On the US Election

From Barbara Yaffe, Vancouver Sun, October 31, 2012

Canadians won’t see much change in Canada-U.S. relations no matter who squeaks by the presidential finish line first in next Tuesday’s vote.

Few cross-border irritants are at play these days in the crucial bilateral relationship.

And Prime Minister Stephen Harper would probably get along with Republican contender Mitt Romney as well as he does with Barack Obama.

“Ideologically, Romney and Harper would be more likely to have much in common,” observes Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat in Washington, D.C., “although Harper deep down may be more libertarian, and Romney more country-club old-school Republican.”

Polls consistently show Canadians have a special fondness for Obama. Even in the province most ready to embrace Romney – Alberta – the Republican trails Obama in support by a 50 per cent to 19 per cent margin, according to a recent Harris-Dec-ima poll. Whether it’s President Romney or Obama, the reality is Canada’s trade relationship with the U.S. is set to continue declining.

A February 2012 report by TD Economics projected that by 2020, shipments to the U.S. would account for two thirds of total Canadian exports – down from 85 per cent in 2002.

A more robust Canadian currency, a thickened border, the recession’s impact on American spending – all have taken a toll. But, the TD report noted, Canada has been turning its trade focus to emerging markets.

While exports to the U.S. are down 14 per cent in the last 10 years, Canadian exports to China have doubled and exports to Europe have risen 83 per cent.,,

The 2006 softwood lumber agreement has been extended to 2015 and the Pacific Salmon Treaty has been renewed until 2018.

Canada and the U.S. these days are working on a Beyond the Border Initiative, signed in February of 2011 by Harper and Obama, aimed at easing border flows and making North American products more competitive.

If Romney becomes president, the border efforts probably would get re-jigged and rebranded, says Robertson.

“With Obama we get some continuity.”

But it’s likely that, even with Obama and certainly under Romney, Canadian cabinet ministers would have to adapt to a raft of new U.S. secretaries.

A shame, perhaps, after Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Foreign Minister John Baird have developed such positive dealings with Janet Napolitano and Hillary Clinton.

As for TransCanada’s XL pipeline to carry Alberta oil to Texas refineries, Romney says he’d approve it on “Day 1.”

Obama, of course, nixed the project last year – for fear of upsetting Democrat-leaning environmentalists – but he’s widely expected to give it the go-ahead if re-elected. Interestingly, the issue of greatest potential import to most Canadians relates to a particular U.S. domestic challenge: prospects for a so-called fiscal cliff of automatic tax and spending cuts by year-end unless politicians quickly agree on a deficit fix.

“This is really serious,” says Robertson, with obvious implications for the stability of the American economy and its consumers’ buying power.

“It would be easier for a Republican president to deal with the Tea Party,” in the quest for an orderly deficit fix.

“Can an Obama with a very weak re-endorsement persuade a recalcitrant … House with a large majority of [anti-taxers]?”

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On Canada US regulatory cooperation

Excerpted from Canada, U.S. struggling to reach agreement to agree on product rules by John Ibbitson in the  Globe and Mail Monday, October 28, 2012

An ambitious plan to harmonize product regulations between Canada and the United States has become all process, few results. But there is hope.

The Regulatory Cooperation Council – announced with much fanfare last December by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama as part of the Beyond the Border initiative – has little to show for its efforts, thanks in part to the distraction of the American election and in part to entrenched interests…

While harmonizing existing regulations may be an ambition too far, a framework agreement is in the works that would commit both sides to working together on future regulations.

While we may never see a continental standard for toothpaste, we could see one for hydrogen-powered vehicles, if such a machine ever reaches the market.

It’s a glass-half-full, glass-half-empty sort of thing. But even half a glass is better than none.

Colin Robertson, the former Canadian diplomat who is probably better informed on cross-border issues than anyone not actually on the negotiating teams, is a glass-half-full kind of guy.

