Following the announcement that the federal government had failed to win the UN Security seat, NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs Jack Harris made the following statement:
“It is disappointing that Canada has again lost an opportunity to hold a seat on the UN Security Council. This must act as a wake-up call to the Liberal government and a message to Canadians: “Canada is not doing enough.”
Prime Minister Trudeau announced in 2015 that “Canada is back!” but there is little to show for it.
Under the Liberal government, Canada’s Official Development Assistance is just a third of what it should be – smaller than the contribution of the Harper years – the number of Canadian peacekeepers deployed is at a 50-year low, Canada is way behind on climate targets, and the Liberals have still not enshrined the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples into law. What is more, the Canadian government has been inconsistent in our support for human rights, going so far as to vote against almost every UN resolution upholding Palestinian rights and signing a new arms export agreement with Saudi Arabia, despite their egregious human rights abuses.
With the 10th largest economy in the world, trade agreements with more than 40 nations, membership in the G7, G20, the Commonwealth, and La Francophonie, Canada still has a chance to lead, to increase engagement and positive influence with other countries, but we need to repair the damage to our reputation and keep our commitments.
It is still important that Canada be a champion of multilateralism and international solidarity when the rules-based order is under attack, inequality and authoritarianism is on the rise, and economic and political insecurity are growing quickly. Countries like Canada can reinforce international institutions, enhance cooperation and advance an agenda of peace, gender and racial equality, and human rights.
The Security Council seat is lost. Now we need the government to show Canadians and the world that we can have the kind of impact that Canadians expect and the world needs.”