Canada defends leaving UN convention on droughts

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Associated Press

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 7:37 PM

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada is defending its decision to pull out of a United Nations convention that fights the spread of droughts. It's the only country in the world outside the agreement.

The decision comes a month before a major scientific gathering hosted by the secretariat of the convention that would have forced Canada to confront scientific analysis on the effects of climate change.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has been vilified an as outlier on climate change policy in past international meetings.

Harper said Thursday that Canada is withdrawing from the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification because the program is too bureaucratic.

Canada's foreign minister calls it a "talkfest" that does a disservice to taxpayers.

Former Canadian ambassador to the UN Robert Fowler says the move is a "departure from global citizenship."

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