Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has come under fire for skipping the 67th session of the UN General Assembly to attend a private ceremony where he received an award from a Jewish-sponsored organization.
Passing up the opportunity to address the General Assembly, Harper chose to receive the New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF) award from former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on Thursday.
The Canadian official seized the opportunity to level criticism at the UN and accused its members of using the world body as a “forum to single out Israel for criticism.”
Harper further added that the policies of the Israeli regime are not to blame for “the pathologies present in that part of the world,” while reaffirming Canada’s support for Tel Aviv.
However, the Canadian prime minister’s decision not to speak at the opening of the General Assembly drew harsh criticism in Canada from opposition leaders, who called the move “absolutely ridiculous.”
“I think the message is that Canada, that the Harper government doesn’t care about the United Nations,” said Bob Rae, the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
This is the second consecutive year that Harper has shunned the UN event, preferring to send Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in his place.
Many in Canada are concerned about Harper’s conservative policies as he is also accused of locking his government behind a wall of secrecy, defunding democratic institutions and giving away Canada’s sovereignty to the UK and the Israeli regime.