#Canada; #UNCouncilSeat; #Norway; #Ireland; #India; #Mexico
Ottawa, Jun 18 (Canadian-Media): In spite of a high-profile campaign led by the Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, the Liberal government lost June 17 a four–year bid for one of two available temporary UN Security Council seats by getting third position, behind Norway and Ireland, media reports said.
Justin Trudeau. Image credit: Twitter handle
Norway and Ireland won the two available temporary seats, with 130 and 128 votes respectively, while Canada fell short of of 20 votes of the 128 needed to win seat..
Besides Norway and Ireland, Mexico and India were also successful in securing seats.
Two African nations, Kenya and Djibouti will go to a second ballot to determine a victor.
It was very upsetting for Trudeau, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne and other Canada's high-level officials who had been campaigning around the world to secure one of the two available rotating seats.
Federal officials had been promoting the Canadian values of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights, throughout the campaign , said Trudeau in a statement and added,
“Throughout every step of our campaign, and in a time of global uncertainty, we promoted the Canadian values of peace, freedom, democracy, and human rights. We listened and learned from other countries, which opened new doors for cooperation to address global challenges, and we created new partnerships that increased Canada’s place in the world. This important engagement has contributed to our broader efforts to tackle the most important challenges of our time, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and has acted as a foundation for further international cooperation on other key issues. We will continue to pursue this approach at the United Nations and in other international forums – because Canada does well, and Canadians do well, when we strengthen our international relationships and fully engage on the world stage," Said Trudeau.
During a news conference in New York June 17, Champagne said the campaign was an opportunity for Canada to renew and strengthen bilateral relationships around the globe.
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said this loss is a failure of Canada's foreign policy.
“He sold out Canada’s principles for a personal vanity project and we still lost,” he said. “What a waste.”
More than $2.3 million had been spent by the federal government on its quest for a seat.
NDP foreign affairs critic Jack Harris said Canada through its membership in the G7, G20 and other global organizations can still have a positive influence with other countries.
Former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who served as special envoy to bolster Canada's bid, said many countries had already committed their votes by the time Canada entered the race.
Canada put forward its candidacy in 2016, about a decade after Ireland (2005) and Norway (2007) announced they were running.
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said that the two other candidates being anchored in the European Union (EU) automatically got support from the European continent.
When Chrystia Freeland, the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and thirteenth Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs was asked by Conservative foreign affairs critic Leona Alleslev whether concessions in United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade talks affected the UN Security council seat, she replied,
"I am quite certain that Canadians and the allies admire the work that we did as a country in re-negotiating the new NAFTA. Canada is today the only G7 country that has a trade agreement with every other G7 country. At a time of rising protectionism, a time our economy is going through a crisis created by the coronavirus."
Shortly before the results were announced, Trudeau cited Canada's record on combating climate change, promoting peace and security and supporting developing countries and women's rights.
He said under all circumstances, Canada will continue to fight to reduce global conflict and social inequities.
"Canada has continued to be a strong voice on the world stage. Because this is what Canada does well and we will continue to do it," he said.
"Yes, a seat on the UN Security Council will be an additional lever and an extra way that Canada can make sure that our voice and our values are being heard at the highest levels. But we will continue to make a difference in the world and defend multilateralism, not just because it's good for the world, but because it's good for Canadians."
The last time Canada held a seat was 1999 – 2000.