They packed the house for Obama - no real surprise there- and for Doris Leuthard a Swiss politician and member of the Swiss Federal Council and head of their Federal Department of Economic Affairs but when Harper's turn to speak came up, the place emptied out. Not a good sign for a leader trying to hustle a seat on the Security Council.
Despite his past criticism of the international body and working multilaterally in general, he praised the UN's record. I thought Harper spoke well and said a number of things which rang true for me. He cited the United Nations for their good work, recognized Canada's contribution to the body over several decades and praised Canada's traditional multilateral approach.
The problem is, I just don't trust the guy. He is a shrewd politician. His record clashes with his rhetoric.
- Under Harper's direction in 2007, Canada was one of only four countries to vote against the UN Declaration on Indigenous Rights
- When it comes to global warming Canada under Harper's rule has been noteworthy for its obstruction of meaningful and serious efforts to tackle this most urgent of global issues. At last year’s COP15 UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen, The Harper government was singled out for condemnation. George Monbiot a respected British environmental scholar and activist said, “This thuggish petro-state is today the greatest obstacle to a deal in Copenhagen.” As leader of the opposition Harper once called the Kyoto Protocol "a Socialist Scheme."
- His stance on international law defies logic. His is the only western government to leave one of its own citizens, Omar Khadr, languishing in America’s illegal concentration camp, Guantanamo Bay.
To be honest I am not sure I want our country to sit on the Security Council under this Conservative government. It saves the embarrassment later on.