Canada, UN Security Council (UNSC) Candidate 2021-2022

Canada has a strong voice on the international stage and is committed to the principle that we are all stronger when we work together. This is why Canada has submitted its candidacy to serve on the UN Security Council. Together, real change is possible.

“The challenges we face today know no borders. Canada is committed to working with partners around the world to build a better future for all of us – from growing economies that benefit everyone, to fighting climate change, to creating a safer, more peaceful world. That’s the kind of progress we make when we work together.”

Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Canada brings the world together

Together, we can help the UN Security Council work better for everyone.

  • In June 2019, Canada hosted the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of girls and women, which brought together over 9,000 participants from 165 countries.
  • In 2018, Canada co-hosted with Kenya and Japan the first global Sustainable Blue Economy Conference in Nairobi, with over 17,000 delegates present.
  • In 2018, Canada’s G7 Presidency produced tangible results: $3.8 billion to support quality education for women and girls, a Gender Equality Advisory Council, a major initiative to rid oceans of global marine litter and plastic pollution, unprecedented outreach to small island developing states, the first-ever G7 finance and development ministers meetings and the Investor Leadership Network comprising leading global institutional investors.
  • In 2017, Canada hosted the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial, where delegates from more than 80 countries and international organizations announced new pledges and discussed improvements to UN peacekeeping operations.
  • In 2016, Canada hosted the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment Conference in Montréal, where our leadership secured over US$12 billion from donors worldwide to continue the fight against the epidemics. This includes Canada’s own pledge of $804 million, a 23% increase from its previous pledge. Canada’s cumulative pledge to the Global Fund is over $2.9 billion.

When the UN Security Council election is held in 2020, it will have been more than 20 years since Canada’s last term. Much has changed since 1999. The world is more interconnected than ever before. The opportunities are immense, and most often the challenges are systemic and linked. No single state, no matter how big or how strong, can succeed by acting in isolation. We all need to work together.

A strong United Nations is in everyone’s interests, as is an effective UN Security Council capable of adapting and responding to 21st century challenges. Canada wants to help develop forward-looking approaches to the world’s toughest problems. We want to bring our uniquely diverse experience to bear in support of truly global solutions. We hope to contribute to a new multilateralism, where benefits are distributed more broadly, more evenly and more fairly; where commitments are fulfilled; and where implementation is achieved and results experienced by the people.

Our ambition is to serve on a UN Security Council that serves the interests of Member States. We want the Security Council to work better. As Canadians, we have much to offer in support of this goal. If elected to the Security Council, you can count on Canada to stand up for the things that matter and to be clear and consistent while focusing on building bridges rather than divisions. We will be relentless in our diplomacy, sincere in our partnerships and innovative in our approaches. This is our commitment.

Sustain peace, together

Together, we can build and sustain peace for the communities we serve.

As a member of the UN Security Council, Canada will:

  • explicitly link the work of the Security Council to the 2030 Agenda and include active and innovative consideration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the Security Council’s work;
  • strongly encourage enhanced collaboration between the Security Council and the African Union and other regional organizations; and
  • continue to strengthen the focus on conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

4,000 Canadian police officers participated in over 66 peace operations since 1989.

More than 125,000 Canadians have served abroad in support of UN peacekeeping operations. Our contribution and commitment to peacekeeping and peacebuilding also manifests itself through the leadership roles we have taken at the UN: as chair of the working group of the whole of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34) since 1965; as a long-standing member of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, including as chair of the Sierra Leone Configuration; and through recent initiatives such as the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations, the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers, and the innovative use of smart pledging. These efforts seek to improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping by building better links with regional organizations, increasing prioritization of the protection of civilians and making a greater connection to political solutions, peacebuilding and development.

Address climate change, together

Together, we can work to address the grave security risks posed by climate change.

As a member of the UN Security Council, Canada will:

  • consistently raise climate change as a fundamental issue affecting global peace and security while integrating disaster risk reduction and resilience building into conflict prevention strategies;
  • recognize that climate change represents an existential threat to vulnerable countries such as small island developing states and therefore must be integrated in the Security Council’s regular deliberations; and
  • advocate for the creation of a new special representative of the Secretary-General for climate security.

Canada investing $2.65 billion to support developing countries in climate change action.

