The Phony Seat: Canada’s “rise” to the Security Council

When it comes to promoting international stability, Canada is not a country to scoff at. Since its inception in the October of 1945, Canada has enthusiastically supported the United Nation’s vision of collective security, preventing conflict of the likes associated with the Second World War.

But the country’s indisputable generosity continues to suffer a phantom pain from what many patriots view to be the worst rejection it has had to meet from this international community.

The Security Council.

A committee of five comprised permanently of global superpowers Britain, France, Russia, the United States and China. A committee that convenes in times of crisis to discuss action that needs to be taken to counter events that threaten world peace.

The UN Big 6 determining course of action to be taken in Syria
The ambassadors of the Big 5 photographed together following their resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons.

A committee that welcomes ten temporary members for two-year terms, where they will make their puny little voices heard in the face of the veto power-holding Big 5.

Canada has served six terms to date on this council – a total of 12 years. Once every decade, Canada has never failed to serve its rightful term in this much-coveted spot of apparent prestige. But Canada’s portrayal as a model UN member was shattered in October 2010, when Canada’s Conservative government was stunned by a horrific revelation – they had placed third behind both Germany and Portugal in the first round of votes!

When Canada, for the first time in our history, loses a vote at the United Nations to become a member of the Security Council . . . to Portugal, which was on the verge of bankruptcy at the time, you should look in the mirror and say: ‘Houston, I think we have a problem.’

– Brian Mulroney, 18th Canadian Prime Minister 

In the face of certain defeat, Canada withdrew from the election, barefacedly losing support to a powerless little European country. And we acquired nothing but an ugly stain on Canada’s apparent track record of perfection in the world peace effort. Canadians looked upon this incident as nothing short of blatant outrage. Hadn’t Canada proved time and time again that it was one of the pillars of international peace? Let the rest of the world be damned for refusing to give Canada its rightful spot of leadership in the world!

But the rest of the world may not think so.

To understand the discontentment the international community had built up against us seven years ago, we must first look at the gradually rescinding interest that Canada had exhibited in international affairs. Affairs which included Canada gradually cutting back the aid given to distraught African countries, affairs which spanned the lack of interest it had displayed in the welfare of Southeast Asia, affairs which encompassed Canada’s passivity in reducing its carbon footprint considering rising sea levels.

Was it any surprise to the inverted, domestically-conscious, internationally-oblivious Mr. Harper that his country lost its bid?

Stephen Harper addressees a virtually empty UN assembly
Harper’s address to the General Assembly in September 2014 was met with a humiliating audience size. Further proof needed that no one took Canadian politics seriously at the time?

So Canada gradually shrank back into the shadows, lurking in the outskirts of the General Assembly as time dragged on. Never showing more commitment in the international community other than sending in minuscule contingents of soldiers and humanitarians to war-torn regions of the world.

But the Liberals then burst onto the scene in 2015, with headstrong Justin Trudeau guaranteeing better international co-operation, amongst a mundane party platform. The Liberals barely hesitated for a breath before firing a statement to the nation, that Canada would be campaigning for a seat on the Security Council in 2021. No matter what it takes. Remember those 5 words now, for they expose the true mentality of our current government.

Hurrah for Canada and international peace! And taking back what is OURS!

Well, some of us may be slightly more realistic.

I’ll give you an example which is shockingly unfamiliar to most Canadians. It was John Humphrey, a simple Montreal lawyer who founded and adopted the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1946, guiding its growth and development until its adoption in 1948. He didn’t think much of his efforts at the time, but dozens of countries today look to the Declaration of Rights as a model for their own charters. Canada could proudly say at the time that it had taken a gallant step forward in establishing a universal set of rights for every person on this planet!

Did John Humphrey give a hoot about his country’s status in the United Nations? Did he waste his time and energy campaigning for a spot that would serve virtually no purpose? NO! He recognized an issue, accepted responsibility for it and worked tirelessly to foster change.

Members of the Security Council attend a meeting on the Ebola crisis at U.N. headquarters in New York
Canada has spent $500 000 as of May 2017 on its campaign for a seat. By 2021, the crazed effort to extend everything from hospitality to national pins to UN members will cost millions

His work should continue to serve as an inspiration to us Canadians today, the entire Liberal party included. From spearheading the creation of the Food and Agricultural Organization to providing monumental support for UNICEF, Canada has never taken on the role of a bystander in the United Nations.

Is there any need for Trudeau to pump millions of dollars into hospitable vacations and fancy accessories to purchase votes for our country, courtesy of all these shallow global ambassadors, many of whom look no further than their next meal at their next fancy restaurant? Does Trudeau really need to spend money on smooth-talking representatives with sleek script-writers who are able to polish off gleaming speeches in front of the entire General Assembly?

Our country is more than capable of making an enormous difference in the world, and bowing down to such grizzly tactic to secure support for our nation on the Security Council will do nothing. If the Liberal government really cares about fostering international cooperation, it must first trash this silly scheme associated with winning this phony honor. Not only is it a waste of money, but there is something horribly degrading about seeing Canada potentially stooping to such levels one day.

Surely, this money can be put to better use. And ultimately, we must question how influential the Security Council really is when concerning global betterment.

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