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UN Security Council Seat 2020

FJAG

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An interesting viewpoint from Al Jazeera:

Canada does not deserve a seat at the UN Security Council

If allowed into the council, Canada will act as an 'Israeli asset' and contribute to the erosion of international law.
by Jonathan Kuttab
12 hours ago

Not too long ago, Canada was considered a champion for human rights and international law. The North American country was often seen, in contrast to its southern neighbour, the United States, as a stalwart defender of the rights of the oppressed, as well as a faithful supporter of international humanitarian and refugee organisations.

Canada's liberal legislation required that the executive branch impose sanctions against countries known to be human rights violators. Canada also had a supportive, welcoming policy on political asylum.

These policies, however, were eroded under Stephen Harper's Conservative government. And, despite expectations to the contrary, this erosion has not been reversed in the last four years under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government.

Canada is now actively seeking to secure one of the two available non-permanent seats at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). But the country's gradual move away from liberalism is raising questions about whether it deserves one.

Nowhere is Canada's retreat from liberal values clearer than in the case of Palestine.

For the last 20 years, Ottawa has been slavishly following the lead of Washington on issues related to Palestine at the UN. Since 2000, it voted "No" to 166 different General Assembly resolutions on Palestine.

By contrast, the two countries that are competing with Canada for a UNSC seat in this rotation - Ireland and Norway - both have a consistently different position on issues pertaining to Palestine.

Dublin and Oslo have been overwhelmingly supportive of Palestine at the UN. They voted "Yes" 251 and 249 times respectively on resolutions related to Palestinian rights since 2000. Canada voted "Yes" to 87 similar resolutions, but a whopping 85 of those were from 2000 to 2010.

During Trudeau's time in power, Canada supported only one pro-Palestinian resolution at the General Assembly. It repeatedly chose to stand against nations' attempts to condemn Israel for its human rights violations and illegal settlements, and support Palestinians' struggle for rights and self-determination.

Trudeau's government has not been making much effort to hide where it stands on the issue of Israel-Palestine, or what it plans to do if it acquires a seat at the UNSC, either. In November 2018, during an official visit to Israel, Canada's then Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland openly said that she hopes securing a seat at the UNSC would allow Canada to serve as an "asset for Israel"....

See rest of article here: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/canada-deserve-seat-security-council-200616080944071.html

CBC's here:

Trudeau's long campaign to join UN Security Council winds down as ambassadors vote

Canada up against Norway, Ireland in bid for 2 non-permanent seats
Peter Zimonjic, Salimah Shivji, Sarah Sears · CBC News · Posted: Jun 17, 2020

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's long campaign to see Canada elected to a temporary seat on the UN Security Council culminates Wednesday in New York as ambassadors from member states prepare to vote.

Confined to his own country for the past three months, Trudeau has chatted up more than 40 national leaders — from Senegal to Spain, from Uganda to Ukraine — in his bid to beat either Ireland or Norway for one of two remaining seats now up for grabs.

Just yesterday Trudeau spoke with the prime ministers of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, India, Pakistan, Spain, Ethiopia and the presidents of Angola and Mexico. Last week he spoke with the prime ministers of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Fiji, North Macedonia and the presidents of Rwanda and Panama.
...

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-un-security-council-vote-today-1.5615068

:cheers:
 

brihard

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We lost. Ireland and Norway got the seats.

https://globalnews.ca/news/7070563/canada-united-nations-security-council-seat/
 

CBH99

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JT must be so sad today!!  :'(


Now Ireland & Norway can chip away, with minimal results, within a dysfunctional council ruled by the Big 5, and accomplish absolutely nothing for their efforts - however noble the efforts may be.
 

ModlrMike

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giphy.gif
 

daftandbarmy

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Colin P said:
Despite him putting his best socks on, must be quite heart breaking for him.

He can do a big 'mea culpa' but likely won't. Not the first time he's proven to be a weak link, and it seems to becoming a habit:


Justin Trudeau’s Spectacular Self-Destruction

Canada’s prime minister was once seen as messianic. Now he’s become just another conventional politician fighting for reelection while plagued by scandals and blamed for unfulfilled promises.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/10/01/justin-trudeaus-spectacular-self-destruction-canada/
 

Remius

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Definitely a credibility issue after this.

