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UN Security Council Seat 2020

To be honest it has more to do with:

Minimal trade, 1% total I think?

More importantly, inviting a convicted Khalistani terrorist to a diplomatic event, and the perception that Canada is being influenced by Pakistan.

The dress up incident is not the catalyst for this whole mess but it adds to the indifference that India feels that Canada is giving them.

Remius said:
More importantly, inviting a convicted Khalistani terrorist to a diplomatic event, and the perception that Canada is being influenced by Pakistan.


Thoughtful article from The Guardian:

Canada’s failed UN security council bid exposes Trudeau’s 'dilettante' foreign policy

Second failed attempt to win seat raises questions about messaging and clarity in Canada’s foreign policy, experts say

Leyland Cecco in Toronto,  Thu 18 Jun 2020 17.45 BST

When Justin Trudeau was first elected in 2015, he promised that his victory would help Canada vault back on to the world stage, and reclaim a global influence that had eroded in previous years.

“To this country’s friends all around the world, many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world,” Trudeau told a raucous crowd on election night. “Well, I have a simple message for you. On behalf of 35 million Canadians: we’re back.”

But Trudeau’s marquee foreign policy gambit has ended in disappointment, after Canada lost its bid for a temporary United Nations security council seat. In a single round of voting on Wednesday afternoon, Ireland and Norway secured the required two-third of votes, edging Canada into third place.

It was Canada’s second failed attempt to win the seat, and experts believe it raised serious questions about the messaging and clarity of the country’s foreign policy.

Ahead of the vote, Trudeau tempered expectations, telling reporters that regardless of the outcome, Canada was “moving forward and leading the way” on issues such as climate change and a feminist foreign policy.

But in the final days, the PM and his team mounted a frantic effort, phoning leaders in India, Pakistan, Mexico, North Macedonia and Fiji, to secure votes.

For those closely watching the campaign, the last-minute push was likely too late – and the messaging from Ottawa too confused.

It was only in February, months before the vote, that Trudeau and a small delegation visited Senegal, Ethiopia and Germany to pitch Canada’s candidacy. The prime minister had a planned trip to the Caribbean to court regional leaders, but scrapped the visit amid a wave of protests at home.

“If you had five years, why would you wait so long for these trips and meetings? You need a really long runway to build goodwill and relations with other states that would get to the kind of guaranteed outcome of a security council seat. It’s not an easy thing to do,” said Mark Kersten, deputy director of the Wayamo Foundation.

Norway and Ireland, meanwhile, had been laying the groundwork for their campaigns for years, and on Wednesday secured 130 and 128 votes respectively. Canada took 108.

Canada had spent more than C$2mn on the effort, far more than Ireland. But the money was hampered by an unclear message.

“We’re supposed to have a feminist foreign policy. To me, that means that every single decision that’s relevant to Canadian international relations should be examined through its gender dimensions,” said Kersten.

“Are we doing that? I don’t necessarily see that with Saudi Arabia or our relations towards China.”

Meanwhile, Canada’s public commitments to human rights and economic equality, were severely compromised by its defence of the engineering giant SNC-Lavalin, which has admitted fraud and bribery in Libya.

For decades, Canada branded itself as a peacekeeping nation, drawing on a long history of intervening in conflicts around the world. But those efforts have eroded significantly in recent years, and current commitments are at a 60-year low.

“There definitely is a big gap between rhetoric and reality,” said Thomas Juneau, a professor of international affairs at the University of Ottawa.

Canada’s mission in Mali, its largest in nearly a generation, lasted one year.

“The mission really reinforced the perception that we wanted to ‘tick a box’ – as opposed to really doing the heavy lifting,” said Juneau.

Trudeau’s interest in the security council was seen as a way to draw a contrast with former PM Stephen Harper, whose lack of interest in courting the UN culminated in Canada’s first ever defeat for a seat on the security council in 2010. The rare loss – to Portugal – was met with shock and dismay in Canada.

Wednesday’s surprise defeat, is likely to raise questions about the government’s effectiveness in managing its messaging abroad.

“Another foreign affairs failure for Justin Trudeau. Keeps the streak alive! He sold out Canada’s principles for a personal vanity project and still lost. What a waste,” tweeted outgoing Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.

Juneau held out hope that the loss would prompt a re-examination of Canada’s “dilettante” foreign policy.

“Canada has long found a way to avoid taking clear positions on many issues. That [would] have been more difficult with a security council seat, because of the higher expectations,” he said.

“There’s more scrutiny. And that’s important – because in this country, there’s a limited scrutiny of foreign policy.”


