Today (Tuesday, 19 September 2017), Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly for the first time in his presidency. There is much anticipation on how he will be able to combine his ‘America First’ rhetoric with a constructive foreign policy.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, our Prime Minister will also address the Assembly for the second time. At his inaugural address to the General Assembly, Justin Trudeau stated that ‘Canada was back’.
As it turns out, both of these statements, seemingly contradictory, of national and international interests, can be addressed together. In recent polling for UNA-Canada, Abacus confirmed that Canadians overwhelmingly support Canada’s reengagement with the UN, recognizing that Canada’s national interests are served through this international reengagement. Fully 88% of respondents feel Canada should actively engage with the UN. (Conservative voters were less likely to think Canada should actively engage with the UN – however fully 79% agreed.) When asked if Canada’s reengagement in a leadership role with the United Nations will have a positive impact on Canadians, 73% agree.
Prime Minister Trudeau has Canadians alongside him when he showcases the best values of our diversity advantage in the global commons that is the United Nations. Surely, one of the best assets of the dynamically diverse society that is Canada, is the lived experience of shared values. Bringing our best to the UN has the powerful impact of bringing the world to Canada. Now, the challenge: the pursuit of innovative investment of Canada’s diplomatic capital in growing peace and security, equality and sustainable development.
President & CEO
United Nations Association in Canada
Ottawa Citizen Wednesday, September 20, 2017