Canadian bid for UN security seat unnerved by over 1000 individual letters sent to UN ambassadors urging to vote against Canada due to anti-Palestinian record
It seems that 1000+ letters sent to all 193 UN ambassadors has caught the attention of the Canadian government, desperate to advance its bid for the Security Council seat. Just Peace Advocates learned that a letter from Canada’s United Nations ambassador Marc-André Blanchard was sent yesterday in response to United Nation permanent missions and observers trying to rationalize how Canada might be supportive of Palestine.
Today, June 11th, a message in response to Blanchard has been sent to all United Nations ambassadors.
The 1000 letters from around the world, urged UN Ambassadors to vote for Ireland and Norway instead of Canada for two seats available on the Security Council. The letters highlight how Canada has repeatedly isolated itself against world opinion on Palestinian rights, and follow on a letter signed by over 100 civil society organizations.
In that response to Mr. Blanchard, Fr. Robert Assaly indicates that “His Excellency disingenuously claims our letter ‘contains significant inaccuracies.” Assaly replies, “Yet in his two pages, [Blanchard] did not identify a single inaccuracy. We take this as further affirmation of the full factuality of our carefully researched letter to you.”
Prior to the letter’s public release, over 100 organizations and dozens of prominent individuals signed the Open Letter organized by Just Peace Advocates. The Open Letter has been reported on by Middle East Monitor, the New Arab News Mondoweiss, Electronic Intifada, Canadian Press, the Hill Times, Le Devoir and others. A member of the National Assembly of Québec, Ruba Ghazal, who is of Palestinian descent and endorsed the letter, produced a video explaining her opposition to Canada’s Security Council bid.
Letter sent to all United Nation Ambassadors of Member and Observer States
Letter that we learned has been sent by Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations
During last week’s World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) “UNSC 2020 Election Debate with the Western European and Others Group candidates, Canada, Ireland, and Norway”, Palestinian rights were raised repeatedly. Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UN directly criticized Canada’s anti-Palestinian voting record in the General Assembly, forcing Canadian Ambassador Marc Blanchard to provide a lengthy defensive response.
“The Trudeau government is hoping UN ambassadors forget or ignore Canada’s dismal Palestinian record when casting their ballots. Our campaign is designed to make sure that doesn’t happen,” noted Karen Rodman of Just Peace Advocates. Rodman says “it seems based on Ambassador Blanchard’s response at WFUNA and now the recent private letter sent to ambassadors, that he is a bit unnerved.”
To Blanchard’s claim that “this year, <Canada> voted yes on one more resolution,” Fr. Assaly noted it’s “one more than zero. In fact, under Prime Minister Trudeau, Canada hasn’t voted yes on any other such resolution, while voting against 67.”
In the lead up to the June 17 vote Just Peace Advocates hopes to stimulate more individuals to send letters to all UN ambassadors.
In another sign of the impact the campaign is having, Israel lobby Group B’nai B’rith indirectly responded to the campaign with this release suggesting funding to Palestinian NGOs and UN bodies including OCHA be withheld.
Press release, June 11, 2020