Canada: Government puts an ear to the ground

The Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice of Toronto participated in a three-day Human Rights Consultation which the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs holds each year to prepare for Canada?s participation in the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) in Geneva. This annual occasion permits NGOs to come to the national capital and submit briefs, express concerns and recommend actions they wish Canada to take, specifically at the UNCHR but also in foreign policy in general. Armed with up-to-date and right-on-the-ground analysis and data gathered from Jesuit social justice organisations throughout the world, the Centre was able to provide information that the Government did not have, as well as perspectives from the grassroots that were both critical and articulate. The Jesuit Centre met briefly with Minister of Foreign Affairs John Manley on the question of Sudan, where the operations of Talisman Energy of Calgary, Canada?s largest independent oil exploration firm, are a significant factor in Sudan?s war against its Christian minority. It also had an extended meeting with diplomats working in Colombia to discuss Canadian investments there and their impact on human rights in that country. The Centre is eager to co-operate more closely with other Jesuit organisations in defending human rights and promoting social justice world-wide. [HL20605]