ABC UNSC—Anybody but Canada for the 2020 bid for this UNSC seat

“ABC: Anyone but Canada for the UNSC” reminds us that four years of Trudeau has just been a “Harper Hangover.”

There has been little substantial change since 2015, and so why would  we expect a different outcome from our rejection in 2010? 

The Trudeau Liberals are committed to securing the UN Security Council seat in the June 2020. This is the decision for the 2021/22 non-permanent “Western Europe and Other Seat”, and Ireland and Norway are in the running with Canada.

In 2017, Trudeau indicated that the world would be better by having Canada with its values on the UNSC.

However, given Canada’s dismal vote record at the United Nations it would seem the world would be better off without Canadian values at the UNSC.  “ABC UNSC—Anybody but Canada for the 2020 bid for this UNSC seat.” #ABCUNSC


The Trudeau Bid:

The Trudeau government has invested at least $1.5 M into its bid, with 11 staff working full time on the bid over the last 18 months.

In May 2019, Open Canada suggested six steps to ensure Canada’s bid to avoid the 2010 embarrassment of failing to secure the bid. However what has changed since 2010—actually nothing for the better in regard to Canada’s voting record at the UN.

On December 17, 2018, then Foreign Minister Chrystia  Freeland assured the crowd of perhaps 400 people at Beth Tzedec that she and Prime Minister Trudeau had their best interests in mind with their bid for the UNSC—that Canada was making that bid in order to protect their best friend Israel.  Irwin Cotler, and then Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett echoed that promise, even as the trio apologized repeatedly and profusely for not moving the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem.  Of course this is no surprise as the pro-Israel groups remind their zionist constituency of exactly this support from the Trudeau liberals.

In September 2018, Evan Dyer suggested that winning the bid might not be that easy.


Call from over 40 organizations across Canada in 2018

In November 2018 over 40 organizations sent the message to the Canadian Government that it was the hope that Canada’s votes would demonstrate the upholding of the 4th Geneva Convention with respect to the occupation of the Palestinian Territory and its people.

According to Article 1, it is our understanding that Canada, as a signatory, has the responsibility “to undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances.” As Canadians, we know that the Geneva Convention is not only an international agreement, but is incorporated into Canadian law through the Geneva Conventions Act.

These organizations agreed that “with Canada’s impending bid for the United Nations Security Council in 2020, we believe it is now more imperative than ever that Canada’s voting record at the United Nations is one that reflects the principles of international law. This is especially important as both Ireland and Norway, who are bidding for this seat, were amongst the 128 countries to vote for peace during the UN General Assembly resolution ES-10/L.22. This resolution condemned President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It was disheartening to see Canada’s name amongst the 35 countries that abstained during this vote. On this date, Canada chose its “friendship with the United States” over its moral and legal obligations to world peace.”

As was said a year ago, “we remain hopeful that Canada’s commitment to international law and to human rights for the Palestinian people will be reflected in its votes this year. We believe that a country that sits on the UN Security Council should be one that supports peace and justice and stands against human rights violations. We hope that Canada will take a step in the right direction through its upcoming votes and will be following up to see which side of history Canada stands on.”

Groups that signed on in November 2018:

Canadian Friends of Sabeel

Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement pour Paix Justice

Independent Jewish Voices Canada

Catholics for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land (CJPHL)

Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice (CUSJ)

United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI)

Not in Our Name – Jewish Voices Opposing Zionism (NION)

Women in Solidarity with Palestine

Alumni Ecumenical Accompaniers from Canada (EAPPI)

Canadian BDS Coalition

Palestinian Canadian Congress

Beit Zatoun House


Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) – Toronto

Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) – Victoria

Toronto BDS Action

Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War

Oakville Palestinian Rights Association (OPRA)

Al-Haadi Musalla – Toronto

Al Quds Committee – Toronto

Educators for Justice – Waterloo Catholic Board

Socialist Action

NDP Socialist Caucus

Friends of No Way to Treat a Child in Toronto & Area

Palestinian and Jewish Unity – Montreal

The Canadian Palestinian Foundation of Quebec

Students for Palestinian Human Rights – Concordia University

Students for Palestinian Human Rights – Fraser Valley University

Justice for Palestinians – Calgary

Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton

Earth Chronicle Productions

Eastern Synod Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Palestine Solidarity Working Group – Sudbury

Palestine Study Group – Kelowna and Vernon

Amnesty International – Kelowna group

Canada Palestine Support Network (CanPalNet) – Vancouver

Barnard-Boecker Centre Foundation (BBCF)

Solidarity with Palestine – St. John’s

Canadian Federation of Students


Does the UNSC seat matter to Canadians?

We cannot do much to influence other countries’ UN votes, directly. Conventional wisdom say that nobody wins elections on foreign policy. However, this issue speaks to Canadians’ sense of “national pride” (recall how Harper’s failure to get a UNSC seat in 2010 was perceived as a national rejection!). However, it is even more embarrassing to consider Canada bidding for the UNSC seat without a clear policy that shows a change in direction on its current record internationally.

Canada’s international record does not deserve a UN Security Council seat in 2020.

Several reasons include:


“ABC: Anyone but Canada for the UNSC” reminds us that four years of Trudeau has been really just a “Harper Hangover.” There has been little substantial change since 2015, and so why should we expect a different outcome from our rejection in 2010?