When Canada failed for the first time in the history of the UN to win a council seat, it was speculated that Europe had voted as a bloc for Portugal, the winner.
Or that many African states may also have done so, because Stephen Harper had reduced foreign aid to parts of that continent.
Or that the Arab-Muslim states, the biggest UN bloc, may have retaliated for Harper abandoning Canada’s long-standing neutrality in the Middle East and making Ottawa an apologist for Israel. Moussa confirmed this in an interview here.
In the latest news from the UN,
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Arab and African nations succeeded Tuesday in getting a U.N. General Assembly panel to delete from a resolution condemning unjustified executions a specific reference to killings due to sexual orientation.
Western delegations expressed disappointment in the human rights committee’s vote to remove the reference to slayings due to sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions.
Canada should experience no shame in losing out on the Security Council seat.
In fact, our country is acting to make it better despite the best efforts of the United Nations,
OTTAWA – The cause of gay refugees who flee persecution in Iran only to face harassment in Turkey has caught the attention of the federal immigration minister, who says Canada is willing to facilitate their resettlement here.
Jason Kenney wrote the Canadian office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to urge quick processing of their applications after a story appeared last month in the Toronto Star.
That story centred on Iranian Arsham Parsi, now a Toronto-based advocate whose “Iranian Queer Railroad” project tries to help gay and lesbians in legal limbo in Turkey reach Canada or the United States.
“I can’t imagine more legitimate grounds for protection than folks who are facing potential execution in Iran for their sexuality,” Kenney said in an interview. “These are people who are clearly in need of protection, and Canada has already received a number of gay and lesbian Iranian refugee claimants through the UNHCR, typically through Turkey.”