22 May 2008

Canada and the UNSC

Today's online Globe and Mail features an essay from former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations Robert Fowler, on the subject of Canada's intention to seek a seat on the UN Security Council beginning in 2010. It is an impassioned plea for the government to retain its candidacy; apparently, Mr. Fowler argues, it "suggests the government has no confidence in its own foreign policy" should the Harper administration decide that pursuing a seat on the UNSC is not worth the effort. Is it, however, a case of no confidence in its conduct or that of the UN itself? I would argue for the latter. What major task has the UN Security Council been able to perform in the past five years that fits within the Canadian interest? Very little. I would suggest to Mr. Fowler that Canada seek to achieve its international agenda through other forums that are more conducive to its values and interests, as the UN has long ceased to fulfill that function.

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