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UPDATE: Harper not a ‘world statesman’

Today Stephen Harper will receive a ‘World Statesman of the Year’ award from Henry Kissinger at a ceremony in New York.

Harper a statesman? Hardly! Among other actions:

  1. his government abstained when 122 countries recognized the right to water and sanitation at the July 2010 United Nations General Assembly vote, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=14152
  2. he promised a neo-liberal agenda to the global corporate elite at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13332
  3. he has promoted harmful mining practices in Latin America, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=14639
  4. he has been criticized by the UN General Secretary for not taking the action necessary to address the global threat of climate change, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=3122
  5. he has cut diplomatic relations with Iran prompting former diplomats to express concerns, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=16496
  6. he has not fully acknowledged the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4608
  7. he was the first leader to visit Honduras after the coup that deposed Manuel Zelay, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10519
  8. his government has continually lobbied the European Union to drop their fuel quality climate change legislation, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=11392.

The Globe and Mail has reported, “The timing of the award ceremony, during the week when world leaders descend on New York to address the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, underlines Mr. Harper’s distaste for the multilateral diplomatic forum. Prime ministers were offered UN speaking slots on Sept. 27 – the very day Mr. Harper will accept the award in New York – but Mr. Harper chose to skip the UN. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will speak for Canada, but, as a mere minister, is relegated to the following week.” In October 2010, the United Nations General Assembly rejected Harper’s bid for a seat on the UN’s Security Council, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=4283.

An Avaaz.org petition calling for Harper to be stripped of this award can be read at http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Strip_Stephen_Harper_of_the_World_Statesman_Award/?wfaucdb. Additionally, to read Yves Engler’s commentary in NOW magazine about Harper receiving this award, please see http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=188857.