Does Canada deserve a UN Security Council seat? -

Does Canada deserve a UN Security Council seat?

Ignatieff says Harper’s record raises doubts


Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says Prime Minister Stephen Harper has “basically ignored” the United Nations, creating little basis for Canada’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council. Yet Harper is slated to address the UN twice this week, once at the Millennium Development Goals summit and again at the General Assembly. The speeches come as Canada competes with Germany and Portugal for a two-year temporary seat on the council. “I know how important it is for Canada to get a seat on the Security Council,” Ignatieff said, “but Canadians have to ask a tough question: Has this government earned that place?” Meanwhile, Spiegel reports that in Germany the debate is about whether the country can ever hope to gain permanent membership, and the veto power that goes with it, enjoyed only by the United States, China, Russia, France and Britain. But first things first—the vote on the second-tier two-year seat is slated for mid-October.

Winnipeg Free Press


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Does Canada deserve a UN Security Council seat?

  1. Complete hogwash. Canada has punched far above its weight class in Afghanistan for the last 9 years, especially the last few in Kandahar. We've earned a Security Council seat on that basis alone. Ignatieff is playing the worst kind of politics, hoping that Canada is denied a prestigious international honour like this because he doesn't want Harper to have that feather in his cap.

    Perhaps Ignatieff could iterate what case he thinks either Germany or Portugal has made to get the SC seat.

    Or perhaps Ignatieff could expand further on his thoughts about the type of peacekeeping missions the UN leads. Here is a sample. Would Canada be worthy of a Security Council seat led by someone who is "disgusted" by Canada's role in UN peacekeeping missions?

    • Germany is certainly more consequential in almost every way. Just sayin'.

      • Well, I'm not sure how. Certainly not in Afghanistan. I served over there, and travelled all over the country. I visited Mazur-i-Sharif many times (the relatively safe area in the North where the Germans are based), and the Germans were the worst example of Euro-NATO forces who come to the country to make money through their "combat pay", and yet never leave their bases or do anything to improve the infrastructure, fight the Taliban, or battle corruption. In comaprison, the Canadians have been out with the most active Provincial Reconstructio Teams in the whole coalition (the model now used by most other nations that are trying to do something), and the Canadians are not afraid to put themselves at risk to do so, resulting in the fact that we have suffered the highest per capita casualty rate of any coalition partner in Afghanistan (with the exception fo Denmark, whose figures are skewed by the tiny size of their force in ISAF). Canada has very clearly earned a place at the Security Council table through blood and hard work, not wishy-washy Euro-socialist platitudes.

  2. Who is advising Ignatieff?

    He keeps making these stupid unforced errors, speaking against Canada's interests out of some bizarre misunderstanding of what's a partisan issue and what is NOT. Does he think we'd lose that seat if there was a change of government here in Canada? Does he thinkg that speaking against Canada's interests reflects well on him in some way?

    Again and again he shows that he's not up for the job he's already in… how the hell can he expect us to elevate him?

  3. Another great example of Iggy being out of touch with Canadians. Do you think anyone is pondering over their double-double's whether Canada should be part of the UN security council? This egghead should go back to the ivory towers of acadamia.

  4. We like the UN this month?

  5. This is the best example one can have on partisanship. How can an ex professor of Harvard do such a dumb , dumb thing by marginalizing his country's chances just so he can score points on a rival? There has been many instances where in the quality of education of Harvard has been in question lately, but this really tops them.

  6. Ignatieff has a choice of spporting three countries he calss home: Britain, America and Canada. He does not choose Canada, again

  7. Ignatieff had a choice of supporting three countries he calls home: Britain, United States and Canada.

    Once again, he did not choose Canada.

    Just visiting.

  8. The hot issue of Canada's regaining its traditional non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council (SC) and its ensuing debate has taken far-reaching dimensions. Former Canadian Permanent Delegate to the UN and erudite diplomat, Ambassador Paul Heinbecker, in addition to experts and columnists on international affairs such as Betty Plewes, fmr CEO of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation and Hunter McGill of the University of Ottawa's School for Global Studies engaged in tackling mainly 2 aspects. One, reasons behind the general concern about Canada not recuperating its SC's seat. Two, what should Canada change be it in its foreign policy or in the governance of the UN, if elected. In view of seeing the complete picture, hereafter, is my proposal on how Canada could bolster its chances to win the seat at the SC. Since it has been founded 65 years ago, in 1945, the annals of the United Nations, have no such precedent where the Head of Canada's Government travels twice in a week to its HQs in New York to lobby for a non-permanent seat at the SC. (Part II follows)

