Minister Joly to co-host dialogue on the Initiative against arbitrary detention in state-to-state relations with Costa Rica, Malawi, and the United States at UN General Assembly High Level Week

News release

September 15, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that she will join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of Canada’s delegation to the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

There, she will co-host a high-level dialogue on the initiative against arbitrary detention in state-to-state relations with Arnoldo André Tinoco, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of the Republic of Costa Rica, Nancy Tembo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malawi, and Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State. The dialogue will take place on September 20 on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Featured speakers at the meeting will include the co-hosts, Michael Kovrig, Policy Analyst, Former Diplomat and Former Detainee; Jason Rezaian, Journalist and Former Detainee; Professor of Law Charles Jalloh; and Amal Clooney, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers.

Since its launch in 2020, 71 countries and the European Union have endorsed the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations, standing with Canada against the unacceptable, unjust, and illegal practice of arbitrarily using citizens as bargaining chips for political gain. The dialogue will be an opportunity for the international community to take stock of the progress made since 2020, share views and confirm plans on next steps to continue advancing the initiative, including developing effective deterrence mechanisms.

During the General Assembly’s high-level week, Minister Joly will also

meet with numerous partners and allies, including other G7 foreign ministers, as well as partners of the Atlantic and the Pacific regions, to continue strengthening efforts to address global issues, including peace and security threats and to protect the rule-based international order.

Minister Joly will join her counterpart from the Netherlands to launch the Global Declaration on Information Integrity Online, which constitutes a “rule of the road” to address disinformation online.

The minister will also be participating in events addressing the human rights situation in conflict-affected states. Notably, she will co-host an event on ensuring collective action for human rights and justice in Sudan with the International Criminal Court, as well as an event on the Situation of Women and Girls in Afghanistan.

Minister Joly will also join Prime Minister Trudeau’s discussion on Haiti with world leaders to identify ways in which the international community, in partnership with the Caribbean region, can support Haiti’s stability and sustainable development.

Throughout her visit in New York, the minister’s engagements will advance the interests of Canadians at home and abroad, including strengthening multilateral institutions, protecting the rules-based international system, promoting diversity and inclusion, and expanding Canada’s leadership on global peace and security issues.


“Global solidarity works. Arbitrary detention for leverage in state-to-state relations transcends geographic boundaries. Through constructive dialogue, shared learning and collective problem solving of common challenges and responses built on partnerships, we can effectively address one of the most pressing issues of our time.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • To date, 71 countries and the European Union have endorsed Canada’s Declaration Against Arbitrary Detentions in State-to-State Relations.

  • The Declaration is also supported by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, as well as by member states of the UN Human Rights Council, by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and by the G7.

  • The declaration reaffirms established principles of human rights, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law, as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

  • Canada developed the Partnership Action Plan in May 2021 to extend the initiative beyond the declaration.

  • The plan proposes a range of voluntary actions that states, organizations and members of civil society can take to deter arbitrary arrest, detention and sentencing in state-to-state relations and sustain momentum against those practices.

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Isabella Orozco­‑Madison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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