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Canada at the UN

Canada’s participation at the opening of a new session of the UN General Assembly was noticeably different this year than under the previous government. Prime Minister Trudeau was accompanied by four Cabinet Ministers, each pursuing an agenda corresponding to their Cabinet responsibilities. The Prime Minister and Minister McCallum were focused on refugee issues, with Mr. Trudeau co-chairing the UN Summit on Refugees, as well as focusing considerable attention on the issue in his speech to the General Assembly. Foreign Affairs Minister Dion marked the occasion by announcing financial contributions intended to strengthen UN peace operations. Following the report of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, the UN is endeavoring to take a more holistic approach to peace operations, emphasizing political solutions, not just military and technical engagements. The idea is that overarching political solutions should guide UN peace operations. Canada’s contributions — $10 million to the Department of Political Affairs and $15 million to the flagging Peacebuilding Commission – appear to support this new approach.

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