Trudeau at the UN: Canada’s international agenda

150906-vancouverrefugeeswelcome-ssamples-04Prime Minister Trudeau is in New York City as part of the Canadian delegation to the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly from September 19 to 20. Before the opening of the UN General Assembly, Trudeau held meetings in Montreal with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and musician Bono.

Since the Liberals’ return to power, the government has put its full weight behind portraying Trudeau as a “significant player” on the world stage who should be included in international bodies where the big powers make decisions about matters affecting all humanity. Trudeau is supposed to embody the “progressive credentials” and “values” to which U.S. President Obama referred when he said, “The world needs more Canada” in his speech to the Canadian Parliament on June 29.

“Peace operations” are one such area where Canada is supposedly “well-placed” to contribute. The Trudeau government found out the worth of its “progressive credentials” in late August when, according to media reports, it had to announce specific troop commitments and funding in order to secure a place alongside more than 50 other countries at a defence ministers’ summit on peacekeeping hosted by the Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom in London.

Carrying on the legacy of the Obama regime, the Trudeau government uses so-called progressive credentials to advance an agenda for war. This is why Trudeau’s dual mission at the UN General Assembly, according to media reports, is to present himself “as a significant progressive leader on the world stage” and to “make the case that the Security Council needs Canada’s perspective around the table.”

Under the Trudeau Liberals there is not one single example of “Canada’s perspective” being different from the line set by U.S. imperialism on important questions of war and peace. What is called “Canada’s perspective” does not distinguish itself in any meaningful sense and is not the perspective of Canadians. Thus, should Canada’s bid for a rotating seat on the UN Security Council succeed, it would mean one more vote for the U.S. imperialist striving for world domination on the Security Council, a body which has been unable to secure the peace worldwide and is tainted by the domination of the big powers in the first place. The post-war arrangements on which the Security Council was based are in tatters.

To cover up these facts, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement announcing Trudeau’s participation in the UN General Assembly which said the government “is committed to redefining its place in the world and promoting core Canadian values like diversity and inclusion, gender equality, and respect for peace worldwide.”

The Prime Minister’s Office also announced that Trudeau “will take part in the Refugee and Migration Summit, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as co-host U.S. President Barack Obama’s Leaders’ Summit on Refugees.” On this front as well, the more than 30,000 Syrian refugees who have arrived in Canada since November 2015 are cynically used as examples of Canada’s “leadership” and need to have a “seat at the table.”

What is Canada’s responsibility towards those refugees? Media reports have said they are in large part reliant on food banks that already could not meet people’s needs. Furthermore, the limited government support some refugees receive will expire very soon. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister John McCallum claimed that food bank usage amongst Syrian refugees is due to a “cultural element” and not based on the difficult conditions they face, high food prices and lack of support or job opportunities. The government justifies its lack of support for refugees by stressing that they receive less than Canadian citizens requiring social assistance. This is therefore “fair” and as it should be.

What does it mean that Trudeau is being groomed to take up the so-called legacy of Obama? Obama’s method was to tell people in the U.S. and around the world that he was for rights, for peace and against war and injustice and these values would then be the values of the institutions he represented. Ten years later drone assassinations are routine, training terrorists to accomplish foreign policy goals is routine and the war crimes of the U.S. imperialists are increasing. More regime change and destabilization operations have been carried out or are underway; and more migrants and refugees are thrown to the winds all over the world, not to speak of the fact that more people have been deported from the U.S. than under any previous president.

Canadians should reject the claim that receiving “the torch” from Obama is a good thing. Immediately after Obama said “the world needs more Canada” he added, “NATO needs more Canada.” Ten days later the Trudeau government announced hundreds of troops will be sent to the Baltics as part of the U.S. and NATO’s occupation of these countries and the encirclement of Russia. It must not pass!

TML Weekly, September 17, 2016

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