"Canada Only UN Member To Pull Out of Droughts and Deserts Convention"

"Canada has become the first country to drop out of the UN convention to combat desertification."

"The Conservative government is pulling out of a United Nations convention aimed at fighting droughts and desertification in Africa, making Canada the only country in the world to leave the agreement.

 The withdrawal from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification was ordered last week by the federal cabinet on the recommendation of Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, but only made public Wednesday.

Every UN nation -- a total of 194 countries and the European Union -- is part of the convention. Canada was one of the first countries to sign the UNCCD in 1994. Now it is the first to walk away.

Sources told CTV News that the decision was made more than a year ago as part of the government’s plan to cut the deficit. It was announced to the affected departments a few months ago and there was little, if any, consultation, they said."

CTV News had the story March 27, 2013 with Daniele Hamamdjian and files from The Canadian Press.

Source: CTV News, 03/29/2013