The Trudeau government has mobilized a large “whole of government” team to respond to the Trump administration and its implications for Canada. While Prime Minister Trudeau met with President Trump on February 13th, the Canadian government’s political engagement with a wide range of U.S. officials is ongoing.
The Trump administration is reported to be considering executive orders that would reduce American support for the United Nations. Similarly-intentioned bills are being prepared by Republican Senators and members of the House of Representatives.
Canada should not be overly deferential or suppress its own interests and values when they run counter to the direction set out by the Trump administration. [In this context, recently reported comments from Canadian Defence officials regarding our delayed commitment to UN peace operations are worrisome.]
Canadian officials need to stand up for the UN. The organization serves the vital interests of both countries. Reports of the UN’s organizational duplication, and bureaucratic waste are grossly over-stated. For all that the UN does, including the excellent work of its many functional agencies, it provides excellent value for money.
The new U.S. government’s efforts to “make America great again” should not include systematic attacks on the organization that is the cornerstone of the international legal order. Canada should help the new U.S. administration work to strengthen, not weaken the United Nations.
What you can do
Write to Prime Minister Trudeau, copying Foreign Minister Freeland and UN Ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard, and encourage him defend the United Nations.