  9. True, Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not meet all leaders of countries like the 22 members of the League of Arab States, before the secret ballot of October 12. To date, there is no indication that he will do so. Other important groupings are the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), an Association of 56 Islamic states promoting Muslim solidarity in economic, social, and political affairs, and the African Union's 53 members are of particular importance for Canada's plight to win the seat. In fact, these 3 determinant groupings have overlapped country memberships. In Realpolitik, they influence each other in one way or another, and key countries and their Secretaries General could have a relative say within the grouping. Some members of the Arab League provide valuable flows of direct investments to needy countries, be they in their own region or not, others enjoy a clout that could make a difference. (Part II follows)

  10. (Part III) Now, did Canada exert all what's in its means and power to reach to all these countries ahead of the crucial vote? The answer is apparently, no. Many Heads of Sate or Government did not, for various reasons, attend last week's UN General Assembly. A couple of weeks ago, Canada spent large amounts to host Permanent Delegates to the UN based in NY of the said 3 groupings to Ottawa, to meet with Senior Officials in the framework of its promotion campaign. But is that sufficient? The bitter reality is negative. On the occasion of dinner, I chatted with a few of the NY Ambassadors: two out of them said they came because they never visited Canada, adding that the decision-maker to approach is their Head of State. For them, and others, it does not suffice to talk to them or their Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The political battle with Portugal is a tough one. Lisbonne, did not antagonize any member of these 3 groupings, on the contrary. ( Part IV and follows)

  11. (Part IV) And, if some analysts rely on votes for Canada of the Commonwealth or La Francophonie's, they ought to remember that Portugal also enjoys privileged ties within the Madrid-based Ibero-American Secretariat, encompassing all Latin America's countries in addition to Portuguese speaking states in Africa. In the circumstances, as we still dispose of 2 weeks, I respectfully suggest to the Prime Minister that he considers delegating one or two of his Senior Cabinet Ministers to visit, be it pivotal countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia to hand to their Heads of State or Government a personal message in this respect. Noteworthy, Addis Ababa, Cairo and Jeddah are HQs of the African Union, the Arab League and the OIC, respectively. We have to work incredibly hard for this victory. However, the methodology is easy as one, two, three. Then, a medal of honour will be well-deserved.

  12. Why bother a gimmick UN security council seat et al? We could seize the opportunity to let someone else take the responsibility, save $millions if not billions of tax payers money spend it more wisely then throw it in black-hole all credited to dysfunctional bureaucratic UN with nothing in return. Time for Canada set own pace to do her own good will without bunch of international bureaucrats plan for us.

  13. Canada has always put its money and LIVES where there mouths are Even old Bin Laden budding politiician want tobe, critized the middle east for not doing more to help their own mosly muslim population in Pakistan lately. Since when should a SC seat be based on trying to court someone.

    God help the SC if its who you know and not what you have proven you stand for over and over again. This shouldn't be about Portugual being more politically appealing to a large group of votes based on culture bases in Africia. Like I said God help the SC and God help people expected to believe they really care about doing what is right.

    What until they want some more missions support in lets say Sudan in the future, I want and hope they go to Portugal to get it. And by the way Good Luck. It should be pay up time for Portugal . If they come to Canada I'll be rolling eyes and saying here come the hypocrites again.

  14. NO! as a candian citizen and patriotic member of this country we do NOT deserve a seat whether it is permanent or not. Why should we? sure, we have a past of peace-keeping and our country has been and still is a multi-cultural nation however what are we doing now? Our relatonship with other countries is diminishing!! We've pulled aid out of Africa, we're fighting in Afgahnistan, and many other factors is diminishing our foreign affairs policy. better luck next time

  15. Unfortunately what most comments fail to address is the fact that the world has changed a lot and Canada's influence within the United Nations is not what it once was. The world is multipolar and with it has seen the rise of several emerging economies such as Brazil and India. I would argue that there is enough evidence to suggest that Canada's relevance on the seat could be questioned… What does the seat mean? What does Canada bring to that seat? Is the seat merely a position of prestige within the United Nations most powerful cabinet? These ought to be the questions that need to be asked and along with it, ask what policies has our government enacted IOT qualify and quantify our bid for that seat?