Justin Trudeau attempts to solidify Canada’s position on an international level

Mar 16, 2016 – CBC

Canada is making a bid to take a seat on the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term beginning in 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today.

Flanked by five of his female cabinet ministers, Trudeau kicked off a two-day visit to the UN headquarters in New York City with the announcement in the lobby.

Trudeau received a warm welcome from a crowd of Canadian UN employees and diplomats as he underscored Canada’s commitment to tackling climate change, helping Syrian refugees and promoting gender equality

Canada is prepared to play a leading role on the world stage, determined to “revitalize” Canada’s peacekeeping efforts, support civilian institutions that prevent conflict and promote international peace and security.

“This is the Canada of today, this is how we will build the world of tomorrow,” Trudeau said.

Noting that Canada last had a seat at the UN Security Council in 2000, Trudeau said “it’s time for Canada to step up once again.”

Respect for human rights and dedication to diversity and inclusion are central to how Canada defines itself, Trudeau said.

“These core values not only lead to greater equality among citizens, but also play a pivotal role in ensuring peace and security within and between nations,” he said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said Canada also has plans to beef up its peacekeeping role, though he said it’s too early to give details on how that could take shape. The nature of peacekeeping has changed, with a trend to outside forces helping train local troops.

“We are in discussions with the UN and our allies and partners to see what would be the optimal way for Canada to re-engage itself in peacekeeping missions,” he said.

Answering questions from reporters after the announcement, the prime minister defended his decision to stay on track with a $15-billion deal to supply light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia in spite of its well-known human rights violations. In principle, a new government can’t simply undo contracts signed by the previous administration, even if it doesn’t like the deal.