Canada’s rationalizations for continued arms exports to Saudi Arabia fly in the face of UN Expert Reports, evidence from Canadian and international NGOs working in Yemen and the far more restrictive practices by most of our western allies.
Canada’s welcome initiative to build international support for a global ceasefire lacks credibility so long as we keep fanning the flames of conflict in Yemen through our continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
Resumption of the Liberal minority Parliament on 27 January offers a golden opportunity for the Prime Minister and his government to build a progressive coalition in favour of tougher gun regulations, resumption of diplomatic relations with Iran and an export control policy that strengthens human rights and international law.
On Canada’s role in the global arms trade, in responding to the growing nuclear peril, and in helping end the dangerous American confrontation with Iran, the Justin Trudeau Liberals need concrete, credible and courageous diplomatic peacemaking and peacebuilding options.
We welcome Canada’s long overdue accession to the global Arms Trade Treaty. But it will only be meaningful if it is accompanied by concrete action to end our complicity in the suffering of innocent Yemeni civilians by suspending the export of Canadian-made LAVs to Saudi Arabia.
We call on the Canadian government to re-invigorate dialogue with Iran, prioritize support for the INF Treaty and ensure prompt accession to the global Arms Trade Treaty.