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Libya violence and Canadian political silence

Libya by Nidal Elkhairy, a Palestinian artist living in Amman, Jordan.

Editor's note: This article was written before Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, the youngest son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, was reported killed in a Nato air strike on April 30, 2011. Three of the elder Gaddifi's grandchildren were also reported killed by the strike on the family compound in Tripoli. 

As Canada enters the final days in 2011 election campaigning, politicians streaking across the country have offered little more than resounding silence on Canada's military role in Libya.


Don't be surprised at the UN's failings in Egypt -- just take a look at Haiti

CBC's The Sunday Edition host, Michael Enright, gave an opening essay on the Feb. 13 program that lamented the failure of the United Nations to provide meaningful support to the people of Egypt in their courageous battle to end the tyranny under which they have lived for 30 years.

In the essay titled, "The United Nations of Nowhere," he said Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon offered nothing more than platitudes, token phrases to the people of Egypt.

Enright then went on to note, "When we say the words ‘United Nations,' we automatically think of four things -- the Security Council, the Secretary General, the General Assembly and peacekeeping.



UN defeat reflects uneasiness about Canada's shifting role

After its humiliating rejection at the UN last week, the Harper government wasted no time in signalling it didn't plan to pay the slightest attention to the judgment of the world's nations.

Perhaps it is too much to expect some humility -- or even a moment of reflection -- in Ottawa after the international community declined for the first time ever to grant Canada's bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.

Like a kid who can't get along with the other kids in the sandbox, our prime minister promptly implied he never wanted to play with them anyway, that he wasn't interested in winning "based on popularity." Meanwhile, Conservative commentators suggested Canada's rejection by the world's nations amounted to a "moral victory."


We don't deserve a Security Council seat

Security Council summit on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Sept. 2009. Photo: United Nations

Stephen Harper's hypocritical performance at the United Nations, in aid of winning a seat for Canada on the Security Council, should be enough by itself for Canadians to rise up in unison and say we don't deserve it. Both the NDP and Liberals have said that the seat is for Canada not for the Conservatives and that Canadians should therefore support the bid. But if Harper is successful we will all regret it.

It is not just that we don't deserve it -- more on that below. Harper wants this seat for a reason and it has nothing to do with his phony reiteration of U.N. "values" -- none of which has he ever paid even lip service to.

Six more hire Abousfian Abdelrazik in defiance of UN Security Council

Abousfian Abdelrazik arrives home after six years of imposed exile.

Media Advisory
June 1, 2010

The open rebellion against a UN Security Council "terrorist" list is growing in Canada. The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) are the latest labour organizations to announce that they will hire Abousfian Abdelrazik despite Canadian law saying that it is illegal to do so.

When the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW), the Canadian section of the International Association of Machinists (IAM), announced at a press conference on 18 May that they, together with the Windsor District Labour Council, were hiring Abousfian Abdelrazik, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon was forced to respond.



Ian Smillie on sustainability and development

August 30, 2013
| Ian speaks to development issues of all kinds, sustainability, how to lie with statistics and the future of development.
Length: 57:36 minutes (46.15 MB)

French military presence in Mali to continue

May 14, 2013
| Earlier this year France began a military involvement in the West African nation of Mali. Last month the French parliament voted to extend their involvement.
Length: 15:53 minutes (14.54 MB)
| May 7, 2013

Before championing human rights abroad, Canada needs to look closer to home

John Baird speaks at the UN. Photo: United Nations

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On December 10th, the world celebrated Human Rights Day. Of course, I didn't expect this celebration to be a joyful or a rosy one. Canada, with the trembling voice of its Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, added its fading voice to the international scene.

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