Play high stakes games and you could pay a high price for it.
 

ballz

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"Let's not rush to judgement, everyone. It would have been a waste of taxpayer dollars and national dignity even if we had won." - Jen Gerson
 

MilEME09

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Paul Wells: Believing a win at the UN would fall from the heavens on Trudeau because he wasn't Harper was an expression of the narcissism and shallowness that have characterized this government during much of its time in office

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/the-un-security-council-rout-canadas-at-the-back/?utm_medium=organic&utm_source=Facebook#Echobox=1592432369
 

Haggis

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I blame the Al Jazeera article for scuttling his chances.  Couldn't be anything he'd done at home or abroad that cause it.
 

Retired AF Guy

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Another article in Macleans by Scott Gilmore that looks at the reason Canada lost the vote:

Why Canada fails time and again on the world stage

Scott Gilmore: The UN Security Council seat loss is more proof that when a real geopolitical crisis finally comes, we have no foreign policy muscle to save us

By Scott Gilmore June 17, 2020

We were not elected to the United Nations Security Council today. There were two seats open and we were running against Ireland and Norway to fill them.

Before I continue, I need to say a few things to my former colleagues in the Canadian Foreign Service who might be reading this. You are going to roll your eyes at what I have to say. You’ll point out it’s all been said before (which is true). You will claim I don’t have the view from the field (also true). You will add that campaigns like this are infinitely harder than I understand (probably right). And you will accuse me of not appreciating the hard work being done by Canadian diplomats at home and abroad (here you are wrong).

Our loss in New York is not the fault of the Canadian diplomats who have been working for the last five years trying to secure the votes we needed today. The current team is one of the best, and they played the hand they were dealt as well as they could. And it was a lousy hand.

Norway and Ireland were always going to get the European bloc of votes. And while we are once again whoring ourselves out to Saudi Arabia with arms sales, we have been unpredictable enough to make them angry. That, combined with a typically pro-Israel foreign policy meant our Middle Eastern support was likely weak. In Africa, our aid spending has not kept pace with Norway or anyone else, and while our mining companies are mostly responsible players, there are enough bad apples to spoil the barrel. Add an angry China to the mix, which has one vote but lots of money to persuade other countries to vote against us, and the electoral math simply did not add up.

This loss is just more proof (throw it on the pile over there), that Canada’s foreign policy establishment is incredibly weak. This country does many things well. But international relations is just not one of them.

To start, we have a tiny academic community that studies foreign policy and educates future diplomats, limited to just a handful of specialized programs. And academia is almost entirely isolated from the practitioners at Global Affairs Canada. Unlike most other western countries, it is very rare for diplomats to move back and forth into universities (or into the private sector either). As a result, our foreign policy rarely benefits from new blood and new ideas.

Our politicians are possibly the weakest link in the chain. They are never elected on the merits of their foreign policy ideas, and as a result never prioritize when in office. When they do think about it, they often confuse invitations to Davos and vacations in Tuscany as evidence they are worldly. They prioritize slogans (“Canada is back!”) and costumed photo-ops over the grueling legwork and devil’s bargains that real diplomatic strategy requires.

Our political leaders can be dilettantes because the Canadian public simply doesn’t care. Foreign policy is never on the top 10 list of voter priorities. They demand almost nothing from Ottawa other than access to Disney World. And they grossly overvalue soft power, mistaking Canada’s global popularity with power and influence.

And, of course, the public has the luxury of not caring because Canada is happily isolated, protected by oceans on three points of the compass, and by a mostly reliable behemoth on the fourth.

All of this was true under the previous government, and the government before them, going back decades. It has been pointed out endlessly. Hands have even been wrung. But nothing changes. Because ultimately none of us genuinely cares enough to do anything about it.

Losing the Security Council seat is not a catastrophe. It will be greeted with a lot of shrugs, and go largely unnoticed by the public. The Conservatives will howl in outrage, but they howl about even the tiniest things, so it is impossible to tell if they actually care. Tomorrow, we will move on, because the loss just doesn’t hurt.

At this point it is obvious that in order for any of this to change, we are going to need to be hurt. Canada is going to have to burn its fingers on the stove, burn them badly, before we finally take foreign affairs seriously.

What will that look like? I don’t know. Look around the world and at the various international nightmares being visited upon dozens of nations. Refugees, war, disasters, ethnic conflicts—it could be any or all of these at once. Canada’s turn will inevitably come. And when our real geopolitical crisis finally arrives, it will be ugly and traumatic as we collectively realize how many decades were wasted, and how little diplomatic muscle we have to claw our way back the day our luck runs out.

Link
 

FJAG

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Haggis said:
I blame the Al Jazeera article for scuttling his chances.  Couldn't be anything he'd done at home or abroad that cause it.

It's not the article. The article merely states the opinion that is held many many of the unaligned countries in the world who massively favour the position of the Palestinians as against the Israelis. Much of the world sees Canada as a "Zionist apologists".