“In terms of immediate progress, they don’t have much to show” for their efforts, he acknowledged in an interview. But if the two sides can entrench a culture of future co-operation, “it promises to be revolutionary,” he believes. After all, he observed, “if the regulators on both sides had been talking to each other,” when drawing up rules already on the books, “we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

If the RCC truly does its job, its greatest achievement will be to encourage a culture of trust, so that if one side does decide one day to change the rules on fortifying cereals, both sides will work together to achieve common standards…

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Remembering George McGovern: A Canadian Vignette

Remembering George McGovern iPolitics Insight

From IPOLITICS, By | Oct 23, 2012 4:55 am

George McGovern was an American original: unrepentantly and defiantly liberal.I met McGovern during the 2004 Democratic National Convention, after he had just published The Essential America: Our Founders and Their Liberal Tradition. We spoke in the Harvard Book Store while they readied the table for him to sign books.

Born in South Dakota, he told me his mother was Canadian, “from Toronto…and I spent from ages two to six in Calgary…so I’ve got Canadian roots.”

Decorated WWII bomber pilot, the first senator to oppose the Vietnam War (in 1963), he was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972. It was a melancholy campaign. His first vice presidential nominee resigned after admitting he’d undergone therapy; Thomas Eagleton would be replaced by Sargent Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan by marriage. Derided as the candidate for ‘acid, abortion and amnesty’, McGovern would win only Massachusetts, the worst debacle for any candidate since Alf Landon lost to FDR in 1936.

After his senatorial defeat in the Reagan victory of 1980 he taught. Bill Clinton named him U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. When I met him, he told me he took great pride in his role as UN Ambassador for Global Hunger.

Liberalism, said McGovern, was responsible for American progress. He continually challenged, successfully he claimed, his conservative friends to name a single federal program now generally approved by both major parties that had not first been pushed by liberals and opposed by conservatives.

McGovern remarked that liberalism had enjoyed a successful run, with only an interruption during the twenties, from 1900 until its demise with the election of Ronald Reagan. The high-water mark was FDR.

It was less the excesses of the sixties that had pushed liberalism out of favour, observed McGovern, than the later Cold War and Vietnam. Vietnam was a “massive mistake” that tore American liberalism asunder and divided it into ‘hawks’ and ‘doves’. The war in Vietnam put both the Great Society and Lyndon Johnson into early graves.

McGovern subscribed to Arthur Schlesinger’s cyclical theory of liberalism: the rank-and-file enjoy the benefits of liberalism and then it shifts back to the conservatives.

McGovern wistfully observed that liberals were often their own worst enemies. Too often, they exemplify Robert Frost’s aphorism that “a liberal is someone who won’t take his own side in a quarrel.” He thought the muscular liberalism of Tony Blair was a better approach.

During World War II, McGovern flew 35 combat missions (and awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross) on the B-24 ‘Dakota Queen, named after his bride, Eleanor, who died in 2007.

Stephen Ambrose portrayed McGovern and his fellow warriors in his The Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany 1944-45. Ambrose, the poet-laureate of that conflict would later call McGovern “one of the greatest patriots I know”  and that “you don’t necessarily have to be a hawk to be patriotic.” McGovern would later serve as U.S. senator from South Dakota from1962 until 1980.

Speaking of Vietnam and Iraq, McGovern recalled Walter Lippman’s admonition that ‘old men should not send young men to war’. He lamented the American attitude that equated leadership with cowboy-like hardness and toughness. He remarked during the years of Senate debate on the war in Vietnam that the most savage war hawks were those who had never experienced war, noting “It’s easy to be brave and militant with someone else’s blood”.

Edmund Burke got it right, said McGovern, when he observed that “a conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood”. The louder the war cry, said McGovern, the weaker the war experience. In matters of war and peace, he thought Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush were  “far wiser” than George W. Bush. McGovern said his personal role model on defence was Dwight Eisenhower.

Eisenhower, he thought, had been unfairly relegated to the presidential attic. Overdue for rehabilitation, “he needs a good biographer like McCullough”. Eisenhower, said McGovern, was strong and wise  – a theme captured in Evan Thomas’ new biography Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World.

