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Trudeau to address UN

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week, underscoring Canada's commitment to multilateralism as it vies for a coveted seat on the Security Council.

He addressed the opening of the General Assembly last year as well, making for a perfect attendance record since taking office in late 2015.

That's in stark contrast to former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper, who only attended UN events sporadically, famously choosing in 2009 to attend an opening of a Tim Hortons innovation centre in Oakville rather than speak to the General Assembly.

Harper's thinly veiled disdain for the world body has been widely blamed for Canada's failure to win a seat on the Security Council in 2010. Until then, Canada had won a council seat every decade since the UN's inception.

Trudeau last year announced that Canada will try again for a two-year term beginning in 2021. To that end, he has repeatedly emphasized Canada's renewed commitment to the world body and a multilateral approach to foreign policy.

The General Assembly, "with its 193 member states, provides an important opportunity for Canada to voice its commitment to strengthening multilateralism and the rules-based international order, advancing human rights, including gender equality and women's empowerment, and championing diversity and inclusion," the Prime Minister's Office said in a news release announcing Trudeau's visit to the UN next week.

However, Trudeau may have some explaining to do, particularly as to why his government has still not delivered on its two-year-old promise to re-engage in UN peacekeeping missions. Last year, the government committed to deploy 600 Canadian troops to various missions but it has so far not identified any missions in which they'll take part.



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