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Some AU countries to support Canada’s UN bid

Steven Edwards recently wrote in the National Post that, “Half a dozen African countries have handed Ottawa secret written commitments to support Canada in its bid to win election next year (in the fall of 2010) to the United Nations Security Council. The pledges have buoyed some in government to believe Canada has a shot at landing a seat on the UN’s most powerful body for the two-year 2011-2012 term.”

Edwards also notes, “Under the UN’s ‘regional’ voting system, the (UN General) Assembly must pick from Canada, Germany and Portugal as declared candidates for the two ‘western’ seats that will become vacant. But the African commitments are the first evidence a dent can be made in any dissatisfaction that exists within aligned country blocs over Canada’s foreign policy under the Conservative government.”

On March 20, Maude Barlow wrote in a letter to the editor to the Globe and Mail, “I believe the Harper government should be denied a seat on the UN Security Council until it formally recognizes water as an international human right, a right it has rejected at the UN Human Rights Council. If the government fails to act on the global water crisis, it simply does not deserve the leadership role it covets at the United Nations.” That’s at http://canadians.org/media/council/2009/20-Mar-09.html

Additionally, our March 17 media release ‘Barlow says Harper must recognize the right to water to deserve UN Security Council seat’ is at http://canadians.org/media/water/2009/17-Mar-09.html, and the resulting CBC report ‘Tie Canada’s bid for Security Council seat to water issue, Barlow urges’, is at http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/03/17/water-barlow.html.

At the recent World Water Forum in Turkey, the 53-nation African Union added its name to an important counter-declaration and signaled their support for water to be recognized as a human right.

The op-ed by Steven Edwards is at http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/05/24/steven-edwards-un.aspx.