The United Nations has reacted to the decision by the Harper government to pull out of the Convention to Combat Desertification by calling it “regrettable.”
On Thursday, foreign Affairs Minister John Baird called the entire process a “talkfest” that does a disservice to Canadian taxpayers.
In a press release issued on Friday, the convention secretariat based in Bonn, Germany, said the convention is the only legally binding instrument addressing desertification and drought and pointed out that Canada itself is “frequently subjected to drought.”
The UN body also said the convention is “stronger than ever before” making Canada’s decision to withdraw from it “all the more regrettable.”
Canada’s discreet withdrawal was ordered last week, ahead of a major scientific meeting on the convention next month in Germany.
Canada is now the first and only country to reject the 1994 Convention to Combat Desertification, which has been ratified by every member of the United Nations.
With files from the CBC.