TORONTO (Jan. 5)
Saul F. Rae. Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has signed a formal agreement with the UN for the holding of the Habitat Conference on Human Development in British Columbia this summer. The agreement includes a proviso that delegates and observers will be admitted to Canada for the conference according to UN rules, which means that representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization will be allowed to attend.
Nat Bent, director of the Canadian Zionist Federation’s Pacific Region, and Fred Lapkin, chairman of the Canada-Israel Committee for the same region, said that while Jewish groups do not oppose the conference they will continue to oppose allowing the PLO to attend it. They said peaceful but massive demonstrations will be carried out during the conference.
Joseph Yaacov, charge d’affaires of the Israel Embassy in Ottawa, told reporters that Israel will participate in Habital but this does not signify any change in its policy toward the PLO.
Last July, the Canadian government, faced with growing opposition to allowing the PLO to attend a UN Congress on Crime scheduled for Toronto, asked the UN to postpone the meeting. Instead, the UN moved the conference to Geneva. However, the Canadian government has said from the beginning that it intends to go through with the Habitat Conference.