(No. 142 - May 26, 2011 - 11:45 a.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, issued the following statement regarding Iran’s election to the UN Commission on Population and Development:
"Canada deplores the election of Iran to a seat on the United Nations Commission on Population and Development.
"At the UN, Canada vocally opposed Iran’s candidacy and worked with our allies and like-minded countries to defeat its candidacy. We acted strongly by calling for a vote and then voting against Iran in this election.
"In order to ensure the continued credibility of the Commission on Population and Development and similar UN agencies, Canada would expect that all members live up to the principles on which the UN was founded.
"Canada remains extremely troubled by the outrageous human rights abuses committed by Iran against its own citizens, and by Iran’s threats and actions to undermine the safety, security and stability of its neighbours.
"The Iranian people, like all peoples, deserve to live in dignity and free of government-sanctioned persecution.
"Furthermore, Iran’s neighbours deserve the chance to let freedom, democracy and civil society reign without fear of retribution or interference.
"Canada will persist in urging Iran to improve its human rights record, including in the areas of religious freedom and the rights of women."
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