In this regard, there is a special circumstance which applies to Canada. When some of the articles of the Draft Convention were adopted in committee, the Canadian Delegation abstained, explaining that the subject under consideration was in some of its important aspects within the field of provincial jurisdiction in Canada. I wish to make it clear that, in regard to any rights which are defined in this document, the federal government of Canada does not intend to invade other rights which are also important to the people of Canada, and by this I mean the rights of the provinces under our federal constitution. We believe that the rights set forth in this Declaration are already well protected in Canada. We shall continue to develop and maintain these rights and freedoms, but we shall do so within the framework of our constitution which assigns jurisdiction in regard to a number of important questions to the legislatures of our provinces.
Because of these various reservations on details in the Draft Declaration, The Canadian Delegation abstained when the Declaration as a whole was put to the vote in committee. The Canadian Delegation, however, approves and supports the general principles contained in the Declaration and would not wish to do anything which might appear to discourage the effort, which it embodies, to define the rights of men and women. Canadians believe in these rights and practice them in their communities. In order that there may be no misinterpretation of our position on this subject therefore, the Canadian Delegation, having made its position clear in the committee, will , in accordance with the understanding I have expressed, now vote in favour of the resolution, in the hope that it will mark a milestone in humanity's upward march.