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Canada Urges UN Secretary-General to Withdraw From Summit in Iran

Ban Ki-moon Plans to Attend Summit, Much to the Chagrin of Western Leaders

By: Leonard Carl
Published: August 27th, 2012 in News » World
General Ban Ki-moon
Despite pleas from some to make other plans this week, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon plans to be in Iran to attend the 16th Summit of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, despite the fact that Iran continues to rank amongst the world’s worst abuser of human rights.

Much of the criticism of the UN Secretary General’s decision to attend the Summit come from those countries which continue to isolate Iran due to the nuclear impasse. Many also feel that with the eyes of the world on Iran this week, it is the perfect chance shine a spotlight on its conditions, and place international pressure on Iran's leaders to improve the lives of its own citizens.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s advocacy partner, joined with numerous others, including the World Jewish Congress, in expressing its profound disappointment that Ban Ki-moon will attend the Summit, and urges him to withdraw. CIJA is especially gratified to note that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird conveyed a similar message to the UN Secretary-General in a formal letter earlier this week.

“The Secretary-General should be distancing himself and the UN from this travesty. In addition to its illegal nuclear program, the Iranian regime continues to rank amongst the world’s worst human rights abusers. In Iran, Christians are regularly imprisoned, women are executed by stoning for ‘adultery’ and gay citizens are publicly hanged. Iran is also one of the leading state sponsors of international terrorism and is directly involved in the ongoing violence and oppression in Syria,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

“Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who openly denies the Holocaust, has called for the destruction of Israel – a UN member state – no less than three times in the past month alone. To protect the integrity of the United Nations, the Secretary-General should refuse to attend this summit and instead, reaffirm the international community’s call for an end to Iran’s ongoing human rights abuses and the regime’s dangerous drive towards nuclear weapons capability,” said Fogel.

Related articles: Canada, United Nations, UN, Iran, Ban Ki-moon, Summit, Secretary-General, Human Rights, Non-Aligned Movement, UJA
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