McGovern said that all policy-makers, foreign and domestic, should have as required reading two of Eisenhower’s speeches: the Cross of Iron and his Farewell Address. Before the American Society of Newspaper Editors in April, 1953, Eisenhower lamented “every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”

Eisenhower’s January 1961 farewell warning of the mounting power of the ‘military industry complex’ was the most powerful since Washington cautioned America to avoid the “necessity of those overgrown military establishments which under any form of government are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.”

McGovern thought that terrorism was a threat but containable and that the ‘scare tactics’ of the Republicans were deplorable. McGovern’s approach to terrorism? Begin with the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq while returning to traditional American multilateralism at the UN and making best efforts to end the bloody tit-for-tat killing going on between Israel and the Palestinians.

Most importantly, and reflective of his commitment to Food for Peace, he said he would have increased food, medical, educational, water and housing aid from the wealthy to the poor nations. “The root cause of terrorism” he argued “is poverty, hunger and illiteracy…we can do better…we should do better. Aid is America’s best advertisement.”

We spoke of political will.

Leadership, he told me, means taking on the conventional wisdom. Sometimes there is a harsh price; he observed that he’d gone down to defeat in 1980 with fellow senators Birch Bayh, Frank Church and John Culver, accused of ‘being out of touch and too liberal’.

America’s great strength, observed McGovern, is its morality. It forgets this at its peril because the world admires the idea of America, if not its administrations. The problem today is that America, like Rome, is suffering from what William Fulbright described as ‘the arrogance of power’.

Our conversation concluded – he asked to be remembered to my colleague, Jeremy Kinsman – McGovern went to sign books.

Liberalism was alive that day in Cambridge. The line to buy Essential America snaked around three aisles.

When my turn came to have my book signed, McGovern told me that he would spend the afternoon “with Harvard’s  Canadian…John Kenneth Galbraith…he understands liberalism.”

McGovern was then off to the DNC convention where his presence was briefly acknowledged (before prime time and network coverage) by the chair. There would be no podium address for McGovern in the tightly scripted and remarkably disciplined proceedings.

As I left the store, picking up a McGovern button (to advertise the Essential America), I recalled his parting words: “Tell Canada not to lose its soul. Canada needs America… but America also needs Canada.”

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North American Economic Integration

From IPOLITICS

Will North America achieve closer
economic integration? iPolitics Insight

By | Oct 11, 2012

The idea of North America is ready for a revival. This week’s meeting in Ottawa of the North American Forum provides an opportunity to talk through the cause of closer continental economic integration and interdependence.

Meeting annually since 2005, the Forum brings together senior representatives from government, business and the research community. It will not decide change but their discussions, whether in plenary or in the corridor, help inform good policy.

There will be close attention to the Canadian energy debate over finding new markets and investment. How do we manage relations with China in the context of the CNOOC bid for Nexen against the backdrop of Huawei and cyber espionage?

Will the new Mexican administration open its energy sector to foreign investment? And how will it deal with the drug wars that have taken over 50,000 lives, chilling both tourism and investment?

There will be keen interest in the U.S. election and the bigger question of how the U.S. will deal with its fiscal cliff. The IMF warns that ‘muddling through’ is inadequate and that risks of a global slowdown are ‘alarmingly high’ because of policy uncertainty in Europe and the United States.

Americans should take home the MacDonald-Laurier Institute’s latest study, Northern Light: Lessons for America from Canada’s Fiscal Fix. Canada stood at a similar abyss in the early ‘90s but with cross-party political consensus, determined leadership at every level of government and a combination of retrenchment and revenue generation, we put our house in order.

But the main focus of discussion will be: How can we marry our resources, markets and labour with our geography so as to create sustainable jobs and prosperity?

The first iteration of the North American idea – the NAFTA – ushered in a decade of growth and prosperity for all three partners, although there continues to be little appreciation of this in the United States. NAFTA became the scapegoat for job loss and outsourcing. An unfair charge, but neither business nor successive governments made much effort to correct the record with the result that any effort at trade liberalization in the U.S. faces an uphill struggle.

