September 21st, 2020
New Democrats call on the government to recommit to peace building
A statement by MP Jack Harris, NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs on the International Day of Peace:
“Today, on the International Day of Peace we are reminded that all nations have a role to play in creating the conditions where peace can thrive.
“Canadians are proud of our country’s rich history of international peace building. Over the last 70 years, more than 125,000 Canadians have served as UN peacekeepers. However, in recent years our contributions to global peace have deteriorated. Despite Liberal promises to increase the number of peacekeepers, those efforts have dwindled and today we have just 34 peacekeepers deployed.
“On global disarmament, Canada played a lead role in forging the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in the 1960s but, in 2017, the Trudeau government opposed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which called for a nuclear weapons-free world.
“In June, the UN publicly called out Canada for selling arms to Saudi Arabia, naming Canada as one of the countries helping to fuel the war in Yemen, which has left 80 per cent of the Yemeni people in need of humanitarian assistance. This, just two months after the Liberals announced they had renegotiated an arms export contract with Saudi Arabia.
“Given this government’s record, it wasn’t terribly surprising that Canada was passed over for the UN Security Council seat.
“Words and promises are important, but they are not enough. Canadians expect their government to step up, show some leadership, and work with their international allies to build and sustain peace both at home and abroad.”