Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew today announced that Canada tabled a resolution at the 59th session of the UN General Assembly, on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.
"Canada's assessment is that the human rights situation in Iran has worsened during the last year, a position shared by many members of the international community," stated Minister Pettigrew. "We believe that Iran needs to hear from the global community that change is necessary. Our objective remains to promote and accelerate positive change for the human rights of the Iranian people."
The resolution, presented with 33 co-sponsors, expresses concerns at violations of human rights in the country and calls upon the Government of Iran to abide by its international obligations. The resolution provides a strong international call for Iran to make improvements in several areas, including independence of the judiciary, arbitrary detentions, freedom of expression and freedom of the media, treatment of women and treatment of persons belonging to religious minorities.
Monitoring mechanisms of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, including the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, visited Iran in 2003 and provided specific recommendations for improvements. These recommendations have yet to be implemented by the Government of Iran, and Canada's resolution addresses this shortcoming.
In December 2003, at the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly, Canada was the main sponsor of a successful resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran. The Resolution called for the human rights situation in Iran to be re-examined at the 59th session of the General Assembly this fall.
For more information on Canada's international human rights policy, visit
For more information about the UN, or to learn more about Canadian policies and participation in the UN, visit
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