CIM: Canada becomes first country to sign the Ottawa Protocol

CIM News Release

Ottawa, September 19, 2011 — Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism (CIM) Minister Jason Kenney and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today signed the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism.

The Protocol is an action plan developed during the second annual conference of theInter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism (ICCA) which took place in Ottawa in November, 2010. Signing it demonstrates the Government of Canada’s support for it and a commitment to its goals.

“The Government of Canada is a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism,” said Minister Kenney. “The Ottawa Protocol complements what Canada is already doing to combat hatred and discrimination, including anti-Semitism. We are a member of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research. Here at home, we have launched programs to promote integration and social cohesion of Canadians from all backgrounds.”

The Protocol will help nations to measure and articulate their progress in combating anti-Semitism. It calls for leaders of faith groups to combat hatred and discrimination, including anti-Semitism; governments to reaffirm and implement the United Nations’ 1948 Genocide Convention; the establishment of an international task force to identify and monitor hate on the Internet and the development of a comprehensive system to record all hate crimes, including anti-Semitic ones.

“Signing the Ottawa Protocol signals our continued commitment to leading a coordinated global effort to fight anti-Semitism,” said Minister Baird. “Just as Canada is moving ahead to develop and build a National Holocaust Monument in the National Capital Region, we also plan to take our commitment to parliamentarians around the world and suggest that they join us in signing the Protocol.”

The Ministers added that the Government of Canada’s commitment to combating anti-Semitism is why Canada will not participate in the events later this month to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action, sometimes called Durban III.

“Our government has lost faith in the Durban process and will not take part in this event, which commemorates events that have promoted racism rather than combat it,” noted Minister Kenney.

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