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What Canada Could and Should do at the United Nations 2018: A Question of Leadership


The World Federalist Movement - Canada (WFMC) is a not-for-profit research, education and advocacy organization. World Federalists support the application of the principles of federalism to world affairs, in order that global governance becomes more equitable, just and democratically accountable. Our programs cover Peace and Security, Global Democratization, Responsibility to Protect and Global Governance Reforms.

The Government of Canada needs to dramatically strengthen its foreign policy if it is to fulfill the promises made to the Canadian electorate in 2015, maintains a new booklet published today by the World Federalists,entitled: What Canada Could and Should do at the United Nations 2018: A Question of Leadership.

During and after the 2015 federal election, the Liberals set as their firm foreign policy goals a re-engagement and leadership on the world stage, especially at the United Nations. They cited peacekeeping, refugees, global warming and gender equality, among many important promises to Canadians.

Numerous specialists and journalists have recently pointed out that the Liberal Government has not lived up to its foreign policy promises. In an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland, the World Federalist publication’s authors note it is understandable that the government has been side-tracked by its trade negotiations with the United States and Mexico. Nevertheless, lofty speeches in other domains of foreign policy do not make for world leadership.

Canada was once a leader in innovation at the global level. Canada can regain that progressive influence in so many areas and make a difference for all the citizens of the world. But much more is needed to turn lofty rhetoric into reality. Action and investment are the order of the day,” said Walter Dorn, President of the World Federalist Movement – Canada.

The booklet is composed of 16 short policy articles by leading civil society experts, academics, journalists and former diplomats. Among the recommendations they make to the Canadian government to recover its leading position in world affairs and at the UN are the following:

  • Strengthen policies and resources in such fields as refugees, migration, development assistance, LGBTI communities, and disarmament;
  • Demonstrate world leadership in developing global norms based on enhanced policies, investment and activities to live up to the rhetoric and promises in peacekeeping, human rights, global warming, and feminist objectives;
  • Work with civil society and create an organizational competence in the Global Affairs ministry and at the United Nations to demonstrate engagement in institutional reform.

Canada has shown it can focus attention and resources on its objectives in trade policy with the United States and Mexico. Now it must show a similar sustained action and creativity to attain its proclaimed global leadership. Canadians are waiting…

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