Canadian Diplomacy & Human Rights

Canada’s institutions and borders were shaped by wars and treaties over centuries.  Since the First World War, particularly since the Statute of Westminster in 1931, Canada has been an independent state actor in its own right, including as a founding member of the League of Nations, United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (later the World Trade Organization), the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), the World Bank, the IMF, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Criminal Court; the Arctic Council, the G20 and many others.


The United Nations system currently recognizes 193 member states, two observer states and eleven other states.  There are hundreds of international organizations with regional, sectoral and economic mandates of all shapes and sizes.  Canada has interests and relations to some extent with each state and each organization.  In some cases, our interests extend to sub-national regions or components of international organizations.


Canada’s prosperity, growth and well-being depend on a peaceful, stable international system where all populations benefit from a fair, inclusive and transparent approach to trade and investment; market-based growth; improved education and health; good governance, justice, democratic development and human rights; diplomacy and conflict resolution.


Canada has a long-term interest in establishing relations of partnership with each state and region in each of these areas; in taking an active part in international organizations as a member or observer; in supporting the rule of law, good government and democratic development around the world; and in monitoring progress towards these goals through peer review, sharing of best practices and human rights monitoring and advocacy.


As Prime Minister of Canada I would:


(i)             Transform and expand Canada’s missions and global diplomatic footprint;


(ii)           eventually ensure two-thirds of Global Affairs staff were stationed abroad, while promoting professional interchange with Canadian chambers of commerce, industry associations, major exporters, universities, centres of excellence and other partners;


(iii)          expand the mandate of the Trade Commissioner Service to focus on long-term economic partnership with every state and region;


(iv)          establish a global network to promote Canadian arts and culture;


(v)           launch a permanent Canadian institution dedicated to democratic freedoms;


(vi)          upgrade Canada’s role in the Commonwealth and La Francophonie;


(vii)        support reform at the United Nations (see separate policy proposals);


(viii)       enhance Canadian support for international law and international courts;


(ix)          scale up Canadian monitoring of human rights, network-based digital campaigns, activism and outreach to victims of conflict and persecution; and


(x)           whenever and wherever possible, sponsor and support substantial negotiations to resolve conflicts and achieve peace settlements.

Alexandra Day