• The Left Chapter

CANADA DOES NOT DESERVE A SEAT ON THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL: Open Letter

An open letter supported by more than a hundred artists, activists and academics.


This open letter is supported by more than a hundred artists, activists and academics including David Suzuki, Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), Noam Chomsky, Ellen Gabriel, Pam Palmater, Monia Mazigh and Roméo Saganash. To view the full list of signatories or to add your name, visit: https://www.foreignpolicy.ca/petition


CANADA DOES NOT DESERVE A SEAT ON THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL


Despite its peaceful reputation, Canada is not acting as a benevolent player on the international stage.


Rather, Canada ranks among the twelve largest arms exporters and its weapons have fueled conflicts across the globe, including the devastating war in Yemen.


In a disappointing move, Canada refused to join 122 countries represented at the 2017 UN Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination.


Ottawa has also been an aggressive proponent of the nuclear-armed NATO alliance, and currently leads coalition missions in Latvia and Iraq.


Echoing Trump’s foreign policy, Canada has backed reactionary forces in the Americas. The Trudeau government has led efforts to unseat Venezuela’s UN-recognized government, while propping up repressive, corrupt and illegitimate governments in Haiti and Honduras. Canada also lent its support to the economic elites and Christian extremists who recently overthrew the democratically elected indigenous president of Bolivia.


In the Middle East, Canada has sided with Israel on almost every issue of importance. Since coming to power the Trudeau government has voted against more than fifty UN resolutions upholding Palestinian rights backed by the overwhelming majority of member states. The Canadian government has refused to abide by 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334, calling on member states to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied in 1967.” On the contrary, Ottawa extends economic and trade assistance to Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise. Should it win a seat on the UNSC, Ottawa has stated that it will act as an “asset for Israel” on the Council.


Canadian mining companies are responsible for countless ecological and human rights abuses around the globe. Still, Ottawa defends the most controversial mining firms and refuses to restrict public support for companies responsible for abuses. The chair of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights criticized the Trudeau government for refusing to rein in mining abuses while the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes has decried the “double standard” applied to Canadian mining practices domestically versus internationally.


Falling short of its responsibilities as a global citizen, Canada continues to oppose the Basel Ban Amendment on the export of waste from rich to poor countries, which became binding in late 2019 after ratification by 97 countries. Ottawa also failed to ratify the United Nations’ Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Ottawa has refused to ratify more than 50 International Labour Organization conventions. In November 2019, Canada once again refused to back a widely supported UN resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”


Violating the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Trudeau government sent militarized police into unceded Wet’suwet’en Nation territory to push through a pipeline. The UN Human Rights Committee recently documented various ways Canada is failing to live up to its obligations towards indigenous people under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.


Ignoring front-line victims, Ottawa refuses to keep Canada’s dirty oil in the ground. Canada is on pace to emit significantly more greenhouse gases than it agreed to in the 2015 Paris Agreement and previous climate accords. Already among the world’s highest per capita emitters, the Canadian government is subsidizing further growth of heavy emitting tar sands, at the expense of impoverished nations who’ve contributed little to the climate crisis but bear the brunt of its impacts.


The international community should not reward bad behaviour. Please vote against Canada’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.


SIGNATURES


David Suzuki, Award winning geneticist/broadcaster


Roger Waters, co-founder Pink Floyd


Noam Chomsky, linguist, author & social critic


Ellen Gabriel, artist and activist


Roméo Saganash, former MP Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou


Sid Ryan, former president of Ontario Federation of Labour and CUPE Ontario


Rawi Hage, novelist


Amir Khadir, former Quebec National Assembly member


Pam Palmater, Chair in Indigenous Governance, Ryerson


Judy Rebick, activist and author


Jord Samolesky, Propagandhi


Steve Ashton, long-serving member of the Manitoba legislature and cabinet minister


George Elliott Clarke, poet and professor


Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize co-winner (1976)


Trevor Herriot, author and activist


John Clark, activist


Charles Demers, comedian & author


Alain Deneault, essayist and philosophy professor


Martin Duckworth, laureate of the 2015 Albert-Tessier Prix du Quebec for cinema


Cy Gonick, former Manitoba NDP MLA and founding editor of Canadian Dimension


John Greyson, film-maker & professor


Syed Hussan, Migrant Workers Alliance


El Jones, activist, educator, journalist and poet


Gordon Laxer, author/founding Director Parkland Institute


Monia Mazigh, PhD, author and activist


Jim Manly, Member of Parliament 1980-88


Kanahus Manuel, activist


Tim McCaskell, educator & activist


Sheelah Mclean, co-founder Idle No More organizer


Serge Mongeau, author & editor


Mike Palecek, former National President of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers


