Canada to seek seat on UN Security Council

Dec 19 2017, 8:08 pm

Canada will make a bid for a seat on the UN Security Council, according to an announcement made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

Trudeau and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met during an official visit at Parliament Hill in Ottawa where the Prime Minister also expressed his commitment to increasing Canada’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions, alongside expanding its role in conflict prevention and aid contributions.

“On the issue of the UN Security Council, I highlighted to the secretary general that part of Canada wishing to re-engage robustly with the United Nations and in multilateral engagement around the world includes looking towards a bid for the UN Security Council,” Trudeau said.

Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge to strengthen ties with UN: “Since the United Nations was founded, Canada has always been one of our most important partners,” he said, after his meeting with Trudeau.

In 2010, Canada was defeated by Portugal in its bid for a Security Council term. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government’s foreign policy strategies were seen as a key reason for the loss.

Harper and the Conservatives did not maintain a close bond with the UN and policy decisions such as strengthening ties with Israel and decreasing aid to Africa were contributing factors to the to the rocky relationship.

In yesterday’s meeting, Ban said that Trudeau had a “very constructive change” on policy initiatives such as the climate change agreement, which was reached during December’s Paris summit, as well as Canada’s pledge to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country.

Ban parted ways with the Prime Minister on Thursday evening and his next stop is Montreal, where he is set to meet with Quebec’s premier Philippe Couillard.