Trudeau’s trail of broken promises haunt his UN Security Council campaign
by John Ivison Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: IvisonJ
Canada should be a shoo-in. The nagging worry is that the Achilles Heel is the sense the PM might not be relied upon to deliver for smaller countries
There was a wonderful incongruity to Justin Trudeau’s latest pitch for Canada’s bid to win a temporary seat on the UN Security Council. It came on the International Day of the Peacekeeper, at a time when Canada’s contribution to a force it helped create in 1956 is at its lowest ever level.
Canada has just 35 personnel involved in UN peacekeeping, a number that compares unfavourably with Ireland and Norway, the two countries with which we are competing for the two spots to represent the Western Europe and Others group. Ireland has around 474 personnel involved in UN missions, while Norway has 65.
The irony is that when Trudeau announced the Security Council bid in February 2016, alongside then UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, he committed Canada to a peacekeeping mission. Two years later, Ban was still waiting for Canada, as the Trudeau government fretted about the prospect of casualties in hot spots like the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It wasn’t until summer 2018 that Canada deployed 250 personnel and eight helicopters to northern Mali. Within 12 months, the Canadians were gone — departing even before their Romanian replacements had arrived in theatre.
When UN ambassadors vote for the two Western Europe and Others spots on June 17, they will be reminded of Canada’s tendency to over-promise and under-deliver.
Trudeau was elected on a pledge to “help the world’s poor.” Yet, overseas development assistance has actually slipped as a percentage of gross national income since the Harper government years to just 0.27 per cent. That compares to 0.31 per cent for the Irish and 1.02 per cent for the Norwegians.
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