Canada to run for 2021-2022 U.N. Security Council seat: Trudeau

Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:46pm EDT
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By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Canada will campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council in 2021-2022, new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday, seeking to repair battered relations with the world body.

Canada has previously served six terms on the 15-member council, but suffered a humiliating defeat in 2010 under Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who favored a more unilateral approach to diplomacy.

"Protecting vulnerable populations, leading on the world's stage and engaging on some of this era's greatest challenges - this is the Canada of today, this is how we build the world of tomorrow," Trudeau told reporters and diplomats during a visit to the United Nations in New York.

Canada will now be competing against Ireland and Norway for two spots. A spokeswoman for the San Marino Department of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday the country had dropped out of the race.

The 15-member council has five veto-powers - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - and 10 members elected for two-year terms. The 193-member U.N. General Assembly will hold an election in 2020 for the seat Canada wants.

"Our last term concluded in 2000. With a renewed commitment to international peace and security, now is the time for our return," Trudeau said.

The new Liberal government, Trudeau added, was determined to revitalize what he called Canada's historic role as a key contributor to U.N. peacekeeping. Ottawa would offer troops and police as well as backing efforts to strengthen civil society.

U.N. peacekeeping officials have told Canada it can offer a great deal, such as French-speaking soldiers and police as well as experts in various areas.   Continued...

Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau (L), television journalist Sade Badernwa (C) and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka appear on stage during a high level event on Gender Equality And Global Call To Action On Equal Pay at the United Nations Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York, March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Adrees Latif