News Release Article from  Global Affairs Canada

Minister Dion to address United Nations

February 26, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that he will visit Geneva, Switzerland, from February 29 to March 2, 2016, to address the 31st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament, and participate in the first International Pledging Conference on Landmines and High-Level event.

Minister Dion will use this visit, the first by a Canadian foreign minister to Geneva since 2011, to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to the United Nations system.

The Government of Canada’s deepened engagement within the United Nations system has been warmly welcomed by both the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein during their recent visits to Ottawa. While in Geneva, Minister Dion will also meet a number of international partners and counterparts.


“Canada is fully committed to strengthened engagement across the United Nations. Only when states come together multilaterally can progress be made on issues that affect us all. This includes important work being done in Geneva to advance international human rights norms and address threats to international peace and security.”

- Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • In 2006, Canada was instrumental in the establishment of the Human Rights Council (HRC) and was also elected as one of the founding members of the Council, serving a three-year mandate, ending in June 2009.
  • The HRC is the primary venue within the UN system for responding to and monitoring human rights situations globally.
  • Canada played a lead role in the establishment of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (or “Ottawa Convention”) and subsequent efforts towards its implementation and universalization.
  • The Conference on Disarmament was established in 1979 as the world’s disarmament negotiating body.

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