Address by Minister Cannon to UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Pakistan Floods

No. 2010/58 - New York City, United States - August 19, 2010

Check Against Delivery

On behalf of the Canadian people, I would like to begin by offering my deepest condolences to all those who have been and are still so cruelly affected by this terrible natural disaster in Pakistan.

I thank the President of the General Assembly [Ali Abdussalam Treki] for convening this plenary meeting. The floods in Pakistan serve as a powerful reminder that every day millions of people worldwide require urgent humanitarian assistance.

Clearly the humanitarian needs resulting from the floods require an immediate and sustained international commitment. Canada will continue to be part of that response.

Canada has heard the call from the Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] to the international community to provide immediate support and assistance to the people of Pakistan. In this regard, we fully support today’s resolution, and its emphasis on supporting the Government of Pakistan as it seeks to meet the urgent needs of the Pakistani people.

Canada has acted quickly to respond to the devastation caused by the floods. Immediately after the first wave of flooding, Canada announced a contribution of $2 million to meet urgent humanitarian needs.

Following the launch of the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan by the UN on August 11, Canada announced that it will provide up to $33 million in response to the immediate needs of flood-affected people in Pakistan.

Of these funds, up to $25 million will be provided for humanitarian assistance to help meet priority needs that include food, water and sanitation, emergency medical care, shelter and essential household goods.

We will also provide up to another $8 million in urgently needed equipment, such as bridges, to help the Government of Pakistan restore links to communities cut off by the flooding and help local authorities provide security to those affected by this disaster.

Canada has a long-standing and valued friendship with Pakistan. We were one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Pakistan and have maintained a strong development partnership for over forty years. Canadians have been shaken by the images of devastation and inspired by the resolve and determination of the people of Pakistan to overcome this tragedy.

Canada will continue to work with the Government of Pakistan, UN agencies and humanitarian organizations on the ground to ensure that our collective assistance reaches the affected populations as quickly and as effectively as possible.

Thank you.