Trudeau urges leaders to follow Nelson Mandela’s example at UN tribute

Peace summit in New York marks 100th birthday of former South African president

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau listen to speakers at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit opening ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters, Monday, Sept. 24, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is paying tribute to the late Nelson Mandela by urging world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly to follow his example and champion democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world.

Trudeau kicked off his visit Monday to the UN by taking part in the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, timed to mark this year’s 100th birthday of the former South African president.

He said while global threats like climate change, armed conflict and other “emerging threats” continue to test the world’s commitment to Mandela’s values, the man known as “Madiba” would only see such challenges as evidence of work still to be done.

“All have tested the strength of our commitment and the bounds of our compassion,” Trudeau told the assembly hall.

“At times like these, we must remember the example of Nelson Mandela, who believed that we should not despair, for our troubles only bear witness to a job unfinished.”

Trudeau used the occasion to reaffirm Canada’s own commitment to issues like ethnic rights, gender equality and the treatment of Indigenous Peoples.

“As we pay tribute to the legacy of Nelson Mandela, Canada reaffirms its commitment to push forward the work he began. Canada will continue to call out the unfair treatment of racial and ethnic minorities, of women and girls, of Indigenous Peoples,” he said.

“We will continue to speak up for the refugees of Rohingya, for the Yazidis of northern Iraq, for the people of Venezuela. Canada will always stand tall for democracy, the rule of law and human rights at home and abroad.”

READ MORE: Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

Trudeau had a number of bilateral meetings with world leaders on his summit itinerary Monday, including one earlier in the day with the prime minister of Nepal, who thanked Canada for its humanitarian help following that country’s devastating earthquake in 2015.

A major item on Canada’s to-do list at this week’s summit is to resume its stalled campaign for a coveted two-year temporary seat on the UN Security Council — an endeavour that has taken a back seat to the government’s efforts to rescue the North American Free Trade Agreement.

And NAFTA surely won’t be far from Trudeau’s mind this week, either — there’s talk of a meeting on the summit sidelines between Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer.

Canada is in the throes of what Freeland has called a “continuous negotiation” with her American counterparts in an effort to join what is currently a bilateral agreement in principle between the U.S. and Mexico before a looming congressional deadline of Oct. 1.

Trudeau was also scheduled later Monday to attend a meeting of the UN’s economic and social council to talk about how to finance that group’s efforts to advance sustainable development by the year 2030, and attend a roundtable of leaders in girls’ education.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Unusual smell in water’ not a health concern, says City of Abbotsford

Odour is just temporary due to treatment-plant maintenance, city says

‘Agitated’ man pulls out knife on 3 people in Abbotsford

Witnesses sought for incident on Monday night near city hall

Man charged with hit-and-run that killed pedestrian in Abbotsford

Man in his 50s died after being struck by vehicle on Highway 11 in October 2019

Fraser Valley Bandits reflect on 2020 turnaround

Abbotsford-based CEBL team goes from worst to almost first at Summer Series

Vedder River gets reprieve from gravel removal this summer

Applications withdrawn by river management committee and process concluded for 2020

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Friends do ‘amazing’ home makeover for retired police officer

Pitt Meadows RCMP veteran was away getting treatment for PTSD

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Pitt Meadows woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Most Read