Michael Ignatieff’s statement on today’s defeat at the United Nations.
“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.”