Canada Abstains from United Nations General Assembly resolution on Admission of new Members to the United Nations

Canada Abstains from United Nations General Assembly resolution on Admission of new Members to the United Nations

May 10, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada

Today, Global Affairs Canada issued this statement:

“In 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 181 and agreed that the only viable solution for peace in the Middle East was the creation of two states. However, 75 years later, the full promise of that vision has not been fulfilled.

“Canada’s position on questions relating to Israel and Palestine remains, and has always been, guided by our historic and unwavering commitment to a two-state solution.

“October 7, 2023 will forever be a date seared into our memories. Hamas killed over 1,200 people, kidnapped more than 240, and committed brutal acts of sexual violence. Without hesitation, Canada condemned this attack by Hamas and called for the release of hostages and has continued to do so since.

“Since October 7, thousands of Palestinian civilians have been killed in the military conflict that followed that fateful day. Nearly 2 million people have been displaced and even more now face imminent starvation. The scale of the humanitarian crisis is catastrophic.

“Canada has mourned the loss of all of these lives.

“An immediate ceasefire is urgently needed. Hostages must be released. Rapid, safe, and unimpeded humanitarian relief must be provided to civilians. Israel must refrain from military operations in Rafah, which are already bringing devastating humanitarian consequences.

“Canada’s approach to this crisis has been guided by several principles.

  1. Israel has the right to exist, and to defend itself, in accordance with international law.
  2. The Palestinian people must be able to realize their right to self-determination.
  3. The protection of civilians is paramount and a strict requirement under international humanitarian law.

“As the General Assembly considers granting additional privileges for the Palestinian delegation at the United Nations and recommending that the Security Council reconsider full United Nations membership for Palestine, the prospects for a lasting peace are bleaker than ever.

“Canada has decided to abstain on the General Assembly resolution in response to efforts to prevent the realization of a two-state solution.

“The Netanyahu government has made clear, in its words and in its actions, that it rejects the two-state solution. Illegal settlements and settler violence in the West Bank are growing at alarming rates, often with impunity. We believe there must be continued progress toward Palestinian self-determination.

“At the same time, Hamas currently controls areas in Gaza, an essential part of the territory of the future State of Palestine. Hamas continues to hold hostages, has yet to lay down its arms or end its violent opposition to the existence of Israel. All Palestinians deserve to be led by a legitimate and representative government, without the participation of a terrorist organization.

“It is clear we must urgently build a credible path to achieving the two-state solution, one that gives hope to both Palestinians and Israelis that they may live side by side in peace, security, and dignity. That process cannot indefinitely delay the creation of a Palestinian state. Canada is prepared to recognize the State of Palestine at the time most conducive to lasting peace, not necessarily as the last step along that path.

“We will also continue to support efforts towards peace and regional stability. We will maximize pressure on Hamas and the Iranian regime, including through sanctions. We will impose sanctions on extremist settlers, support the strengthening of the Palestinian Authority and the introduction of reforms to deliver for Palestinians. We are further committed to supporting the recovery and reconstruction of Gaza in the context of a sustainable peace.

“The solution also needs to be regional and include the full integration of Israel in the Middle East. Canada will continue working with the international community and will keep at the centre of its efforts the need for long-term security guarantees for Israel.

“We must redouble our efforts to fully realize the vision first articulated by the General Assembly in 1947. We owe it to the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, who deserve a brighter future and a sustainable peace.

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