Canada Again Leads UN Condemnation of Iran

December 20, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“Today, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Canada-led resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran.

“We are proud of the substantial support that this resolution garnered at the United Nations. The community of nations spoke with clarity of view and purpose to acknowledge what the regime in Tehran consistently denies: its widespread, systematic and egregious human rights violations. This is a clear signal that these violations will not be tolerated.

“The resolution is also important because it reminds courageous individuals and their families, as well as victims of human rights violations, that they have not been forgotten by the international community.

“Canada will not stay silent on these issues. We will continue to express serious concern about the ongoing and pervasive human rights violations in Iran, including the persecution of religious minorities.

“Canada is a vigorous defender of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world, and we will continue to urge the regime in Tehran to uphold its obligations and respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people in Iran.”

Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, announced that the Government of Canada has made changes to the Criminal Code list of terrorist entities to now include the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Qods Force. For more information, please visit Minister of Public Safety announces changes to Criminal Code list of terrorist entities.

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A backgrounder follows.

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Backgrounder - United Nations Resolution on Situation of Human Rights in Iran

Canada has consistently taken a prominent position on the global stage as a diligent, vocal promoter of human rights and as a strong defender of those whose human rights are under threat.

This has been particularly noticeable at the United Nations General Assembly, where Canada has been a lead sponsor, in solidarity with many like-minded countries, of important resolutions against the ongoing abuse of human rights in Iran.

This year, for the 10th consecutive year, Canada led in sponsoring a resolution in the General Assembly condemning human rights abuses in Iran. The resolution again condemned the use of cruel and inhuman punishments in Iran and deplored a dramatic increase in executions, as well as discrimination and human rights violations against women and ethnic and religious minorities.

This year’s resolution was co-sponsored by 44 countries. The Third Committee of the General Assembly approved the resolution on November 27, 2012, with 83 countries voting to support it and 32 countries voting against. It was subsequently adopted by the General Assembly plenary session on December 20, with 86 countries voting in support and 32 countries voting against.

Through these resolutions, Canada has consistently focused the world’s attention on the egregious and long-standing violations of human rights by Iranian authorities. These human rights violations run an appalling gamut and target women, girls, and ethnic and religious minorities.