Ottawa, Ontario - Official Opposition Foreign Affairs critic, Tony Clement, and deputy critic, Peter Kent, expressed their strong condemnation today of Canadian Michael Lynk's appointment as “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”
Last week Clement and Kent sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling on the government to apply pressure against Lynk's selection by the president of the UN Human Rights Council.
Clement and Kent issued the following statement after learning today that Lynk's selection is now confirmed.
“It is unconscionable that a UN body has defied its own resolutions and unfairly targeted Israel by appointing Lynk, who has played a leading role in the Canadian Palestinian Education Exchange, a group which promotes “Israeli Apartheid Week” events, addresses “One State” conferences which seek to eliminate Israel, and calls for the prosecution of Israel for war crimes.”
“The rules of the UN Human Rights Council state that “impartiality” and “objectivity” are to be of “paramount importance” when selecting mandate-holders. Lynk clearly does not meet these requirements, and his appointment should be rescinded immediately.”
“We called on the government to intervene ahead of this pending selection, but obviously to no avail. We know that early in its mandate the Prime Minister's office indicated there would be a “shift in tone” in Canada's relationship with Israel. Is staying silent on this appointment another manifestation of this shift? Under the Conservative government there was never a doubt that Canada stands steadfastly with Israel; that indeed Canada stands by Israel through fire and water. By standing silently by in the wake of this appointment instead, we must ask if that is still the case?”
Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition