It has been ‘interesting’ to say the least at the United Nations in recent days. Founded in the rubble of the worst global conflict the world has ever seen, Job 1 for the UN is doing whatever can be done to foster peace between nations, is it not?
Let’s see, we had Donald Trump making his maiden speech to the General Assembly, still threatening to turn North Korea into a parking lot if ‘Rocket Man’ does not stop his efforts to become a nuclear power. And next to nothing is being done about the nightmare of ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Myanmar, a situation that has turned hundreds of thousands of people into refugees. Canada used to have a place of honour at the UN. We punched way above our weight, thanks to Lester Pearson who was a pioneer in promoting peacekeeping.
These days, we have Trudeau the younger making strange in his major speech to the Assembly. Justin would dearly love to have Canada serving on the Security Council, but it’s not likely to happen as a result of his speech. Instead of proposing innovative international solutions as we have done in the past, Trudeau played the ‘Indigenous’ card to the folks back home. You might almost think that an election was looming, as Trudeau reviewed the country’s sorry record in trying to improve the lives of First Nations. Someone might remind him that virtually nothing has changed since October of 2015. That’s when Trudeau and the Liberals were elected to power.
The Prime Minister proudly proclaims that the Indigenous file is his most important priority, but on Shoal Lake First Nation they’re still boiling their water, and waiting for that promised bridge to connect them to the mainland. The much talked-about inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is going nowhere, but they are asking for more time and more money.
National Chief Perry Bellegarde of the Assembly of First Nations was impressed by Trudeau’s speech at the UN, but I somehow doubt that it meant very much to the diplomats from places like China and Korea.
I’m Roger Currie