Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in New York during the third week of September to address the United Nations General Assembly and also lobby other nations to get their support for Canada’s bid for a non-permanent Security Council seat for a two-year term from 2021-23. The members of the General Assembly will vote on the candidates in the fall of 2020 during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Canada is competing with Norway and Ireland for two of the ten non-permanent seats on the Security Council. To be a non-permanent member, Canada must be chosen by members of its regional group and confirmed by the other 192 members of the General Assembly.
One problem facing Canada is that the U.S. already has a veto on the Security Council and, as part of NATO and NORAD and now also U.S. Homeland Security, Canada has become an integral part of the U.S. war machine. It will not be an independent voice on the Council because the so-called national interest the government upholds is that of the U.S. This often clashes with the interests of the European powers for whom European Security includes opposition to U.S. control of Europe. Canada belongs to the regional bloc which includes Europe and is lobbying for the support of the European countries. Its rivals for the seat are Norway, which also belongs to NATO, and Ireland, which has not officially applied to join as a full member of NATO due to its longstanding policy of military neutrality.
The last time Canada campaigned for a seat on the Security Council was in 2010. The Harper government withdrew following the second voting round after being pummelled 113 to 78 by eventual winner Portugal. Pundits are currently predicting that, unless things change drastically, Ireland will also beat Canada when voting time comes.
The Trudeau government likes to think it is seen as a peacemaker but in fact it is emulating former Prime Minister Harper by increasingly embroiling Canada in Iraq, in a war that Canada ostensibly is not part of. This includes training Iraqi troops in the north, working with Kurdish militia, and running a NATO mission in Baghdad. All in all, Canada continues to wholeheartedly support the U.S. military agenda in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, which, once again, is making the world a less, not more, secure place. Its conception of security is definitely not one shared by the majority of Canadians or the peoples of the world at a time the Security Council is subject to the bullying of the U.S.
Alongside the U.S., Canada is spearheading groups, such as the “Vancouver Group” against Korea and the Lima Group against Venezuela, which connive to achieve regime change and oppose what the Charter of the United Nations stands for. These activities include support for terrorism in countries such as Ukraine, Syria and Venezuela, amongst other places. They block negotiated settlements to wars of aggression and civil wars and interfere in the sovereign affairs of member states of the UN. They support sanctions, which are themselves an act of war, against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Furthermore, they are not seen to be pro-active in ensuring the blockade is lifted against Cuba, whose people are suffering greatly because of it. They protect Israel from prosecution for war crimes, and so on.
Canada also has a poor record in the other major area of the UN’s concern, which is to eradicate poverty, disease, illiteracy and dangers posed by drought and climate change and wars in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Canada’s development aid is currently 0.28 per cent of the Gross National Income (GNI), a mere 40 per cent of the long-existing goal of 0.7 per cent. For the last six years that he was in power, Canada’s previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper actually froze foreign aid and now the Trudeau government presents excuses to avert meeting UN goals.
Typically, Canada’s foreign aid has strings attached. At this time these include not only using foreign aid to hand money over to those monopolies of various kinds whose goods and services are contracted, but also to finance the companies engaged in military ventures. Most of the aid Canada has given to Afghanistan has been targeted to military objectives rather than human development. It is another filthy way to pay the rich in the war industry.
Canada has also reduced aid to many of the world’s neediest countries and increased aid to countries such as Colombia where they are vying to gain economic and political advantages.
The activities Canada is engaged in on the world stage illustrate what is wrong with the UN Security Council, which does not have to be guided by the majority decisions taken by the General Assembly. The wishes of the majority count for nothing in the geo-political calculations of the big powers. The Security Council is anachronistic, beginning with the fact that five of its 15 members can veto any of its decisions even if they have received the required nine affirmative Security Council votes. The five members with permanent status and veto power had this conferred after World War II to deal with a situation which no longer exists.
The UN was founded in San Francisco on October 24, 1945 with the aim of preventing another such conflict as World War II. At its founding it had 51 member states; there are now 193. The UN requires major reforms so that its mandate can be upheld. Instead, the Security Council is subject to the bullying and blackmail of the big powers and it does not uphold the rights of the countries and peoples of the world.
Whenever the U.S. does not get its way, it simply forms coalitions said to be of the willing to commit aggression and wreak destruction of anything which refuses to come under its control. Adding Canada to the Security Council is merely for purposes of giving more legitimacy to the U.S. imperialist striving for world domination, not for guaranteeing peace.
Canadians need to step up demands for the reform of the United Nations so that it upholds its Charter. This is the crux of the matter. The Trudeau government’s bid for a seat on the Security Council based on the phoney claim that Canada is a peacemaker seeks to divert from this need.
TML Weekly, September 29, 2018 – No. 33