2011 Federal Election

Canadian Foreign Policy and Global Governance

Questions for the Canadian Federal Political Parties from the World Federalist Movement – Canada

Ahead of the 2011 federal election, WFMC developed questions dealing with four key foreign policy and global governance issues.

2011 press release

Summary table of responses

1. Government of Canada Foreign Policy and Defence Policy

The 2005 International Policy Statement as well as the 2008 Canada First Defence Policy were both criticized for lacking a transparent, consultative process and sufficient involvement of parliamentarians and civil society.

Will your party strive to ensure that the next government initiate thorough foreign policy and defence policy reviews, involving traditional Green Paper / White Paper Parliamentary Committee Review processes and parliamentary debates?

2. Canada’s commitment to UN Peace Operations.

According to recent polls, Canadians see their country as a positive force in today’s world. And they see peacekeeping as their country’s most important contribution to the world. UN peace operations deployments are at an all-time high, with over 120,000 civilian, military and police personnel deployed in 15 UN peace operations worldwide. Yet critically important mission mandates (e.g. Sudan, Somalia) are not being met for lack of personnel.

World Federalists and a growing number of defence analysts support the development of a permanent, individually recruited United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). This new service would complement existing arrangements, which tend to be slow and unreliable, with a much needed, ‘first responder’ for diverse emergencies.

Will your party support an increased Canadian commitment, including increasing the deployment of Canadian Forces personnel, to UN-mandated Peace Operations? Will your party support the development of a United Nations Emergency Peace Service?

3. Democratize Global Governance through a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

In an era of globalization, many important decisions affecting the lives of the world’s citizens are made at the international level, by organizations like the United Nations and related agencies. To help ensure international cooperation and to enhance the legitimacy of the UN, people must be more effectively and directly included in the activities of the UN. In 2007 an all-party report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development recommended that “The Parliament of Canada should give favourable consideration to the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.”

Will your party support effective action by the Parliament and Government of Canada to establish a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations?

4. Develop the international “Responsibility to Protect.”

The “Responsibility to Protect” is an emerging international norm intended to spell out what states, and the international community, should do to protect civilians threatened mass atrocity crimes such as genocide and crimes against humanity. Obtaining agreed language (paragraphs 138 & 139) on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle and norm was one of the most important achievements of the 2005 UN Reform World Summit. There is much that needs to be done to strengthen the UN and operationalize the commitments made at the 2005 World Summit.

Will your party strive to ensure that the next Government of Canada makes advancing the Responsibility to Protect doctrine a central goal of its foreign policy?