Dimitri Roussopoulos, author, and long-time peace movement activist


Clayton Thomas-Müller - Director, Author, Senior Campaign Specialist - 350.org


Rinaldo Walcott, professor


Ingrid Waldron, author & professor


Harsha Walia, author & activist


Antonia Zerbisias, journalist & activist


Greg Albo, Professor of Politics, York University


August Arnold, journalist and author


Antonio Artuso, Front uni contre le fascisme et la guerre


Corey Balsam, National Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices Canada


Nik Barry-Shaw, author


Corey Balsam, National Coordinator, Independent Jewish Voices Canada


Susan Bazilli, PhD - Director, International Women's Rights Project


Ron Benner, artist


Karl Beveridge, artist


Raul Burbano, activist


Nancy Brown, teacher/librarian, peace/human rights activist


David Camfield, activist and academic


Stefan Christoff, artist & activist


Carole Condé, artist


Gerry Condon, Veterans for Peace (US), former president


Deborah Cowen, Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto


Raju J Das, York University


Judith Deutsch, academic


Gord Doctorow, educator


Martine Eloy, antiwar and human rights activist


Darren Ell, Photographer


Gary Engler, author


Yves Engler, author & activist


Joe Emersberger, author


Richard Falk, Professor of International Law emeritus, Princeton University


Kiran Fatima, co-chair Toronto Association for Peace & Solidarity


Richard Fidler, Author and Activist


Miguel Figueroa, President, Canadian Peace Congress


Don Foreman, Canadian Union of Postal Workers


Alan Freeman, author & economist


Gavin Fridell, Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor in International Development Studies Saint Mary's University


Dr. Todd Gordon, Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University


Peter Gose, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Carleton University


Harry Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Osgoode Hall Law School


Tracy Glynn, activist and writer


Cory Greenlees, activist


Malcolm Guy, documentary film director/producer


Michael Harris, author


Jamelie Hassan, artist


David Heap, teacher-researcher; peace & human rights advocate


Evert Hoogers, CUPW (retired)


Pierre Jasmin, artiste pour la paix


Dru Jay, author & activist


David Kattenburg, University instructor & journalist


Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence (USA)


Gary Kinsman, activist and author


Harry Kopyto, legal activist


Jonathan Kuttab, International human rights lawyer


Dimitri Lascaris, lawyer/journalist/activist


Ed Lehman, Regina Peace Council


Raymond Legault, activist, Collectif Échec à la guerre


Tamara Lorincz, PhD candidate and member of the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace


Martin Lukacs, journalist


Eva Manly, retired filmmaker


Robin Mathews, author


Amy Miller, filmmaker


David Mivasair, retired rabbi


Bianca Mugyenyi, activist, former Co-ED The Leap


Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (ret.)


Dr. Susan O'Donnell, researcher, writer and activist


Nino Pagliccia, activist and freelance writer


Dr. Idrisa Pandit, academic


Brent Patterson, activist


Justin Podur, author and professor


Judi Rever, journalist and author


Karen Rodman, human rights activist


Richard Roman, retired professor, writer


Reuben Roth, Professor


Herman Rosenfeld, Socialist Project


Grahame Russell, Co-Director - Rights Action


Joan Russow, activist


Cory Greenlees


Sakura Saunders, activist


Harold Shuster, Independent Jewish Voices-Winnipeg


Ken Stone, President - Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War


Donald Swartz, Carleton University


Koozma J. Tarasoff, peace activist


Marianne Vardalos, PhD Department of Sociology


Jay Watts, co-chair Toronto Association for Peace & Solidarity


Paul Weinberg, author


Barry Weisleder, federal secretary, Socialist Action


Elizabeth Whitmore, activist


Ellen Woodsworth, writer, organizer and former Vancouver City councillor


Dwyer Sullivan, board member - Conscience Canada


Dr. Thom Workman, professor, University of New Brunswick


Ann Wright, retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat.


ORGANISATIONS


Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) - Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain


Mining Watch


Independent Jewish Voices/ Voix juives indépendantes


Mouvement Québécois pour la Paix


Solidarité Québec-Haïti


Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War


Council of Canadians - London Chapter


Canada Palestine Association-Vancouver


International League of Peoples’ Struggle


Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour une Paix Juste


Socialist Project


Canadian BDS Coalition


Socialist Action


Canadian Boat to Gaza,


Leap Montreal


CAIA Victoria


Freedom Flotilla Coalition


Gaza Freedom Flotilla Australia


Regina Peace Council


Al-Haadi Musalla



The petition will be delivered to UN member states prior to the vote for the security council seat in June.


*If your group or organization would like to endorse the open letter, please write to us at info@foreignpolicy.ca