Allan E. Gotlieb presented the first O.D. Skelton Memorial Lecture on Canadian foreign policy in Toronto on December 10, 1991. A former deputy minister and Canada's Ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989, Gotlieb was subsequently the Chairman of Canada Council, in private legal practice and a director of several major Canadian organizations. In his view, Canada's relations with its superpower neighbour to the south provide us with the greatest insights into Canada's foreign policy.
In his speech, Gotlieb depicts the United States as the central factor in Canada's foreign policy, influencing relations with the rest of the world as well as necessitating careful management of our continental association. To do this, Gotlieb cites themes from Canadian foreign policy, such as preference for multilateralism and distrust of bilateral institutions. With free trade in North America ever more comprehensive, it is vital for Canada to nurture strong ties with the rest of the world in order to survive and flourish.
Canada's prosperity and power, he contends, depend on the support of multilateralism and reliance on international institutions to offset the predominance of the United States, all the while maintaining and improving the bilateral relationship between the two North American countries.
Biography of Allan E. Gotlieb
Allan E. Gotlieb was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1928. He studied at the University of California and subsequently at Harvard Law School and at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.
Mr. Gotlieb began his public service career with the Department of External Affairs in 1957 and served in Ottawa, Geneva and Washington. He was named a member of the Eighteen-Nation Disarmament Conference in 1962, and on his return to Ottawa in 1964 became the Head of the Legal Division at External Affairs. In 1967, Mr. Gotlieb was appointed Assistant Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs and Legal Advisor. In 1967 and 1968, he was Canadian alternate delegate to the United Nations' General Assembly. In December 1968, he was appointed Deputy Minister of the newly created Department of Communications. From 1973 to 1977 he was Deputy Minister of Manpower and Immigration. He was Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1977 to 1981 and Canada's Ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989.
An author, Mr. Gotlieb has written five books and has also published many articles in the fields of political science and international law. Mr. Gotlieb is Chairman of Canada Council and member of Boards of Directors of several major Canadian organizations. Mr. Gotlieb is a recipient of the Government of Canada Public Service "Outstanding Achievement Award" and is a Companion of the Order of Canada.
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