A boycott signifying what?


Steven Edwards considers John Baird’s boycott.

As one of the six chairs of a United Nations disarmament committee for 2011, Canada has been meeting with North Korea — the current chair — in select meetings since January … Diplomats pointed out Monday that Canada, which took on the chair at the beginning of the year, appears to have had no objection to attending these meetings alongside North Korea from January through to the beginning of North Korea’s tenure less than two weeks ago. To many, Canada’s participation in those meetings shows it tacitly recognized the communist state as a “chair-in-waiting.”


A boycott signifying what?

  1. Just another political stunt to please their base, most of whom hate the UN

    • Of course it is a political stunt. The government in the eyes of Emily would never have a legitimate reason for doing anything in her fantasy world. Yes I do not have much use for the UN. It has become ineffectual and is loaded with dictators and people who are abusing their own citizens.

      • That’s because you have no clue about the UN

  2. Sitting on a committee with a country or person does not necessarily say you agree with them. They are only one among a group. However, when a country such as North Korea is actually chairing said committee and is responsible for its agenda and the direction of that committee etc and the beliefs of that country are contrary to the reason that committee exists then there is something fundamentally wrong. What kind of message does that send to the world.

    • It says engage people, don’t denounce or isolate them

        • Yes, you are rather a twit, but I would never have said it.

  3. Hmmm….Iran with a seat on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, Libya on the U.N. Human Rights Council….that really worked well.

    • Hmmm isolating N Korea for 60 years….that really worked well.

      • No Emily, the Dear Leaders have created the isolation.  Baird has the balls to call a farce a farce.  Even the name is a farce – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

        DPRK does not engage, they extort.


        • Ahh yes, N Koreans are soooo different than anyone else….no human reactions at all…could be Martians, really.

          And I’m sure your next comment will be the famous  ‘the only thing THOSE people understand is force’. 

          Pretending they are somehow different than us, and incapable of engaging is nonsensical.  Pretending they are somehow ‘evil’ is insanity.

          Of course they’ve retreated into running their own country. Last time they saw us we were killing them, remember?

          However, if we responded to them with aid and trade and visits back and forth…and some respect….they would be quite happy to join the rest of the world.

          • I have no doubt that North Korean’s are different than anyone else. The problem with your argument is that you believe that dealing with the government of North Korea is the same as dealing with the people. A government that elevates it’s “Dear Leader” into a living God and starves it’s people is not a government Canada should deal with. 

            As with your rather simplistic view that the reason North Korean’s have isolated themselves is because “we” attacked “them” (I thought it was only Cons who had an “us” vs. “them” mentality); it should be noted that North Korea crossed the 38th parallel first and not “us.”

            The west has given much aid to North Korea, with the U.S. giving 700,000 tons of aid during the famine, the most aid the U.S. had given to one country at that time. Didn’t change a damn thing did it? So what should we do? Give them aid and money? Allow foreign investment? To what purpose? Before China opened up they were a poor dictatorial regime that oppressed it’s people and repressed non-Sino cultures (Uighurs, Tibetans, etc.). After China opened up, they became a rich dictatorial regime that oppresses it’s people and represses non-Sino cultures (Uighurs, Tibetans, etc.). This idea that “if we just hug them they’ll love us” is completely false. Engaging them (the government) won’t change their ways. The onus is on them to democratize, not on us to listen to them chair a meeting on nuclear proliferation when flagrantly violating the very meaning of the committee they’re chairing! 

            What’s next? Libya on the Human Rights Council? Iran on the U.N Commission for the Status of Women? 

          • ‘I have no doubt that North Korean’s are different than anyone else’

            Well then you’re just crazy

            Did it ever occur to you that the people of N Korea aren’t thrilled with their leader?  Do you know what a dictatorship is…or a police state?

            However, it’s up to them…being their country and all

            If you ever want to reach them though, isolation is not the way to do it.

            What were we doing in Korea anyway…did we mistake it for Manitoba?  Not our country to be in.  Korea is one country…and not ours.

            Are you aware Clinton promised them something and then Bush reneged on it….no, probably not.

            You’re only operating on the Coles notes version

            The onus on you is to mind your own business

            Stop trying to tell other countries what to do

          • You obviously don’t know much about the DPRK.  Kim Jong-il IS evil and insane.  All he cares about is power and his dynasty – he will let millions starve to death as long as he maintains his 25% GDP for the military.  He and his ilk need to go.

            I’ve sat for hours with my Korean friends while they cry, speaking of family they will never see again because they are trapped in the North. 

