Canada envoy says ‘No time for finger pointing, calls to tackle challenges together


Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau

UNITED NATIONS, 27th Sept. Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Rae on Tuesday told the UNGA high-level debate that the health of our planet, its people, institutions, and the global economy are at serious risk, and such deep challenges cannot be tackled in isolation.

He noted that we are at the halfway point in the global effort to ensure achievement of the of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Rae said: “The consensus this past week was clear: we are far behind where we need to be to meet the commitments we have made to our populations and to one another.”

He said Canadians are also experiencing climate and environmental crises, recalled that his country experienced the most destructive forest fires in its history this summer.

“All these challengers are not a window into our future, but rather a testimony to our present,” cautioned Mr. Rae.

He emphasized that the response to these challenges must not be complacent, divided or nostalgic.

“It is not a question of pointing fingers or looking for panaceas, but rather of taking concrete measures to help address, both in Canada and around the world, the challenges we face together,” he stressed

Mr. Rae expressed shock in how many people are forcibly displaced around the world, underscoring the need to see these issue in a ‘broader, global light on migration crisis including the Darien Gap migration, Rohingya displacement in Bangladesh, Afghanistan refugees and Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, and the conflict in Sudan.’

Mr. Rae stated “Gender equality is a not an issue to be bartered against perceptions of progress, nor is it a “nice to have” or something to be qualified.”

He called the importance of upholding the values of free and democratic societies.

Ambassador noted “We have seen, and continue to realize, extent to which democracies are under threat through various means of foreign interference.”

He added that we can get closer to equality, and to justice, by building open, inclusive societies, and by promoting and protecting human rights for all and upholding the rule of law.

Mr. Rae reminded the Assembly that the UN Charter clearly commits all States to end the scourge of war and as such, Russia’s aggressions against Ukraine violated the Organization’s founding document.

He asserted that Russia should be held accountable for its actions.

Rae added “We welcome the indictments by the International Criminal Court against President Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights. Because no one is above the law.”

“Canada will continue to explore every measure to support Ukraine as it continues to defend itself, its people, its identity, its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he concluded.

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