The NAFTA-generated gains of continental economic integration were realized during its first decade. A combination of new border restrictions in the wake of 9-11, then recession and continuing economic turmoil have stalled progress.
Success requires American leadership.

George W. Bush’s effort to first revive the North American idea through the Security and Prosperity Partnership was well-intentioned but lacked focus and ran out of steam. With an overflowing international in-box – the financial crisis, the wars and unrest in the Middle East and Arab states – North American integration has not figured large on President Obama’s agenda. The summits have been perfunctory, sporadic and more an occasion for three separate bilateral discussions than advancing the trilateral agenda.

But with Canada and Mexico about to become active members in the December round of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, there is additional incentive for North America to get its act together.

In terms of economic integration, North America has a long way to go. The World Bank estimates that European integration has reached nearly 75 percent, and Asia is over 50 percent. NAFTA only stands at about 50 percent. Without the auto industry, our joint production would be much lower.

Yet autos should point the way forward. Smart supply chain production means that cars and trucks made in North America contain a high degree of parts manufactured in at least two, if not all three, partners.

Start with unfinished business: the U.S. has launched regulatory reform with both Mexico and Canada and the two-tracks should be pursued in tandem and harmony.

So should the efforts to expedite the flow of goods across our borders. We welcome the new American economic patriotism, but let’s be sure it doesn’t morph into old fashioned Yankee protectionism.

Americans need to remind themselves that U.S. imports from Mexico and Canada contain an average of 40 percent American-made parts, compared to about 4 percent for imports from China.

U.S. trade with Mexico translates into six million American jobs, while U.S. trade with Canada generates over eight million jobs.

The North American idea makes sense. Trilateralism requires accommodating our differences in language, culture and economic development. The emphasis is less on considerations of power, than on crafting rules that can have a wider application, especially now that we are together in the TPP.

The political auspices in all three countries are propitious. Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto takes office in December with a six-year mandate and a commitment to increase trade. In January, the next U.S. Administration will take office for four years. Mr. Harper is secure with his majority government until May 2015. There is elbow room for action.

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On the first presidential debate

CPAC’s Peter Van Dusen welcomes Barry McLoughlin (McLoughlin Media), former diplomat Colin Robertson (Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute), and journalist Luiza Ch. Savage (Maclean’s) for a Canadian perspective on the American presidential campaign and tonight’s debate.

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A Primer on Canada and the UN

From Ipolitics October 1 2012  A Short Primer on Canada and the UN

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird is scheduled to deliver Canada’s address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week.  He will be joining presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers from around the world who began descending on New York last week to speak to the 67th session.

What is on this year’s agenda?

The agenda covers the waterfront of issues but four that will gather headlines are:

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s nuclear program: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the General Assembly last week that it is “getting late” to stop Iran and called on nations to place “a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.” In his UNGA remarks last week President Obama said, “A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” The President, observed former US Ambassador Nicholas Burns, has come down, “on the side of diplomacy and negotiations backed up by sanctions and the threat of force.”

Syria and the estimated 25,000 people killed in recent months: The Security Council is divided with the Russians and the Chinese not supporting any overt move to aid the rebels or to intervene militarily by the United States. In his remarks last week, President Obama reiterated the call for Bashar al-Assad to leave power but as Richard Haas, president of the Council of Foreign Relations noted, “there’s a gap between American goals, which is to see the regime and leadership go, and American means, which are quite, quite, quite limited.”

Millennium Agenda: What next for the UN antipoverty agenda? For the past twelve years the millennium development goals (MDGs) have channeled hundreds of millions of dollars of aid money with effect – millions in China and India are now over the threshold, and in improving access to clean water, primary education and maternal and child health care. But the goals now need to be renewed and there is pressure to have the next iteration include sustainable development. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has appointed a 26-member panel of eminent persons to advise him on the global agenda after 2015 and they are expected to submit a report in the first half of 2013.

Palestine: Last year there was an intense debate around the Palestinian bid for UN membership, an initiative thwarted by the US with Canadian support. However, in his UNGA speech last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said consultations are under way to upgrade, by the end of this year, the Palestinian U.N. status from observer to that of ‘nonmember state’. This is less than what was sought last year but it could still create potential problems – the US Congress has legislated against support for UN agencies with Palestinian membership.

