John Baird proudly announces a boycott of the UN conference on disarmament on account of North Korea’s chairmanship.
“Our government has consistently taken a principled approach to dealing with North Korea’s nuclear aspirations. As a result, today we are suspending our participation in the UN Conference on Disarmament.
“North Korea is simply not a credible chair of this UN body. The regime is a major proliferator of nuclear weapons and its non-compliance with its disarmament obligations goes against the fundamental principles of this committee. This undermines the integrity of both the disarmament framework and the UN. Canada will not be party to that.”
Liberal foreign affairs critic Dominic LeBlanc is unimpressed.
“The Conservative government’s refusal to attend the United Nation’s Conference on Disarmament represents another missed opportunity for Canada to assert a clear and principled approach to world issues.Though it is deplorable that North Korea currently holds the rotating presidency, this should not hinder Canada’s ability to have a positive influence on these negotiations. By withdrawing from the conference, Canada is abdicating its responsibility to act and to be heard on important issues such as nuclear non-proliferation, and is giving more radical countries like North Korea and Iran an even greater influence on the outcome of the negotiations.From climate change and the environment to the Rotterdam Convention on hazardous chemicals and pesticides, Canada is systematically failing to wield its influence internationally in order to gain partisan advantage domestically. The government’s refusal to attend the United Nation’s Conference on Disarmament is just another example of Stephen Harper’s failed ideological approach to foreign affairs.”