25 September 2007
New YorkCHECK AGAINST DELIVERY
Let me say at the outset how delighted I am to have this opportunity to address the Council on Foreign Relations.
There is no better forum, no organization more respected or influential than the Council when the subject matter is the intricate, complex world of foreign policy.
Your independent, non-partisan work helps provide policymakers with the insight and perspective needed to build a better world.
So I do greatly appreciate the invitation to be here today.
We all know it is a challenge to understand the world we live in and the competing interests and values that shape international events.
This challenge would not be so great if all countries were free, open, pluralist societies like ours, committed to democracy and equality of opportunity; committed to free and fair trade; aspiring to the principles and values we share.
But sadly they’re not.
All of us here believe in a world in which freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are paramount and pervasive.
But the reality in which we live is unfortunately otherwise.
And, therefore, the tasks before us are difficult and sometimes daunting.
Preventing terrorism from reaching our shores; stopping the spread of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; bolstering fragile states; helping rebuild societies shattered by chronic conflict, tackling climate change at the global level, sustaining and spreading economic growth and prosperity.
No country acting alone can successfully meet these challenges. They are too complex and too enduring to be addressed by even the world’s single most powerful nation.
So success, in this global environment, requires concerted effort among capable, committed, like-minded nations.
Success requires middle powers who can step up to the plate to do their part.
Success demands governments who are willing to assume responsibilities, seek practical, do-able solutions to problems and who have a voice and influence in global affairs because they lead, not by lecturing, but by example.
Since assuming office nineteen months ago, our government has been making a deliberate effort to be that kind of a government, to bring Canada back as a credible player on the world stage.
Canada’s back, not because of new rhetoric or electoral promises, but because we are rebuilding our capabilities.
We have rebuilt Canada’s national balance sheet with ongoing budget surpluses, a falling tax burden and the lowest debt among G7 countries.
We are building an energy superpower, with the largest potential for market-based supplies of oil and gas in the entire world.
We are reasserting our sovereignty and presence in the Arctic.
We are renewing our military – both personnel and hardware.
And we will be bringing new focus and effectiveness to our international assistance.
Domestically and internationally, my government is preparing Canada for leadership.
Take Afghanistan as an example.
Canada did not hesitate, a little more than six years ago, when terrorists hit this great city and Washington DC.
The United Nations Security Council authorized military action to remove the Taliban regime, and Canada was there, immediately.
We are part of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan because we believe it is noble and necessary: a cause completely consistent with our country’s proud history of supporting international action to fight tyranny and to assist our fellow human beings.
Since 2005, Canadian troops have been in one of the most violent regions of Afghanistan – the southern province of Kandahar.
And there has been a price. Seventy-one Canadian soldiers and one of our diplomats have fallen in Afghanistan, as well as a Canadian carpenter, murdered by the Taliban after he built a school for the children of a remote Afghan village.
The stark reality is that there can be no progress in Afghanistan without security – the security provided by the sacrifice and determination of our men and women in uniform.
Without security, development workers cannot provide reconstruction or humanitarian assistance; police and corrections officers cannot ensure justice and peace; diplomats cannot help build democracy and enhance human rights.
In short, without security, there can be no hope of any kind for the people who must live there.
And that is what we are providing.
In Afghanistan in 1991 there were barely seven hundred thousand children in school, all boys.
Today there are six million children in school and two million are girls.
Education means all of the things to Afghan families that it means to our families – a future for the young and for society, hope and progress incarnate, for men and women alike.
And, as a consequence, it will mean a more secure world for all of us.
Of course, I am here in your city this week on another matter where Canada intends to lead by example – the challenge of climate change.
Yesterday at the UN climate change meeting and at last night’s dinner, leaders joined with the Secretary General to discuss solutions to the problem of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Let me be clear. Canada believes we need a new international protocol that contains binding targets for all the world’s major emitters, including the United States and China.
And it is through such targets that the development and deployment of new clean-energy technology will be stimulated.
That is what we are doing in Canada. We’re implementing a national system of mandatory greenhouse gas emission reductions across major industrial sectors.
Our plan will reduce Canada’s total emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 60-70 percent by 2050.
And, make no mistake – this system will impose real costs on the Canadian economy.
At the same time, by basing early targets on emission intensity, we are reconciling effective environmental action with the reality that Canada has a growing population and growing economic output.
The message is that we need to take action. We owe it to future generations.
We owe them a sustainable environment just as we owe them the opportunity to have the economic prosperity we enjoy today.
In the global fight against climate change, Canada will do everything in its power to help develop an effective, all-inclusive, international framework that recognizes national economic circumstances.
Just as we did with the successful Montreal Protocol on protection of the ozone layer – on which I should add that international progress could not have come without the leadership at the table demonstrated by the United States and China.
The solution to climate change cannot and will not be “one size fits all,” but neither can nations treat this issue as “someone else’s responsibility.”
This is the message we have delivered at home to Canadians.
It is the message we brought to our G-8 colleagues in June at our Summit in Germany.