What about Canada and the United Nations?

Canada is the seventh largest contributor to the UN. Canadians were present and active participants at the San Francisco Conference in June1945 that created the UN. We earned our reputation as a helpful fixer and bridge-builder based on our multilateral work. Peacekeeping was a useful Canadian innovation, in response to the Suez crisis of 1956. Canadians justly take pride peacekeeping but our larger contribution to the UN  far exceeds this particular initiative. Preacekeeping reflected a special time and place, yet it tends to overshadow our work in other vital areas.

The principle underlying Canada’s contribution is functionalism. As practiced by Louis St. Laurent and L.B. Pearson, it means finding our niche, based on national interests and expertise, and then doing our best. In recent years we were architects of the Responsibility To Protect doctrine and we were leaders in the campaign against land mines, child soldiers and in the creation of the International Criminal Court.

In 2010 we sought a seat on the Security Council, in competition with Germany and Portugal, as part of the Western Europe and Other Group (WEOG). We withdrew after placing third on the first ballot. It occasioned a great deal of angst amongst critics who faulted the Harper Government for waging an inept campaign and who decried what they described as a strident, unbalanced approach to foreign policy.

As Denis Stairs argues in Being Rejected in the United Nations, our loss probably has as much to do with the evolution and solidarity of the European Union. We would be better to recognize geography and transfer ourselves from the WEOG to the Americas. This year Australia, also part of the WEOG, is seeking a seat along with Finland and Luxembourg. The backing of 129 countries – or a two-thirds majority – is needed to win a two-year stint on the council. The result in the secret ballot is notoriously difficult to predict.

Prime Minister Harper last delivered the Canadian address to UNGA in 2010 in support of our UN Security Council bid. In his remarks the Prime Minister underlined the need for “enlightened sovereignty, the idea that what’s good for others may well be the best way to pursue one’s own interests.  In business, it is called win-win.  And it is good for business.  In international affairs, it is good for development and for justice.  And it is in the spirit of the UN Charter.”

As an indication of themes that will be addressed in this year’s address by Foreign Minister Baird, look back at his address last year to the UNGA. He elaborated on the theme of ‘enlightened sovereignty’ saying, “Multilateral institutions and multilateral action result from a collection of sovereign decisions based on individual states’ own interests: Not narrow self-interest in sovereignty’s name, but an expanded view of mutual interest in which there is room for all to grow and to prosper.”

Baird also noted that, “Canada does not just “go along” in order to “get along.” We will “go along” only if we “go” in a direction that advances Canada’s values: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law…The Second World War taught us all the tragic price of “going along” just to “get along.” It was accommodation and appeasement that allowed fascism to gather strength. As Winston Churchill said: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” We respect state sovereignty, but Canada will not “go along” or look the other way when a minority is denied its human rights or fundamental freedoms.”

On the issue of Palestine Mr. Baird said, “Our government’s position has been clear—the only solution to this issue is one that is negotiated by the two parties themselves.“ On Israel, he was equally clear: “We uphold Israel’s right to exist. We uphold its fundamental right, like any member state, to defend innocent civilians against acts of terrorism,“ declaring that “Canada will not accept or stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory and its citizens.”

Baird also announced that the Government would establish an Office of Religious Freedom to “promote freedom of religion and freedom of conscience as key objectives of Canadian foreign policy.” He also called for UN reform based on the principles of:

  • accountability, transparency and ethics;
  • financial responsibility and fiscal austerity;
  • efficiency and the elimination of waste and duplication;
  • regular reviews to sunset unnecessary, redundant and obsolete mandates; and
  • zero tolerance for conflicts of interest, fraud and corruption.

Look also for Mr. Baird to elaborate on the theme of his recent (September 14) speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations describing what he called the  “Government’s principled, values-based foreign policy, steeped in the conviction that, as a free nation, we must promote and protect the fundamental liberties of people around the world”. A key premise of this policy, said Baird, is respect for the rights of women and “the role of the state to protect its people regardless of gender, sexuality or faith.”

