LONDON – prime minister Justin Trudeau will benefit from his participation in the summit of heads of government of Commonwealth countries, Thursday, to London, to defend the rights of the LGBTQ community and claim a reduction of the use of plastic.
He felt, however, to some african leaders who resist with stubbornness in Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries that advocate for gender equality.
Some question the relevance and usefulness of the Commonwealth since several of its members, especially in Africa and Asia, is a display of balance sheets, little downside, in terms of democracy and human rights. In some of these countries, homosexual relationships are prohibited by law and violators are dealt with severely.
The question of the rights of the LGBTQ community has been struck out of the agenda of the summit, but Mr. Trudeau has met Thursday, activists at the High commission of Canada in London to assure them of his constant support. Indeed, he admitted that this difference in views demonstrates the extent to which the Commonwealth does not always unite its 53 members around common values, as it should be.
He asked the activists to advise them on ways to remain their ally and to push other heads of government in the right direction.
At the end of this meeting, the activists of the Network of the Commonwealth for equality have welcomed the opening of Mr. Trudeau and deplored the continued opposition of some other leaders.
“I can’t even meet my prime minister or my president, sorry Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, director of an organization of sri lankan for equal rights, and co-chair of the Network of the Commonwealth for equality. Then, we need these major international forums and the help of leaders such as prime minister Trudeau.”
Mr. Trudeau also had to press Thursday, the first british minister, Theresa May, when she will ask the other members of the Commonwealth to reduce their use of plastic. Mrs May is preparing to unveil an unprecedented project that will prohibit in the United Kingdom the plastic products single use (such as straws, cups and cotton swabs, cotton balls) to help clean the oceans of the world.
It is not known where Mr. Trudeau is willing to go to follow the example of Ms. May, but Canada has made the reduction of the plastic to be a priority of the next G7 summit, which he will chair in June in Charlevoix. Ottawa is also moving to ban microbeads in personal care products.
The office of the minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna, it was indicated that Ottawa is ready to go further. “In concert with the provinces and territories, and in consultation with Aboriginals, industry, municipalities, nonprofit organizations and research institutions, the canadian government will develop a strategy to ensure that the plastic remains in the economy, but is no longer found in the landfills and in the environment.”