It is the message we gave to APEC countries and business leaders at the Summit two weeks ago in Australia
And it is the message I conveyed during discussions, here in New York.
Let me turn to the main issue I want to discuss today – our own neighbourhood, the Americas.
Our new government has committed Canada to active and sustained re-engagement with the hemisphere to advance security, prosperity and democracy.
I visited the region this summer. The contrasts were stark and worrisome.
While many nations are pursuing market reform and democratic development, others are falling back to economic nationalism and protectionism, to political populism and authoritarianism.
Democracy, economic prosperity and social equality are still a work in progress in the region.
That is why it is so important for countries like Canada to engage – to demonstrate that there are workable models that can meet the aspirations of citizens.
We cannot let the choice be characterized as simply unfettered capitalism on the one hand or old socialist models on the other.
I suggested that there are other ways, such as the Canadian approach – the model of constitutional democracy and economic openness combined with the social safety nets, equitable wealth creation, and regional sharing arrangements that prevent the sort of exploitation still seen far too often in the Americas.
The Canadian model has resonance. Leaders, experts, business people and social advocates in the region want Canada’s assistance in building their institutions for democratic governance, their human rights systems and their economies.
I told them we would be there to help.
In Haiti, the visceral linkage between security and development is most evident, and Canada is deeply involved in the promotion of both.
I visited a Canadian funded hospital in the slums of Cite Soleil.
Until last January when UN troops, led by Brazil, cleaned up the cess-pool of war lords and gangs, this would have been impossible.
That’s what I mean by the inherent linkage between security and development.
On my hemispheric tour I also went to Colombia where our government is undertaking free-trade negotiations.
This is in Canada’s own strategic trade interests.
But it will also assist that country to continue on its path of overcoming a long, dark history of terror and violence and moving its people to a future of economic and democratic development.
In my view, Colombia needs its democratic friends to lean forward and give them the chance at partnership and trade with North America.
I am very concerned that some in the United States seem unwilling to do that. What message does that send to those who want to share in freedom and prosperity?
There is a lot of worry in this country about the ideology of populism, nationalism and protectionism in the Americas, and the governments that promote it.
But, frankly, my friends, there is nowhere in the hemisphere that those forces can do more real damage than those forces in the United States itself.
And, if the U.S. turns its back on its friends in Colombia, this will set back our cause far more than any Latin American dictator could ever hope to achieve.
I say this because I believe it is incumbent upon all of us to defend our shared interests and values at home as well as abroad – and more open trade in the hemisphere is consistent with our values and in all of our interests.
Let me take NAFTA.
Now I know NAFTA has become somewhat of a whipping boy to some in the United States, just as it is to some in Mexico and even to some in Canada.
But the fact is that NAFTA has been unequivocally good for all of our countries.
In spite of the naysayers and the doomsdayers, I could recite a litany of economic statistics to demonstrate its success – which is why virtually nobody, not even the critics, dares suggest to rip it up.
But more importantly, look south of your border.
Today, Mexico’s economy is not only growing, but it now has genuine, democratic elections and peaceful transfers of political power.
And it is engaging with the United States and Canada on security matters.
All of these things were unthinkable before NAFTA was signed.
I could go farther south, to Chile – a country with which Canada signed a trade agreement exactly ten years ago
Today Chile is so stable and prosperous that, after years of turmoil, violence and dictatorship, it is now a member of the OECD.
Let me conclude.
And I’d like do so by returning to the theme of security.
It is security and prosperity that bind our two countries.
At the North American Summit that Canada hosted in Montebello last month, I was struck by the power of the message sent to us by leaders from the American and Canadian private sectors.
They appealed to leaders to see the connection between security and prosperity. They told us that without the “and” we won’t have either.
Frankly, that is why we continue to be concerned about the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.
We understand and support the rationale: security.
But we don’t think that WHTI, as currently conceived, is either well thought out or practical.
And we regret that we haven’t been able to make land pre-clearance happen today just as we made air pre-clearance happen in the past.
Canada and the U.S. must be capable of managing our border in a way that does not turn it into a barrier to commerce and to our shared prosperity.
Of course, our commitment to security, and to our other shared values extends, as I’ve said today, well beyond our borders.
Working with other middle powers Canada can and is making a real contribution to protecting and projecting our collective interests, while serving as a model of a prosperous, democratic and compassionate society -- independent, yet open to the world.
It is a contribution that I believe is increasingly important as we meet today’s challenges – challenges that the United States cannot succeed in addressing alone, nor should be expected to.
These challenges need the different perspectives, concerns and capabilities that partnership brings.
It only makes sense to consult, to compare notes, and to share challenges.
Canada is doing its part. Taking an assertive role on the world stage. Leading by example. Taking risks, making investments, extending our voice and influence.
In our Arctic, in Afghanistan, in the Americas, on climate change, on secure borders – in each of these, we may not always be in agreement with you, but we are committed, engaged, and working for real and positive results.
Working for a world that is open; a world of opportunity. A world where human potential is unlocked by freedom and made possible through democracy.
A safer and more prosperous world for all of us.