Unity, Diversity and Justice

a virtual exhibition from the Diefenbaker Center Canada

Successes and Challenges

Successes and Challenges

Diefenbaker fashioned the Canadian Bill of Rights knowing that diversity was not just a matter of people's ethnicity or nationality. His vision was that all members of society — including the disadvantaged, marginalized and disenfranchised — should be accorded basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. This thinking crossed over into the Federal Government's foreign policy.

Entrance to the UN Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
Entrance to the UN Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland
United Nations Logo
United Nations Logo

Through the Cold War, Canada used international forums such as the United Nations to advocate for universal human rights. The Canadian Government set the standard by mobilizing international opinion and applying pressure to regimes that violated their own citizens’ rights. Today, the Canadian government continues to put ever-greater emphasis on international human rights, rejecting the long-standing position that issues of justice and equality were simply domestic matters. Canada persists in its attempts to advance domestic and international human rights through legislation and peacekeeping.


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