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Canada Stayed Silent on Saudi, Voted Against Palestine, Singled Out Iran at the UN

At the third committee of the UN General Assembly Canada targeted Iran for its human rights record while staying silent about the human rights condition in Saudi Arabia and voting against a resolution reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.


30 member states voted against the resolution proposed by Canada on Iran and another 68 abstained (total of 98 countries). However, the resolution received the support of 85 countries including Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Israel and was passed at the committee level. The resolution is expected to pass at the General Assembly later in December this year.


UN Saudi ambassador supported Canada's resolution on Iran and said:

The Iranian people continue to suffer under a regime that does not respect human rights, that denies freedoms, that persecutes religious and racial minorities.” The Saudi ambassador did not talk about the human rights condition of the people of Saudi Arabia.

In her statement Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, said:

The adoption of this UN resolution by countries from every region of the world sends a strong message to the Iranian regime that it must respect human rights.

Global Affairs Canada refused to respond to follow up questions we sent to them. In an email response from Global Affairs Canada they referenced the statement by Minister Freeland and said they have no further comments to add.


In a letter to the UN Secretary-General dated September 21, 2018 Iran UN Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo made the following comments about the Secretary-General's report on the situation of human rights in Iran:

The report’s adoption of a selective approach on the human rights of Iranians is disturbing. It is expected that reports of this nature be all-inclusive and address all of the human rights of the entire population without distinction. However, the report sounds as selective as the mandate itself. The reimposition of illegal and illegitimate sanctions against Iran after the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Iran nuclear deal, which was unanimously adopted by the Security Council with the support of the United States itself, was barely touched upon by the authors of the report. The genocidal sanctions indiscriminately violate the basic economic and social rights of ordinary Iranians, and yet the report chose not to even mention it.
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