Wednesday, October 13, 2010
13 October '10
Canada paid the price yesterday for its principled foreign policy stance, especially for its support of Israel, when it lost its bid to Portugal for a non-permanent seat on the powerful United Nations Security Council. In an indication as to how much the world has changed, it was the first time since the world body’s inception in 1945 that Canada had not won a Security Council seat after having been elected in every previous decade.
Canada, a founding UN member, withdrew its candidacy for the two seats reserved for “Western European and Other States” after the second ballot when it lost a third of the support it had received on the first ballot. Requiring a two-thirds majority, Canada received only 78 votes while Portugal took 113. Portugal won unopposed in the third round of voting, while Germany claimed outright the other non-permanent seat, valid for a two-year term, on the first ballot with 128 votes. Canada had last served on the council in 2000.
To the chagrin of the UN’s petty tyrants and dictators, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in power since 2006, is a strong, unabashed supporter of Israel. And to his credit, Harper steadfastly refused to “water down” his government’s foreign policy direction to curry their favour during Canada’s campaign to secure a seat. The Conservatives even announced the day before the vote that it was strengthening its trading relationship with Israel, a move that would have displeased the UN’s Arab-Muslim block. For years, these countries have tried to diplomatically isolate Israel, passing numerous motions against the Jewish state.
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