Address by Minister Dion to United Nations Security Council


March 16, 2016 - New York City, New York

Check against delivery. This speech has been translated in accordance with the official languages policy and edited for posting and distribution in accordance with the Government of Canada’s communications policy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Following up on Prime Minister [Justin] Trudeau’s comments, I will briefly explain why Canada will actively campaign for a seat within the crucially important body that is the United Nations Security Council.

In this world rocked by instability, conflicts and mistrust, Canada has a mission to prove the universality of the Prime Minister’s conviction: we are strong, not in spite of our diversity, but because of it.

The world needs a more active and more engaged Canada. That is what the Prime Minister, myself and other Canadian ministers have been hearing wherever we go, whether at the G20, COP 21, NATO, the Commonwealth Summit, the High Level Forum on Somalia, the UN Human Rights Council or the Global Coalition Against ISIL.

This plea for Canada’s active return to multilateral action is rooted in our history. In the past, Canada was a key multilateral player. From Lester B. Pearson’s leadership in resolving the Suez Crisis, to Brian Mulroney’s determination in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, to Jean Chrétien’s decisive action for a ban on antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions and the creation of the International Criminal Court, Canada has played a critical role. Today, we need to put our collective shoulder to the wheel once again.

Today’s announcement recommits Canada to the UN and to playing our role as a determined and effective peacebuilder.

Perhaps now, more than ever, is the time for our country to choose engagement over isolation, a time to redouble our combined efforts to address the world’s toughest challenges, from climate change to migration to security.

After almost 20 years, it is time for Canada to be at the Security Council to address global peace and security challenges.

We are running “for Canada”—not against our friends and allies who are campaigning for the same seats.

We’ll do what is needed to support the international community, based on our experience in building a peaceful and resilient society in Canada; in bravely fighting for justice and security on the global stage; in promoting humanitarian assistance, development, training and capacity building; and in protecting gender equality and all human rights. We seek a seat at the Security Council precisely because the world finds itself at a time when there is a pressing need to prevent violent extremism, to manage conflict and to respond to humanitarian crises.

We know Canada can make a difference.


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