un security council canada

Canada loses seat on the UN Security Council after a tight vote

Canada has officially lost its bid to get a temporary seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council after a tight vote on Wednesday.

After the votes were tallied, Norway received 130 votes, while Ireland racked up 128 votes. Canada finished with 108 — 20 votes short of securing a seat.

Over 190 UN ambassadors cast their votes today in a secret ballot, entering the General Assembly meeting hall in New York City at staggered times to adhere to social distancing.

Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne cast the vote on behalf of Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's defeat echoes the loss of the seat by the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper in 2010.

Trudeau has spent the last three months chatting virtually with leaders from around the world in a bid to rally support for Canada, including leaders from Senegal, Spain and India.

Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday that Canada has been "leading the way" over the past few months when it comes to several foreign policy issues.

"Whether it's been on COVID, whether it's been on development and financial reform, whether it's been on climate change, whether it's been on a range of things from peacekeeping to security to women, we have been moving forward and leading the way," Trudeau told reporters Tuesday, per Global News.

"Regardless of what happens in the campaign, we are more engaged and we will continue to be more engaged on the world stage."

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon, Champagne said that the Liberal government is "proud" of the campaign that they conducted over the past four years.

Minister Champagne congratulated Norway, Ireland, India and Mexico for their success.

"For Canada, this campaign allowed us to renew and strengthen many of our bilateral relationships," he said. "Over the past four years, we made countless connections at all levels and cemented friendships that will last for years to come."

Champagne refused to speculate as to why Canada lost the seat, although former Deputy Prime Minister Jean Charest said that Canada could have been more present in Africa and the Middle East.

"We ran a very good race. We had a lot to offer," Charest said. "We have to be more present in certain parts of the world than we have been in the past — Africa, the Middle East stand out."

In a statement released on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Canada will continue to engage with countries around the world on key issues.

"Canada is large enough to make a difference, but we know we can't do it alone," Trudeau said. "As we move forward, we remain committed to the goals and principles that we laid out during this campaign, and we will continue to play a vital role in advancing global cooperation and building a more peaceful, inclusive, and sustainable world."

Lead photo by

Security Council Report


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