Canada has announced it will seek a seat on the UN Human Rights Council and champion several goals, including gender equality and environmental justice. This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, at a press conference in Ottawa, CBC writes.
Canada is seeking a seat on the Council from 2028 to 2030 in a vote likely to take place in 2026.
Jolie said that Canada is a defender of human rights around the world and wants to promote six main priorities as a member of the Human Rights Council:
Promotion of equality of women and homosexuals, as well as reproductive rights;
Support those who are defenders of human rights in all countries;
Countering those who try to undermine human rights on the Internet;
Promotion of human rights of indigenous groups, particularly in Canada;
Call to account those who sit on the UN Human Rights Council, but do the opposite of their mandate and try to suppress human rights.
Advancing environmental issues and justice around the world.
Canada's most recent assessment, conducted in 2018, found that Ottawa is falling short of its own human rights commitments, such as addressing disparities in the criminal justice system and providing equal services to Indigenous peoples. Ottawa is also not a signatory to the global convention against torture.
Groups such as Human Rights Watch criticized the UN Human Rights Council for "electing serious rights abusers like Cameroon, Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates to its ranks."
Russia left the Geneva-based body after UN members voted to end its membership shortly after Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In 2020, the Trudeau government lost its bid for membership in the UN Security Council after years of seeking to return to the body.
Canada last sat on the Human Rights Council from 2006 to 2009.