Canada is one of the world’s most successful pluralistic and democratic nations. It is a country that defends human rights and the rule of law both at home and abroad. Canadians have had major roles in leading international organizations as well as campaigns against apartheid in South Africa, the Landmine Treaty and presently with respect to our major contribution to the efforts to enhance international security in Afghanistan and Libya. This is in addition to our leadership position with respect to Haiti and our well-known commitment to human rights around the world. Our domestic policies need to reflect the ever changing global environment and maintain our leadership in international security, human rights, extension of the benefits of trade especially with the emerging markets of Brazil and India.
Canada has a unique and respected reputation internationally and should be able to use this advantage. Canada's economic clout and secure financial sector as well as abundant resources show that the world needs more of what Canada has to offer.
In his address in 2010 to the United National General Assembly, the Prime Minister noted, “We have been forcefully reminded that, in this shrinking world, we travel together in one boat, not as solo-voyageurs. And that how we travel matters because our interests are all interconnected: from climate change to health and pandemic threats and, of course, the global economy.”
As we approach Canada at 150 let us emphasize even more that Canada is a beacon of hope throughout the world.
Mario Silva is a former Canadian Member of Parliament for the riding of Toronto Davenport. He is also the former Opposition critic for Foreign Affairs (Americas).