September 29, 2012 – New York City - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird shared a moment with Joseph Dion Ngute, Minister Delegate in charge of Relations with the Commonwealth, at the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting on the margins of the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“I am pleased to have met with several of my counterparts to advance the values and ideals that make our country great and serve as a model for the world: a pluralistic civil society that respects fundamental freedoms, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” said Baird.
Baird took the opportunity to underscore that the meeting is a critical milestone in the reform and renewal process of the Commonwealth. He also said he was pleased with the constructive progress made to date and reinforced the need to move forward.
Canada is a strong supporter of the Commonwealth and is its second-largest contributor. Baird took the opportunity to highlight the leadership of Senator Hugh Segal, Canada’s Special Envoy for Commonwealth Renewal, on the reform and renewal of the Commonwealth.
Baird also met with his Singaporean counterpart, Kasiviswanathan Shanmugam, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Law of Singapore. They discussed Canada-ASEAN relations, regional issues in Asia and the strong ties between Canada and Singapore. This year is the 35th anniversary of Canada-ASEAN relations, and Canada looks forward to working with Singapore as both countries seek to strengthen ties with ASEAN. Singapore is an important commercial partner and Canada’s third-largest export market in ASEAN.
“As a founding UN member and one of its leading contributors, Canada will speak out to fight for values and principles Canadians hold dear,” said Baird. “Canada has a strong team lined up to represent our country and our interests as the world again gathers in New York.”