Foreign policy has rarely figured prominently in Canadian elections. With few direct threats to our security, privileged access to the world’s largest and richest market confirming and international rules and institutions that sustained a relatively open and stable world order, Canadian voters have understandably tended to treat foreign affairs as an afterthought.
Today these conditions are decaying, leaving Canada more exposed than ever. A crucial question confronts our political leaders: How will Canada respond to these tectonic shifts in international affairs?
Five specific challenges, all touching on Canada’s core interests, warrant particular attention.
First, how will Canada manage its relations with the United States in the coming years? No one should assume that U.S. President Donald Trump is an aberration. He will eventually leave office, but Trumpism may remain a powerful force in U.S. politics for some time, just as Jacksonian populism outlasted the presidential term of i...
Canada has found itself in serious diplomatic disputes over the past year with Saudi Arabia and China. The Saudis took issue with the Canadian foreign minister’s call to release human rights activists from prison, whereas China was angry at Canada’s arrest of a senior Chinese executive on an extradition request from the United States. These incidents should not be viewed as isolated aberrations. Authoritarian regimes seem increasingly emboldened to lash out at countries that displease them, including allies of the United States. But Ottawa has succeeded in rallying considerable international support for its position in the China dispute, suggesting that while Canada may be exposed, it is not destined to be alone
Canada will stand for election to the United Nations Security Council in June, 2020. Our competitors are Norway and Ireland. Of the three countries, two will win seats on the council and begin their two-year terms in January, 2021.
There is no guarantee of victory for Canada, but it is still worth the effort. As international tensions mount and the United States retreats from global leadership, Canada and like-minded countries must do what they can to sustain co-operation and the wobbling structures of a rules-based international system. This task extends far beyond the United Nations, but the world body remains the flagship of the multilateral system.
At the core of the UN is the Security Council, still the most important table in international politics. Its 15 members, including five permanent ones – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – and 10 that hold rotating seats, grapple with the world’s most pressing security problems. With geopolitical rivalry on the rise,...
Ottawa, November 13, 2018 – As institutions around the world mark International Education Week, there is a growing call for more young Canadians to experience learning abroad. The Study Group on Global Education, co-led by Margaret Biggs and Roland Paris, has shone a light on Canada’s need for a more strategic and ambitious approach to global education.
“In a world that is becoming more complex and more competitive, young Canadians will increasingly need 21st century skills,” says Margaret Biggs, the Matthews Fellow in Global Public Policy at Queen’s University. “These skills include problem-solving, being comfortable working with people from different backgrounds and knowledge of the world.”
“Global education fosters these skills,” adds Roland Paris, Professor of International Affairs in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. “There is a compelling national interest in significantly expanding the number and diver...
The disappearance and possible murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is an important test case for despots everywhere. Can they get away with interrogating, kidnapping and even assassinating their critics in other countries?
Khashoggi, a United States resident and contributor to the Washington Post, walked into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, two weeks ago and disappeared. It seems increasingly likely he was killed by a team of Saudi operatives sent to Istanbul for this purpose.
King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his powerful crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, have denied any knowledge of these events and a Saudi-owned television network has insisted that the accused Saudi agents were, in fact, tourists.
Yet a steady drip of information leaks from Turkish officials and media investigations have punctured these denials. On Tuesday, the New York Times identified four of the Saudi “tourists” as members of Prince Mohammad’s personal securit...