Baird warns UN council about new food envoy

Foreign Minister John Baird speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament...

Foreign Minister John Baird speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 7, 2014. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

David Akin, National Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 12:17 AM ET

OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the United Nations Human Rights Council risks harming its own credibility if it appoints a woman who, Ottawa says, once compared Israelis to Nazis.

Canadian diplomats and other experts say the the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) could appoint Hilal Elver as its special envoy on the right to food as early as this week.

The UNHCR has 37 "special envoys" who can use UN funding -- and its good name -- to investigate how individual countries are dealing with specific issues and make recommendations to deal with them.

But in a letter Baird sent to the UNHCR this week -- a copy of which was obtained by QMI Agency -- Baird argues that Elver's previous statements and activities "shows indisputably that she is not a suitable candidate."


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