Canada Expresses Serious Concerns over Iran’s Membership on the UN Commission on the Status of Women

(No. 149 - May 1, 2010 - 3:50 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today expressed serious concerns over Iran’s election to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations Economic and Social Council:

“It is the Government of Canada’s understanding that Iran was acclaimed as a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women as part of an uncontested slate endorsed by the Asian regional group, of which Canada is not a member.

“We deplore this development but will use Iran’s membership on this body to take the Iranian authorities to task for their systemic human rights violations. We have done so in the United Nations General Assembly. We have done so in the United Nations Human Rights Council, and at every opportunity will continue to do so publicly. The Iranian people deserve to live in dignity and free from persecution.

“The Government of Canada will always strive to promote the values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Canada expects all the people of Iran to be able to enjoy the rights and freedoms to which all people are entitled. Iran’s actions are an affront to the domestic and international human rights obligations all nations must respect.

“Canada remains extremely troubled by the human rights situation in Iran, including the rights of women, and will persist in urging the Government of Iran to improve its human rights record.”

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