OTTAWA: The Trudeau government on Tuesday backed a resolution to support the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people adopted by the UN General Assembly during a session of the Third Committee.
The vote marks a major departure for Canada, which has declined to support substantially the same resolution through 14 consecutive votes since Stephen Harper came to power in 2006.
The resolution was put forward by the State of Palestine, North Korea, Zimbabwe and others and calls for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement” to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and explicitly refers to contested lands between the two countries as “Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
165 states voted in favor of the resolution while it was opposed by the occupation state, the United States and three Pacific island nations that depend heavily on U.S. aid and tend to vote with Washington at the UN: the Marshall Islands, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Commenting on the background of the vote, an official at Global Affairs Canada said the sudden change in stance sends a message that Canada does not agree with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s almost universally condemned assertion on Monday that Israeli settlements in Palestine are “not, per se, inconsistent with international law”.
Canada has regularly voting against or abstained on resolutions that support Palestinians, including resolutions on Palestinian self-determination, sovereignty over natural resources and the illegality of Israeli settlements.
In November last year, Canada joined a tiny minority of states, including Israel, the US, Australia and the Marshall Islands to vote “no” against a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution titled, “Peaceful Settlement on the Question of Palestine.”