            Suggest you take a trip to South Korea and learn something.

          • Oh stop being such asses on here

            Suggest you get a grip

  4. Sorry OriginalEmily1 it was you who said that North Korean’s aren’t different than us: “ahh yes, N Koreans are soooo different than anyone else….no human reactions at all…could be Martians, really.” And what are you getting on about? If you read my post you would clearly see my disdain for their “Great Leader”. Did it ever occur to you to read the comment you are replying to? And I don’t want to reach them. I want the North Korean people to be free, not to live in a police state. The onus is, again, on the government to reform, not on us to listen to the government as it does not represent their people. And Korea is not one country, it is two; one that’s a free-market democracy and another that’s a concentration camp. 

    “Are you aware Clinton promised them something and then Bush reneged on it….no, probably not.” Yes, I am aware. The aid was given under Clinton during the famine, and Bush axed it when the famine ended. So they should get 700,000 tons of aid when they’re starving and the same amount when the famine ends? 

    And on the comment on my minding my own business; having a debate is exactly what a free society is about. Engaging them will not democratize them. Name me ONE country that went from a dictatorship to a democracy through diplomatic conversations with the dictatorial government. ONE. And I’ll stop giving my opinion on the Hermit Kingdom when they open up. And when they reduce the size of they’re army. And when they stop sinking South Korean warships. And when they stop firing missiles at Japan. Until then, my dear, the North Korean government can go to hell.

    • It’s up to Koreans, not us

      No, I wasn’t referring to aid

      It took 800 years from the Magna Carta to women getting the vote…yet you expect others to turn into democracies overnight

      Korea doesn’t require your approval, nor are they interested in your values

      So stop being the arrogant westerner….nobody cares what you think

      • “It’s up to Koreans, not us” 

        Exactly what I’ve been saying. If they remain a dictatorship they can do it on their own dime and we’ll chair are own committee’s thank you very much.

        “It took 800 years from the Magna Carta to women getting the vote…yet you expect others to turn into democracies overnight.” 

        And it took how long for South Korea to become a democracy after World War II? Are you suggesting that the North Korean’s are mentally incapable of handling democracy?

        “Korea doesn’t require your approval, nor are they interested in your values”

        If “they” (here we go with us vs. them again) aren’t interested in OUR values of liberty and democracy, then what’s the point of them chairing a committee with other’s who don’t see eye-to-eye to them? Seems like a waste of time to me.

        “So stop being the arrogant westerner….nobody cares what you think”

        You care enough to reply. And I’m not the one running around on these boards calling people asses and telling them to shut up/stop it etc. I’m trying to have a debate and raise points (and I love to have my point of view challenged). Instead of debating however, you seem to result in childish name-calling. I’ll raise the point again; if nobody cares about my point of view then name me ONE country that is now a democracy because the West worked with a dictatorial regime. And explain to me why the hell we Canadians, who don’t have nuclear weapons, should allow a despotic nation who do, chair a meeting on nuclear proliferation? Seems to me a waste of time.

        • Um…no, and they aren’t OUR committees.

          The UN involves all countries, not just us and not just western ones

          We don’t get to tell the world how to behave, or what they can and can’t do

          That is being an arrogant westerner. Precisely the sort of thing they won’t listen too

          You’ll just have to learn to get along

          South Korea is currently prosperous…it’s not much of a democracy….it’s exactly what you’d expect when you impose something foreign on them.  Corruption, nepotism, ballot fixing etc

          Oh…who said anything about committees being run the way we want them to?

          The west worked with Russia, and with other eastern block countries…helped them along the way.. Went to China to say hello. .it wasn’t because of WWIII

          Why Canadians should ALLOW??? Can you hear yourself?

          Canadians don’t run the UN

          Take a big dose of humility and call me in the morning.

          • No they aren’t our committee’s (never said they were). Again (third time all ready) what is a nuclear regime that has constantly lied about it’s nuclear program doing chairing a committee whose sole purpose is nuclear proliferation? It, again, seems like a complete waste of time. 

            We can’t tell what the world to do, but we can have our opinions and our values. And we can choose to work with those who share our opinions and values. If starving our own people, enacting a personality cult around a military dictatorship and spending 25% of our countries’ G.D.P. on our military were Canadian values I would have no problem with this situation. But they’re not my values so I do have a problem with it. And since when has North Korea listened to anyone? The Sunshine Policy was a big step foreward for South Korea. Hundreds of millions of dollars of aid was given to the North and attempts to re-unify families. How did the North respond? By testing nuclear weapons and short-range missiles, sinking one of their navy vessels and threatening to turn the South into a sea of fire. Sorry, but the South (our allies) have made great gestures to “just get along.” It has never worked. Opening up means reform, which puts the power the current regime holds in jeopardy, which is why they never will.

