Fri Sep 28, 2012, 11:39 PM
applegrove (71,500 posts)
"Harper Flubs Foreign Affairs File -- Again" by Rachel Decoste at Huffington Post Canada
Harper Flubs Foreign Affairs File -- Again
by Rachel Decoste at Huffington Post Canada
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is making a trip to New York this week, but it isn't to attend a United Nations meeting to which Canada was extended an invitation. The Prime Minister will instead be in the glitzy hotel, where he is due to receive an award from the little-known Appeal of Conscience Foundation, an interfaith partnership of corporate and religious leaders. This United Nations snub follows a continuing malaise between the Harper government and the international organization committed to maintaining international peace and security. Sadly, the snub is not the first diplomatic faux-pas the Harper government has committed during its tenure.
Even before he was Prime Minister, Harper showed disdain for the U.N. when he penned an editorial for the Wall Street Journal in 2003 to champion the pending Iraq war despite the United Nations Security Council's clear disavowal. The open letter, co-authored with fellow Canadian Alliance Party alumni Stockwell Day addressed the then-George W. Bush-lead United States with the words, "Canadians Stand With You."
A number of conservative MPs have since made regrettable remarks about the U.N., the most recent one coming from MP Larry Miller who clumsily suggested Canada consider divorcing the organisation.
Since Harper took office, he has spoken to the group twice. In 2006, the fledgling PM attempted to bolster his foreign policy credentials, asserting that "Canada's back, as a vital player on the global stage." Four years later, Harper would squeeze the few drops of charm he possesses to lobby for Canada's traditional seat at the prestigious U.N. Security Council. "As a founding member of the UN and the seventh-largest contributor to its finances, Canada has been a consistently reliable and responsible participant in UN initiatives around the world," Harper boasted before listing off several of those initiatives for UN voters. There wasn't enough Canadian beer or maple syrup to wine and dine foreign diplomats into forgiving Canada's international gaffes for, in October 2010, Canada lost its bid to sit on the prestigious United Nations' Security Council in what was called "a stunning swipe at Canada's foreign policy shift under the Conservative government." An inelegant Harper would lay blame at the feet of the Leader of the Opposition, thus compounding the appearance of diplomatic ineptitude.
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"Harper Flubs Foreign Affairs File -- Again" by Rachel Decoste at Huffington Post Canada (Original post)
|Joe Shlabotnik||Sep 2012||#1|