Sanity at the UN starts up north and rarely ventures south into the United States.
OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is set to announce Monday that Canada is boycotting the United Nations Conference on Disarmament over North Korea’s involvement, a senior government source told Postmedia News.
So Se Pyong, North Korea’s ambassador, was last week named chair of the Geneva-based group dedicated to promoting global nuclear disarmament.
“North Korea is simply not a credible chair of this UN body as its leaders are working in the exact opposite direction,” the source told Postmedia News on Sunday evening.
“Our government feels this undermines not only the Conference on Disarmament, but the UN itself. And Canada will not be party to that . . . Our government received a strong mandate to advance Canada’s values — freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law — on the world stage.”
During North Korea’s term as chair, Canada will not “engage” in the conference, the source said Baird will announce Monday.
Update (7/12/11): Predictable but still nauseating.
(CNS News) — The Obama administration will not follow Canada’s lead and boycott a session of the U.N.-linked Conference on Disarmament to protest North Korea’s appointment to the body’s rotating presidency.
“We have chosen not to make a big deal out of this because it’s a relatively low-level, inconsequential event,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Monday.
When the Conference on Disarmament (CD) next meets in Geneva, in August, North Korea will hold the chair, which rotates alphabetically among the body’s 65 member states six times a year.
Created in 1978 as the U.N.’s multilateral disarmament negotiating forum, the CD’s agenda embraces weapons of mass destruction, reduction of armed forces and budgets, and the goal of eventual complete disarmament.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said Monday his country would temporarily boycott the CD.
“North Korea is simply not a credible chair of this U.N. body,” he said in a statement. “The regime is a major proliferator of nuclear weapons and its non-compliance with its disarmament obligations goes against the fundamental principles of this committee.”