As a founding member in 1945, Canada has been a vocal member in the United Nations. Following the genocide of Jewish people across Europe in the second world war, countries like Canada felt the need to establish an intergovernmental organization to prevent conflicts, maintain peace, promote human rights, stimulate international relations, and provide humanitarian, non-biased aid in conflict zones.
Canada’s legacy in the UN began when then Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, felt it necessary that his nation focus on peacekeeping rather than engage in combat. This democratic approach to conflict became known as the Pearsonian Tradition. Taking up his position as head of the UN General Assembly, Pearson won a Nobel Peace prize for his use of efficient peacekeeping in the aftermath of the Suez Canal Crisis. Many Canadians believe that it was Pearson’s involvement in the UN that first brought Canada to the world stage as an influential nation. After Pearson, Canada continued to work with the United Nations, becoming an important leader in the UN Security Council. It wasn’t until 9/11 that Canada renounced its stereotype of peacekeeper, along with their seat on the Security Council, to retaliate with American forces in an effort fight terrorism in Afghanistan. However, since his election in 2015, Prime Minister Trudeau has pulled troops out of battle around the world, in an attempt to once again claim the coveted seat on the Security Council. His moving speech to the council in September has many people reassured that Canada will likely reach this goal.
In recognition of UN-Day on October 24, I would like to use my voice to advocate for Canada. The world is facing incredible turmoil that seemingly never ends. For a young Canadian girl, I have the naiveté to believe that there are two interchangeable issues that plague the world. I do not know whether one can be solved without the other. Without resembling a teenage beauty pageant contestant, I want to assert that world peace and climate change are the biggest issues this world faces. Politicians need to put their greed aside and use their power to do the right thing. Issues like these cannot be procrastinated and handed to the next generation. Nevertheless, solutions can be negotiated through a collaboration like the UN, using the international access to create change. Moreover, the alliance of international forces will need help in, not only the effort to fix global warming, but all other global issues as well. World peace has been one of the longest-standing goals of our society. It is the foundation on which the UN built itself into the driving force it is today. It is for these reasons that Canada hopes the UN will nurture not only high environmental standards but foster international relations more adeptly.
-by Luise S.