Start of a post (several further links):

He Did Worse than Harper! Justin Trudeau’s Vanity Quest for UN Security Council Seat Crashes and Burns

The estimable Matthew Fisher (tweets here), one of Canada’s journalists most familiar with the world’s realities, has a look at the PM’s noble (hah!) quest in a piece at Global News (with video):

COMMENTARY: Trudeau’s UN vote loss is rebuke of his ‘preachy’ foreign policy

I really don't understand why a security council seat even matters; anything of substance gets hammered, undercut or otherwise vetoed by one of the permanent members, as one of them will inevitably not like it. The UN is generally a bit of useless pomp and circumstance that happens to occasionally do some good things regardless.  We don't really do much of anything, and I'm not really sure what our foreign policy is once you get past the platitudes. The ships deployed with NATO don't really have any direction other then mark time, and while we did a lot of training with other navies and whatnot, they put us in a box in the Med where thousands of refugees are dying trying to escape the civil wars in Syria, Libya and elsewhere with no ability to do anything proactive to actually help. Showing 'a presence' looks good on paper I guess but if we're all talk and no action as a country, why would anyone care what we think at the UN?
MarkOttawa said:
Start of a post (several further links):


Preachy indeed. Finger wagging and "holier than thou" proclomations are not foreign policy.

And as for JT's idiocy "Canada is back" I have news for him - Canada never left.
Interesting observation from Reply #10,

Losing the Security Council seat is not a catastrophe. It will be greeted with a lot of shrugs, and go largely unnoticed by the public. The Conservatives will howl in outrage, but they howl about even the tiniest things, so it is impossible to tell if they actually care. Tomorrow, we will move on, because the loss just doesn’t hurt.
PETER McKENNA: Trudeau’s failed UN Security Council bid — explained

Back in March, there was no shortage of critics breathlessly predicting that Canada’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council would fail miserably.

They pointed to Canada’s lacklustre efforts in international peacekeeping and climate change, an inability to showcase its multilateralist credentials and Justin Trudeau’s failure to push our candidacy in foreign capitals. We now know that their prognostications were right on the mark.

It is worth mentioning, though, that because of the novel coronavirus pandemic and a cratering global economy, this was no typical UN vote. The world of cascading crises made it exceedingly difficult for Ottawa to orchestrate a full-blown international campaign, to participate in the critical face-to-face meetings — and necessary diplomatic horse-trading — to secure a country’s support and to engage in the 11th-hour politicking sometimes needed to seal the deal.

Still, the Trudeau Liberals were confident that Canada would eventually prevail when the contest went to a second ballot. To add insult to injury, Canada lost on the first ballot (garnering only 108 votes) to Ireland (which secured 128 votes) — receiving fewer votes than UN-skeptic Stephen Harper’s failed bid in 2010 (which notched 114 votes).

(There was never any doubt that Norway would get the nod for the other seat from the Western European and Others Group or WEOG geographic bloc.)

The Liberal government attempted valiantly to put the best possible spin on what was undoubtedly an embarrassing defeat. As Trudeau remarked: “We forged new partnerships, we strengthened existing friendships and we laid a solid foundation for an even greater collaboration in the future. …Getting the seat was never an end in itself.”

So, why exactly was Canada unsuccessful again? What made this UN campaign little different from the disastrous 2010 outcome?

Notwithstanding the final result, it goes without saying that Canada’s UN Ambassador, Marc-André Blanchard, did a superb job of leading Canada’s team effort in New York. He had obviously worked hard at courting the various UN ambassadors from numerous countries and capitalizing on his networking over the last few years and his likable demeanour.

Even though the balloting is secret, it seems obvious that the regional voting blocs in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific generally did not come through for Ottawa. Much like the failed Harper bid, many of these countries chose to desert Canada at this critical moment.

Part of the problem is Canada’s placement in the WEOG geographic bloc, which is highly competitive, not always friendly toward Canada and loaded with attractive European candidates. It should properly be situated in the more hemispherically compatible Latin America and the Caribbean grouping. Perhaps this is something that Canada will look into changing in the coming years.

Moreover, one should not forget that both Norway and Ireland had been working on their Security Council bids for more than 10 years, while Canada had been actively engaged on the file for only four. In addition, those successful countries spent more money on their respective campaigns when compared to Canada’s $2.3 million outlay.

Some commentators have suggested that China, in light of its enormously strained relationship with Ottawa, pressured member states in the developing world to vote against Canada. Maybe. But I don’t think that was a key explanatory factor.

What we do know is that there’s no disputing the fact that Canada’s international engagement lately — on the development assistance front and the climate change issue — did not serve to bring sufficient numbers of member states to our side. They simply weren’t convinced that we were doing enough on both counts.

Similarly, our record on international peace support missions — especially when compared to the stellar performance of Ireland — left a sour taste in the mouths of UN members. And they were less than impressed with Canada’s relatively small personnel contribution to the admittedly challenging Mali mission in Africa, the short duration of its commitment and its unwillingness to extend its participation in the face of multiple UN requests.

Yes, of course, domestic politics were at play here for Trudeau — reaching back to his 2015 pledge that “Canada is back” on the world stage. There is no doubt that he had expended a great deal of diplomatic capital in trying to secure this UN seat. That is why this unsuccessful bid is a significant blow to his prime ministership, his personal political standing and Canada’s reputation internationally.

The failed bid highlights the fact that our middle power status does not have the cachet that it once had. Indeed, the most difficult realization perhaps to come out of this is that Canada’s voice in the world matters a lot less than many of us had come to believe.

Peter McKenna is professor of political science at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.