Baird will also likely draw inspiration from Prime Minister Harper’s remarks to the Appeal of Conscience Foundation last week in New York where he was honored as World Statesman of the Year. Mr. Harper declared that governments must aim, “to be good world citizens, to try to understand other points of view and to act in concert with our partners, for the wider interests of humanity. That is, of course, not the same thing, friends, as trying to court every dictator with a vote at the United Nations or just going along with every emerging international consensus, no matter how self-evidently wrong-headed. When confronted with evil in the world, we do take a stand, we take strong, principled positions in our dealings, whether popular or not. And that is what the world has counted on from Canada – and received – in two world wars, in Korea, in a generation of peacekeeping operations, Gulf War One, and of course, most recently in Afghanistan and also in Libya.”

Background on the United Nations

With a current membership of 193 states, the UN is the big enchilada of international organizations. As defined by its Charter, the purpose of the UN is threefold:

  1. to maintain international peace and security;
  2. to develop friendly relations among nations; and
  3. to cooperate internationally in solving economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting respect for human rights.

The actions of the United Nations are based on certain principles:

  • all of its members are equal;
  • all members must fulfill their Charter obligations ie to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security;
  • international disputes are to be settled by peaceful means;
  • members may not use force or the threat of force against other members;
  • members must help the United Nations in any action it might take in accordance with the Charter;
  • the United Nations may not interfere in the domestic affairs of any state.

It scope and scale the UN constitutes its own planetary system. Its main office is in New York City’s Turtle Bay facing the East River. Within it the General Assembly of all 193-member states meets from mid-September to mid-December. It’s the talking shop and from the General Assembly emerges resolutions ranging from the sensible – campaigns to combat AIDs, to the stupid – Zionism as racism. The resolutions have no practical application, although they can carry moral weight.

The fifteen-member Security Council is the ‘decider’. It is in permanent session to deal with issues of peace and security. The five permanent members: the US, China, Russia, Britain, and France are joined by another ten elected on regional lines, who serve two-year terms. Various efforts have been made to reform this 1945 hierarchy of powers, but without success.

Attention tends to focus mostly on the Security Council and General Assembly but the strength and substantive work of the UN takes place in its galaxy of over 200 specialized agencies. In addition to the International Court of Justice, Economic and Social Council, and Trusteeship Council, these include the Food and Agriculture Organization (Canadians played a key role in its creation), the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Program, the International Atomic Energy Association.

All of this is supported by a Secretariat headed by a Secretary General who is elected by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council. The UN budget is set by the General Assembly with ‘contributions’ of member states based on a formula that does not reflect current realities. The US provides about ¼ of funding with another ¼ coming from Japan, Germany, France and Britain. ‘Developing’ countries, including China, pay considerably less. Like the make-up of the Security Council, who pays what is in urgent need of reform.

Further Reading:

For current news on the UN go to the UN New Centre. For information on Canada, start with the very good DFAIT website on our UN presence. It has a wealth of useful information, including a collection of speeches outlining Canada’s position on the many issues addressed within the UN family. Scholar and CDFAI Senior Distinguished Fellow Denis Stairs looks at Canada’s UN Security Council defeat in Being Rejected in the United Nations.

Several Canadian ambassadors have written about their UN or UN-related experiences. A Season in Hell Is a harrowing tale of kidnap in West Africa while on a UN mission by former UN Ambassador and CDFAI Advisory Council member Robert Fowler. MP and Parliamentary Secretary Chris Alexander writes of his Afghan experience while serving as Canadian ambassador and later UN envoy in The Long Way Back. Scholar and former diplomat Paul Heinbecker draws on his experience as Canadian Ambassador to the UN in Getting Back in the Game.  Former Secretary General Kofi Annan has just published a memoir Interventions: A Life in War and Peace that describes his half century of service to the United Nations and critically discusses recent conflicts, including his unsuccessful mission to Syria.

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