Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced in Ottawa on Tuesday that Canada is throwing its hat in the ring for a seat on the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, pledging to advance issues from women’s rights to fighting rising racism.
“The multilateral system that underpins these rights is under threat like never before. To confront these challenges, we must work together to rebuild the human rights foundation, to strive towards a more just tomorrow for everyone,” Joly told reporters in her announcement. Joly also added that there is a “clear backlash” of human rights happening around the world and that Canada can’t “stand idle just screaming” from the sidelines.
The multilateral council investigates allegations of human rights breaches in UN states, committed by governments or societal actors. So far, Greece has also announced a run for one of the three spots that will be available to countries that sit in a grouping of 28, which includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and those in Western Europe.
In 2020, the Trudeau government lost its bid for the UN Security Council after a years-long push to rejoin the multilateral body. Elections for the open seats are expected to be made until 2026.