            “The west worked with Russia, and with other eastern block countries…helped them along the way.. Went to China to say hello. .it wasn’t because of WWIII”

            Russia’s still a dictatorship (more or less) and the West worked with the OPPOSITION in the Eastern Bloc, not with the official governments, which is the opposite of this situation.

          • Well see they have elections…and that’s how it goes

            So they chair a committee, what’s the big deal?

            Talking, making friends, showing them around, networking is never a waste of time.

            Yes, we can have our opinions and our values AND SO CAN THEY.

            Did I say it would be easy?  Did I say there’d be no setbacks?

            What are you, the Seseme St generation?

            Yeah N Korea will change. Kim Jong-il is dying, and the newbie is a target….this would be a wonderful time if we’d made friends within the regime….but we didn’t

            Too busy pounding our chests

            800 years later, and WE still don’t have a democracy…..we have better than 1215, but still not a grand thing, so stop being impatient with others

            You simply assume OUR way is best, and the ultimate in human affairs, and you don’t understand why others don’t leap to emulate us

            Russians didn’t have an economic system compatible with the rest of the world….people had never had bank accounts or written cheques….they voted, but for the only one allowed to run. It takes awhile, even assuming they want what we have….and we in the west aren’t any grand advertisement for democracy

            Look at the dumb clucks the west has elected, look at the mistakes we’ve made….do they look wonderful to others do you suppose?

            China has been around for over 5000 years, through war and famine, good emperors and bad….but they’ve never had a democracy. Looking at our countries, most of them don’t want it. They see govt quite differently than we do

            In fact, China is booming….millions and millions lifted out of poverty, millionaires, billionaires….a govt full of engineers and technical people.

            Why would they want what we have?

            So whoa back with the judgements, and learn to play nice in the sandbox.

  5. in reply to OriginalEmily1:
    Having North Korea chair the committee is completely ridiculous; like the Conservatives chairing a committee on global warming. Having their government run it is a farce to human rights and basic decency. North Korea has been given aid by the West. North korea has been given aid by the South Korean’s. We and our allies have attempted to “show them around” and “network” before all to no avail. This time will be no different, if history’s anything. Again, it is a complete waste of time if one side continuously serves it own self-interest. If their not gonna change, then there’s no onus on us to listen. 

    And what values does the North Korean government have may I ask? Starvation policy? Militarism? Personality cults? Dictatorship? Communism? They can have those “values” as you call them; but I have right to criticize them and if my democratically elected government (unlike you I do believe Canada is a democracy) has a right not to associate with said despots.

    What’s with the Sesame St. comment? Didn’t that show promote the very values of hug everybody no matter what that you promote? 

    There’s no sign that North Korea will change. Everybody said that the North would change after Kim il-Sung died, and it didn’t. 

    I’m not claiming that our way is the best… it’s just better than the alternative! Democracy, freedom of the press and opinion, gay rights, women’s rights, etc. etc. are our values and not the North Korean governments. I don’t assume; I have not seen another society outside of the west (except Israel and possibly India in the near future) that even comes close to our level of education, health-care and life expectancy. 

    You were the one who brought up Russia as an example of how democracy can exist after a dictatorship, not me. Russia has never been democratic and it won’t for a long time unless change comes from within. Look at Poland- a thriving democracy and the only one whose economy has improved since the recession in all of Europe and look at Russia. We pressured the regime in Poland and worked with the opposition so that they could have their own voice. We didn’t with the Soviet Union. Look at Russia and Poland today; which one would you rather live in?

    I’d like to see some facts on that the majority (“most”) don’t want democracy. Seeing the uprisings in the Arab world, long a beacon of despotism, tells me a different story. China’s boom probably won’t last; the one-child policy has meant that the country is in danger of shrinking rather that growing. And their technocratic government is not a beacon of intelligence and benevolence either; it is massively corrupt and inefficient. That high speed rail-way they’re building has run way over-budget and doesn’t have enough people making decent wages to pay for it. But, according to you, why would the people getting kicked off their land for the railway, or the ones being forced to move due to the Three Gorges Dam want what we want? So they can have a voice in their own country perhaps? But nah. I’m sure their happy and content being serfs.

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