What I find strange is that the Liberals weren't smart enough to figure that out that even their tiny flip-flop in 2019 (I presume to bolster their image) wasn't enough. The Liberal administration had voted fully against these types of resolutions in the three years prior to 2019.

For example see here: https://canadatalksisraelpalestine.ca/2020/01/18/so-how-did-canada-vote-at-the-un-in-2019-on-israel-palestine-see-for-yourself/

:cheers:
 

Kat Stevens

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FJAG said:
It's not the article. The article merely states the opinion that is held many many of the unaligned countries in the world who massively favour the position of the Palestinians as against the Israelis. Much of the world sees Canada as a "Zionist apologists".

What I find strange is that the Liberals weren't smart enough to figure that out that even their tiny flip-flop in 2019 (I presume to bolster their image) wasn't enough. The Liberal administration had voted fully against these types of resolutions in the three years prior to 2019.

For example see here: https://canadatalksisraelpalestine.ca/2020/01/18/so-how-did-canada-vote-at-the-un-in-2019-on-israel-palestine-see-for-yourself/

:cheers:

The UN is high school, and Canada is the slightly weird kid that all the cool kids allow to hang out with them. He spends every dime he has buying everyone ice cream and pop and whatnot, but never gets to go to the epic parties.
 

Cloud Cover

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Quote from article:
“ At this point it is obvious that in order for any of this to change, we are going to need to be hurt. Canada is going to have to burn its fingers on the stove, burn them badly, before we finally take foreign affairs seriously.

What will that look like? I don’t know. Look around the world and at the various international nightmares being visited upon dozens of nations. Refugees, war, disasters, ethnic conflicts—it could be any or all of these at once. Canada’s turn will inevitably come. And when our real geopolitical crisis finally arrives, it will be ugly and traumatic as we collectively realize how many decades were wasted, and how little diplomatic muscle we have to claw our way back the day our luck runs out.”


This, but how traumatic and how ugly? The world has been crappy since the big flash of 45, and everything seems fine (apparently).
 

Stoker

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"Trudeau's defeat became somewhat inevitable yesterday after India said they would not support Canada's bid. This came in spite of Trudeau assuring the Indian prime minister that he would vote in favour of their country having a seat at the table.

Indian government officials explained to the Hindustan Times that Trudeau did not have a basic understanding of international diplomacy: "reciprocal arrangements [were] in place with Ireland and Norway even before Canada entered the UNSC race."


Do you think his Indian Mr. Dress-up trip to India contributed to India not supporting Canada?
 

Xylric

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Target Up said:
The UN is high school, and Canada is the slightly weird kid that all the cool kids allow to hang out with them. He spends every dime he has buying everyone ice cream and pop and whatnot, but never gets to go to the epic parties.

I take a slight different approach to that metaphor, as I consider Canada in the feminine (as I do with most every nation whose name ends in a soft vowel).


If the UN is a high school, Canada is the daughter of two of the teachers, whose divorce is the subject of local legend. She tries to be friendly with everyone, but all anyone sees is her self-appointed bully of a boyfriend, the United States.

Perhaps a bit crass, but I think it gets the point across,
 

OldSolduer

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Xylric said:
I take a slight different approach to that metaphor, as I consider Canada in the feminine (as I do with most every nation whose name ends in a soft vowel).


If the UN is a high school, Canada is the daughter of two of the teachers, whose divorce is the subject of local legend. She tries to be friendly with everyone, but all anyone sees is her self-appointed bully of a boyfriend, the United States.

Perhaps a bit crass, but I think it gets the point across,

You've summed it up quite nicely.
 

Baz

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Chief Engineer said:
Do you think his Indian Mr. Dress-up trip to India contributed to India not supporting Canada?

No.

Stuff like that is just fodder for the masses.  Countries don't make decisions on things that may affect their geopolitical decisions based on fluff.

Or am I the one living in a altruistic haze?
 

daftandbarmy

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Baz said:
No.

Stuff like that is just fodder for the masses.  Countries don't make decisions on things that may affect their geopolitical decisions based on fluff.

Or am I the one living in a altruistic haze?

You'd be surprised.

'Gravitas' can be everything at the global diplomatic level.
 

YZT580

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The Mr. Dress-up picture may not have been the basis for their decision but it may have caused them to take a second look at Canada's leadership and ask the very relevant question: is that all their is?  The entire trip depicted a leader with a very sophomoric outlook.  Not one who could look at a global situation, evaluate the options and make a wise decision.  The trip depicted a leader in whom wisdom is sadly lacking.
 
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