“Developing nations shouldn’t be punished for a problem they didn’t create, nor should they be deprived of the opportunities for clean growth that developed nations are pursuing.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Signing Ceremony of the Paris Agreement

Climate change is the defining issue of our time. It is an environmental issue, an economic issue and one of the greatest security challenges of the 21st century, threatening lives and livelihoods of citizens around the world. Two hundred million people are likely to be displaced by climate change by 2050 as rising sea levels threaten coastal communities. In addition, agriculture is challenged by droughts, and storms destroy basic infrastructure. The humanitarian case is clear: it is the world’s poorest and most vulnerable who are hardest hit by climate change—displaced by rising sea levels, left hungry by failed crops and more vulnerable to disease and weather-induced disaster. The Security Council needs to lead the world in recognizing the urgency and necessity to act.

Promote economic security, together

Together, we can realize the potential of investment to make a more inclusive, sustainable and peaceful world.

As a member of the UN Security Council, Canada will::

  • call attention to the vital links between sustainable and inclusive economic growth, job creation, conflict prevention, and peace and security;
  • strengthen linkages between the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council and the UN Peacebuilding Commission; and
  • encourage active consideration of frontier issues, including artificial intelligence, digital risks and digital opportunities, in the maintenance of international peace and security.

Canada provides over $5 billion annually in international assistance to help states achieve SDGs.

Investing in people and in countries to foster prosperity and equal opportunity is essential for maintaining international peace and security. In this spirit, Canada has been a leader in working to align public and private capital with the SDGs and to develop new and innovative ways to increase investment into developing countries, including in infrastructure. Canada also provides over $5 billion annually in international assistance around the world to help states implement their respective national plans to achieve the SDGs and to help ensure that we leave no one behind. Canada is ensuring that no less than 50% of its bilateral international development assistance is directed to sub-Saharan African countries. On the Security Council, Canada will continue to break down the silos between security and development, between governments and the private sector, between North and South and between traditional and non-traditional partners.

Advance gender equality, together

Together, we can make gender inequality history.

As a member of the UN Security Council, Canada will:

  • work toward increasing the meaningful participation of women in peace negotiations, mediation and prevention processes, peacekeeping operations and special political missions;
  • promote and demand accountability for sexual violence in conflict; and
  • promote the inclusion of diverse views across the Security Council’s agenda.

10-year commitment to increase funding to support women and girls’ health around the world, to reach $1.4 billion annually.

Despite important gains, gender inequality is still pervasive and is among the root causes of many conflicts. Impunity, including for sexual and gender-based violence, remains a common and unacceptable feature of conflict. Through Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, we are prioritizing women’s rights and gender equality in all of our international assistance efforts. We know that empowering women and girls makes families and countries more peaceful and more prosperous. For this reason, we believe in building on the promise of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, first adopted when Canada last served on the Security Council 20 years ago. We will continue to be major proponents of enhancing the meaningful participation of an increased number of women in peace operations, including through the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations and the UN Secretary General’s Gender Parity Strategy.

Strengthen multilateralism, together

Together, we can revitalize our shared institutions.

As a member of the UN Security Council, Canada will:

  • encourage greater communication and interaction between the General Assembly and the Security Council;
  • enhance efforts to promote cohesion among the elected members of the Security Council;
  • promote the transparency of the Security Council and improvements to its working methods;
  • provide regular reporting to regional groups and ensure continued dialogue throughout Canada’s term;
  • work to improve implementation of Security Council resolutions; and
  • work alongside other elected members of the Security Council to ensure the use of appropriate data analytics to improve decision making and a greater focus on results.

Currently 9th largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget, 6th sixth-largest donor to the UN Peacebuilding Fund and 8th largest contributor to UN funds, programs and agencies.

Over the course of almost 75 years, multilateralism has delivered undeniably impressive gains. But the benefits of multilateralism have not been evenly distributed, and the rules have not been equally applied. Implementation of commitments remains a perennial challenge, as does translating decisions into perceptible gains for people on the ground. The 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda have layered new, integrated frameworks for the multilateral system. Climate change, cyber security and inequalities all present new systematic risks that require multilateral and multi-stakeholder solutions

More than 70 years after their creation, our multilateral institutions need to adapt so they can serve all countries. As new challenges, often of a more systematic nature, emerge, multilateralism needs to evolve in order to be fit for purpose and deliver results. As a middle power living next to a world superpower, Canada understands the importance of rules-based international order – one in which might is not always right; one in which more powerful countries are constrained in their treatment of smaller ones by standards that are internationally respected, enforced and upheld. The notion that we are stronger because of our differences, not in spite of them, is the very foundation upon which Canada was built. It is also central to how we approach our work at the United Nations. This means truly listening and understanding that impacts and decisions can vary from one part of the planet to another. Making multilateralism work means making it more efficient, fairer and more inclusive. This includes continuing our promotion of reform of the UN Security Council to ensure greater effectiveness, accountability, transparency and representation.

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