Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
UN Commission on Human Rights

[11 May, 2006]

Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre, Lib.) [ Neville.A@parl.gc.ca]: Mr. Speaker, on this day in 1949 the state of Israel joined the United Nations, where it has been singled out for criticism ever since.

The UN Commission on Human Rights, whose members included human rights violators like Libya and China, has lost all credibility for the way it chastised Israel.

Canada pushed to replace the commission with a human rights council comprised of responsible nations, but on March 15 the Conservative government abandoned this policy when it welcomed the council without stringent membership criteria.

On that day the foreign affairs minister promised, “The Council will have improved membership…and a mechanism for removing UN member states that commit serious human rights violations.”

Two days ago members were elected to the new council. Canada was indeed elected, but so were Saudi Arabia and China.

I wonder how the minister will reconcile this sad reality to his pledge and how he will ensure that this human rights body does not abuse Israel, as its precursor did.