Not any more

Statement by Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae on the United Nations Security Council election

In Canada on October 12, 2010 at 16:30

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement today following Canada’s failure to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council:

“Today, the international community sent a message that we cannot ignore. Our task is now clearer than ever: restore Canada’s proud standing in the world.

“After more than four years of a Harper Conservative government, the sad reality is that too many countries have lost faith in the way Canada conducts its international relations. The absence of leadership is noticeable, from blocking any progress on climate change, to freezing foreign aid and abandoning Africa, to largely ignoring the UN itself.

“We know of our potential because of our history. For decades, under both Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, Canada has led proudly on the world stage.

“As President of the UN General Assembly, Lester Pearson developed the idea of peacekeeping to help resolve the Suez Crisis in 1956, and later won the Nobel Peace Prize. John Diefenbaker boosted international aid. Pierre Trudeau opened Canada’s arms to China and had the vision to create the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Brian Mulroney stood firm against Apartheid. Jean Chretien promoted development in Africa and led the world to adopt the Ottawa Treaty banning land mines. Paul Martin championed the creation of the G-20.

“Liberals believe that we need to return to a leadership role in UN peace operations, renew our focus on conflict prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, restore our commitment to Africa and to empowering women in developing countries, and remain an active partner in multilateral institutions. Canada should be a leading advocate for UN reform, and we should bring to bear the strength of our history, the global connections of our population, and the extraordinary experience of our military to build a safer world.

“We can – and must – move forward from here with the determination to lead the world again.”

Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic Bob Rae added:

“The Harper government can try to blame others, but they can no longer hide from their record.

“Today’s vote speaks for itself.  For the first time in the history of the UN, Canada has lost its bid to win a seat on the UN Security Council. It is truly unfortunate that our long history of engaged multilateralism and global leadership was not enough to sway member countries to grant us a seat.

“This is a sad day for Canada, not just because we lost this vote but because there is so much that we could have done in this role to fight for the causes Canadians care about while protecting the world’s most vulnerable.

“It now means we have to redouble our efforts to remain internationally engaged, and to continue to show our international leadership through our deep commitment to the UN and its goals of peace, prosperity and security for the world.”

The Liberal policy on international affairs, ‘Canada in the World: A Global Networks Strategy,’ is an ambitious, 21st-century plan that will help restore Canada’s presence in the world, advance our economic prosperity, and help make the world a safer place.

“For decades, under both Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, Canada has led proudly on the world stage.” Progressive..oh I see.



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