Friday, May 16, 2008

Canada need to decide to run for UN Security Council

I absolutely hate when politicians use vague, misleading statements to justify their positions. Media reports have begun to circulate that the government will not seek a seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2010. Technically Canada would be competing with Germany and Portugal for two seats. Germany is considered to have already locked up the first seat. Stephen Harper responded that the cabinet has not made a decision yet.

Stephan Dion contends that the government has been doing such a bad job on the international scene that they simply fear the embarrassment of losing. He has stated Canada's proud history at the United Nations, in it's founding, inventing peace keeping, never missing a chance to take a seat at the Security Council etc....

In praising Canada's proud history he also stated “At the Security Council, Canada has had a seat more often than any other country except for the permanent members,”. The top countries to serve are 9 - Japan, Brazil; 8 - Argentina; 6 - Canada, Columbia, India, Italy, Pakistan. From this list only Italy is in the same region as Canada. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands are the only countries from the same region that have served on the Council 5 times. Canada's ability to contribute to the current Security Council should be the only justification for getting elected. This is especially true considering Libya is a current member.

The contention that Canada would not get a seat because they are viewed negatively in international community is unfounded. The UNSC has failed to adopt declarations condemning individual terrorist attacks because they could not get UNSC unanimous agreement. Countries have gotten in with a much more extreme view of the world then Canada's, even under the Conservative government.

Canada wants to play a role on the world stage. Holding a seat on the UNSC is the best way to get a diplomatic voice heard. The Conservative cabinet should make a decision quickly to at least try to gain the seat they are eligible for. If they lose it will be more likely due to political pandering then their reputation on the world stage.

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