The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed the adoption of a resolution on the human rights situation in Iran, following a vote at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly earlier today.

"The adoption of this resolution is a clear signal of the international community's concern for the human rights of people in Iran. It sends a message of hope to the victims of state-sponsored brutality and to the human rights defenders who seek to effect positive change in Iran," said Minister Cannon. "At the same time, the Iranian regime is called upon to respect fully its human rights obligations, in law and in practice."

With the passing of this resolution, Canada continues its leadership in the world by serving as the lead coordinator for this resolution, which expresses serious concern about the systemic human rights violations committed by the Government of Iran. The resolution was co-sponsored by 42 other UN member states and was supported by 70 in the vote earlier today. As in previous years, the Iranian delegation attempted to use procedural manoeuvres to block the Committee from considering the resolution on its merits. Yet again, the Iranian efforts to hide their abuses failed.

Pursuant to the resolution adopted last year, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a report highlighting serious violations of human rights in Iran, such as the execution of juveniles, stoning and amputation, widespread discrimination against cultural, religious and linguistic minorities, censorship, and harassment of human rights defenders and women's rights activists.

"With this resolution, and those presented in previous years, international attention has been drawn to the flagrant human rights abuses in Iran," said Minister Cannon. "We continue to call on the Iranian government to take concrete steps to respect the human rights of all people in Iran.

"We will continue to promote Canadian values, such as freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law, on the world stage. All Canadians can be proud of Canada's principled foreign policy."

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
www.international.gc.ca/index.aspx

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