This article was originally published on July 13, 2017 on Huffington Post Canada.
This article was also published on July 14, 2017 on Rabble.ca.
It’s official. Canada is now a hawk when it comes to the proliferation of nuclear arms. If any additional confirmation were needed, it was Canada’s absence at last week’s UN vote to ban nuclear weapons. But for those who have been following this file, this is only the latest of Canada’s hawkish gestures.
Canada’s failure to step up for last week’s nuclear weapons ban was criticized from many corners. “It’s shocking that Canada is not going to participate,” asserted former Canadian ambassador for disarmament, Douglas Roche back in March. Paul Meyer, another former Canadian ambassador for disarmament described Canada’s absence as “pathetic.” Project Ploughshares’ executive director Cesar Jaramillo considered it a hypocritical contradiction of the Trudeau government’s stated commitment to multilateralism.Read more
This article was originally published on May 3, 2017 in Ricochet.
The UN has once again managed to dumbfound the world: last week the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was elected to the organization’s Commission on the Status of Women. In Canada, Conservative MP Michelle Rempel led the parade of outraged politicians – and rightfully so. With its laws circumscribing the rights of its women, Saudi Arabia is in no position to lead a UN organization “dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”
The rights of Saudi women are inevitably subordinated to the men in their lives. Among other things, Saudi men have dominant rights in regards to marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance. Under Saudi Arabia’s guardianship laws, women cannot seek higher education, take a job or travel without permission from their male guardian. Read Ensaf Haidar’s biography Raif Badawi, The Voice of Freedom for a vivid example of how such laws engender hopelessness, depression and fear among the Kingdom’s women. Suffice it to say that Saudi Arabia is not in a position to promote women’s rights or shape global standards on gender equality, as the Commission intends.
This article was originally published on Dec. 28, 2017 in the Huffington Post.
Friday’s UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution censuring Israel will not resurrect dead Palestinians or Israelis from wars past, nor will it change the near-term prospect for peace. But despite cynical criticism from the left, the UNSC resolution condemning Israel’s illegal settlements (a.k.a. colonies) is still very significant.
One cannot discount the symbolic importance of such a resolution – foremost for Israel. Israel’s right-wing government can have virtually everything it wants via military might… except legitimacy for its actions. Netanyahu is furious, not because the resolution will slow the construction and expansion of Israel’s provocative settlements, but because the legitimacy of Israel’s actions has been rejected by the world’s community of nations.Read more