Canada pulls out of UN drought convention

Mar 28, 2013
Chinese herders walk on a dried-up reservoir in Gulang, northern China's Gansu province on July 15, 2009. Canada said Thursday it is pulling out of a UN convention that fights drought, mostly in Africa, becoming the only nation to walk away from a pact that Ottawa says is a waste of money.

Canada said Thursday it is pulling out of a UN convention that fights drought, mostly in Africa, becoming the only nation to walk away from a pact that Ottawa says is a waste of money.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Tory government quietly ordered the withdrawal from the 1994 convention last week, ahead of a scientific meeting on the agreement next month in Germany.

On Thursday, Harper lamented to the House of Commons that only "18 percent of the funds that we send to this particular organization are actually spent on programming."

"The rest goes to various bureaucratic measures. That is not an effective way to spend ," he declared.

The move provoked an outcry from non-governmental aid agencies, and the opposition, which accused Ottawa of isolating Canada and abandoning Africa through "maniacal" .

"What's shocking about Canada withdrawing from this UN convention is that there are 194 signatories to this convention. That's everyone in the UN," said opposition New Democratic Party MP Paul Dewar.

"Now there are 193 signatories to this convention because Canada is the only country on the entire planet that is not part of this convention."

The Canadian International Development Agency will honor its Can$315,000 (US$310,000) commitment to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification secretariat for 2013. But it will be its last payment.

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Claudius
2.3 / 5 (12) Mar 28, 2013
"Now there are 193 signatories to this convention because Canada is the only country on the entire planet that is not part of this convention."

Perhaps Canada is the only country on the entire planet that is actually being honest, for a change.
Tseihta
3.9 / 5 (8) Mar 28, 2013
Well harper has been sneakily eliminating science/evidence based programs in Canada so even though it maybe seem honest it really could be an underlying conservative party policy.
Shootist
2.2 / 5 (13) Mar 28, 2013
And Canada is correct.
packrat
2.2 / 5 (11) Mar 28, 2013
Well, exactly what are they actually supposed to do about drought? It's not like they can order in a rain storm. I agree with Mr. Harper, it's nothing more than another organization that makes it's bureaucratic masters rich with other people's money. A complete waste of time and is just another 'feel good' program for politicians.
Kev_C
5 / 5 (3) Mar 29, 2013
Odd thing is Canada has the most water of all the nations on Earth. Funny that isn't it?
Oh and Harper would do anything to avoid helping anyone else other than his immediate mates in the corporations.
Modernmystic
4 / 5 (1) Mar 29, 2013
Well, exactly what are they actually supposed to do about drought? It's not like they can order in a rain storm. I agree with Mr. Harper, it's nothing more than another organization that makes it's bureaucratic masters rich with other people's money. A complete waste of time and is just another 'feel good' program for politicians.


Were you talking about the U.N.?

And I guess what you do about drought is what you'd do ANYWHERE ELSE...like send food or something crazy like that...