Stephen Harper, statesman -

Stephen Harper, statesman


Stephen Harper is your statesman of the year for 2012 (as determined by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation), but he won’t be speaking to the UN General Assembly while he’s in New York to pick up the award. Campbell Clark deems this a “snub.”

Perhaps most pointedly, his disaffection for the UN is demonstrated by his willingness to fly to New York during the so-called UN week to meet other world leaders without agreeing to speak to the General Assembly.

The Prime Minister last addressed the UN General Assembly in 2010. In 2009, he was questioned about skipping the assembly to tour a Tim Hortons plant in Oakville. (We dubbed this the donut speech and, after Erin Weir raised questions about the significance of the moment, we fact checked the Harper government’s enthusiasm.)

A search of the UN database shows Jean Chretien addressed the general assembly five times—in 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2003—in his 10 years as prime minister. He also addressed the security council in 2000.

Paul Martin addressed the general assembly in 2004 and 2005. Mr. Harper addressed the general assembly in 2006 and 2010 (he also spoke at a meeting about the Millenium Development Goals in 2010).

A search for Brian Mulroney turns up three speeches—in 1985, 1988 and 1990. (The archive only goes back to 1983.)