Winning a Seat on the Security Council

      Comments Off on Winning a Seat on the Security Council

Excerpted From CBC Radio The House with Kathleen Petty, October 9, 2010

STEPHEN HARPER (PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA): As a founding member of the U.N. and its seventh-largest contributor to its finances, Canada has been a consistently reliable and responsible participant in U.N. initiatives around the world. This was so in the earliest days of the United Nations; it was during the difficult days of the Cold War, of decolonization and of the struggle against Apartheid; and it remains so today. Canada continues to pay, for instance, the heavy price to fulfill our U.N. obligation to support the lawful government of Afghanistan.

KATHLEEN PETTY (HOST): Uh, did the Prime Minister need to remind everyone of all those things? Don’t they already that that’s who we are and that’s what we have to offer?

COLIN ROBERTSON: No, the Prime Minister did exactly the right thing; you have to remind people what we’ve been doing. This is… Well, it’s a campaign and we probably got into it a little later than we have in the past, but when you’re there, you’ve got to be out there and you’ve got to tell your story. So he did and while there was not a lot of people in the room when he spoke, the important thing was he got the message out and we would have distributed it to all the chancelleries around the world and it would have been distributed to every mission at the United Nations.

KATHLEEN PETTY (HOST): But we’ve believed a little less, lately, I think a lot people have observed and at least not with as much enthusiasm, perhaps as with previous governments.

COLIN ROBERTSON: That’s probably true. I think that’s a reflection around the world; the people are saying: “Look, this institution’s been in place, now, since 1945 and it’s not working as well as we hoped it to.” And that’s another why you have to get involved – if you want to fix it, you’ve got to be there. And the top table at the U.N. is the Security Council; it is the top table in terms of big peace and security issues around the world and the main players are there. There’s some who should be there that aren’t there – I’m thinking, in particular, of Japan, say, Germany, India and Brazil, who all want to have a seat on the Security Council. And that’ll be one of the issues that will probably come up in the next couple of years. The original members, of course, were the victors of the Second World War, but they send their best people – the Foreign minister of Russia, today, for example, is their former U.S. ambassador; there’s a number of issues that will come up at the table and then, there’s talk outside the table, where we can… we can play our interests forward, particularly, say, with China, the United States and with Russia.