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Friday, March 29, 2013

Canada is now the only country out of 194 in the UN not a member of convention.

Conservatives sneak out of UN drought convention

by Samantha Bayard
OTTAWA , March 28, 2013 (Straight Goods News) – Canada is now the first country to pull out of the UN convention that fights drought.
News reports revealed today the Harper government quietly decided a month ago to withdraw from what foreign affairs minister John Baird called a "bureaucratic talkfest."
In the House, Stephen Harper said less than one fifth of what Canada contributes to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification goes to programming: "This particular organization spends less than 20 per cent — 18 per cent — of the funds that we send it are actually spent on programming, the rest goes to various bureaucratic measures. That's not an effective way to spend taxpayers' money," Harper said in Question Period.
NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar was appalled. “What’s shocking about Canada withdrawing from this UN convention is that there are 194 signatories to this convention. That’s everyone in the UN. Now there are 193 signatories to this convention because, because Canada is the only country on the entire planet that is not part of this convention. What it shows is that they either did not understand this convention, or they’re willingly isolating Canada even more.”
Dewar said the convention is important because, “Some of the poorest countries in the world are part of this convention because they understand that we need to better understand the effects of climate change, of drought on famine. So what it means is that there was a $350,000 commitment. The Prime Minister talks about value for money. This was not about delivering programs. This is about working collectively with other partners to better understand what’s happening with drought that leads to famine that leads to insecurity. We just finished having a debate on Mali. Well one of the effects of the, the situations on the ground at Mali is drought, is famine, which leads to insecurity.”
We need to better understand the effects of climate change, of drought on famine. – Paul Dewar
Dewar said this could affect Canada's seat on the UN Security Council: “Canada’s even further isolated than we were before. And the next time, you know, we try and get a seat on the Security Council, what do you think the response of the rest of the world’s going to be? Oh okay, we have one country that withdraw from the UN convention on drought, and that’s Canada. What’s their agenda? Why does Canada do this? And so it’s a real head scratcher. And my question is very simple to the Minister cause it was Minister Baird responsible for this, why not reinstate Canada? He made a mistake. Fix it.”

About Samantha Bayard

Samantha Bayard is a young journalist 

living and working out of Ottawa.

 She is an avid cyclist and lover of animals.

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