Minister Cannon Statement on the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy)

(No. 72 – February 22, 2010 – 11:40 a.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy):

"I am pleased that an exceptionally qualified candidate, Mr. Gerard Latulippe, is willing to take on the job of President of Rights and Democracy. As required under the legislation, we are now consulting the Opposition Leaders on the candidacy of Mr. Latulippe for the position.

"Mr. Latulippe is currently the resident director for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Haiti. Before being posted to Haiti, Mr. Latulippe was the Institute's Morocco country director and senior representative for the region of the Maghreb. He has also worked for NDI in countries such as Jordan, Libya, Iraq, Georgia, Mauritania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Egypt.

"I fully believe that Mr. Latulippe is the ideal candidate to return Rights and Democracy to the promotion of Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

"I would also like to express the Government of Canada's support for the decision made by the Board of Directors to engage a private firm to conduct a forensic audit of the organization's financial transactions, as announced last Friday."

Rights & Democracy is a non-partisan organization with an international mandate. It was created by Parliament in 1988 to encourage and support the universal values of human rights and to promote democratic institutions and practices around the world. The organization continues to make valued contributions internationally.

In Haiti, Rights & Democracy is currently working on a new four-year program called Strengthening Democratic Governance and Promoting Human Rights in Haiti. This program has three components: Strengthening State Civil Society Dialogue; Strengthening the Office de la protection du citoyen (Ombudsman's Office); and Enhancing the Political Participation of Women and Supporting Political Party Dialogue.

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