Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham today welcomed the appointment of McGill University Professor Stephen Toope to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. The appointment was made by the Chair of the UN Human Rights Commission, Krzysztof Jakobowski, and is renewable after three years.
“Canada has a strong tradition of supporting independent human rights experts through various United Nations mechanisms,” said Minister Graham. “Professor Toope’s appointment to this United Nations Working Group underscores his highly relevant personal credentials for this vital work as well as the international recognition of Canada’s expertise in the field of human rights.”
The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances was established by the UN Commission on Human Rights to examine cases of persons arrested, detained or abducted and whose fate or whereabouts remain unknown or unacknowledged. It aims to help the relatives of disappeared persons find out what has happened to their missing family members by raising individual cases with the governments concerned. Dr. Toope is representing the Western European and Others region, which includes Canada and the U.S.
Dr. Toope is a professor of Law at McGill University in Montreal and served as Dean from 1994 to 1999. He also co-directed the Institute for European Studies, a joint University of Montreal-McGill University project, from 2000 to 2002. He is President of the Canadian Council on International Law and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. Dr. Toope has also served as National Chairperson of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (Anglican Church of Canada).
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