Published On: February 12, 2024

Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 12 February 2024:

Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac) is deeply troubled by the Canadian government’s response to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s recent ruling that ordered Israel to prevent acts of genocide in Gaza.

The statement from Global Affairs Canada fails to acknowledge the immediate measures that the ICJ has ordered to protect against further harm to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; nor does Canada call on Israel to comply with them. Instead, it minimizes the ruling by emphasizing that it is not a final decision, and repeats confusing language about the premise of the case. This muddled reaction calls into question Canada’s “unwavering support” for international law, the ICJ, and human rights.

Canada and other Western countries must end their complicity. This requires ending arms sales to Israel and supporting an immediate ceasefire and an end to the occupation of Palestine.

CAN-Rac also expresses its shock and disappointment at Canada’s decision to suspend funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which will only add to the suffering and punish those most affected by the violence. While Canada is increasing humanitarian aid through other partners, this will remain hollow until Canada halts its arms exports to Israel and calls on Israel to follow and implement the six provisional measures ordered by the ICJ.

Climate justice and human rights are inextricable. Until the conventions and institutions to protect the most fundamental human rights are respected, international cooperation on tackling the climate crisis will remain fragile, incomplete, and incoherent. CAN-Rac calls on Canada to live up to its ambitions to be a leader on human rights and stand up for justice and peace.

This call follows CAN-Rac’s statement in October 2023, expressing solidarity with all those who have been harmed by the violence in Palestine and Israel and calling for an immediate ceasefire and addressing the root causes of the conflict.