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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Paul Dewar announces ambitious foreign affairs agenda for Canada

Paul Dewar announces ambitious foreign affairs agenda for Canada

February 10th, 2012

MONTREAL – At a speech to students and faculty at McGill University today, New Democrat leadership candidate Paul Dewar laid out a bold and ambitious agenda for Canadian leadership in a changing world.

“Under my leadership, Canada will be a responsible leader in a changing world,” said Paul Dewar. “We will project a bold and ambitious agenda for cooperation. We will be committed to building a more compassionate, peaceful and sustainable world”.

In announcing his vision (entitled ‘Responsible Leadership in a Changing World’) for Canada on the world stage, Mr. Dewar laid out the details of how the NDP can strengthen Canada's diplomatic capacity to:

Prevent conflicts: by establishing a Centre for Peacebuilding and Human Security to make Ottawa a place where the world comes to build peace.

Reduce poverty and promote human rights: by graduating CIDA to a Department of International Development, meeting our aid commitments and leading an international campaign against the death penalty.

Empowering women: by combating the use of rape as a weapon of war, securing women's meaningful participation in peace processes and leading an international campaign for Just Minerals to end the trade of conflict minerals.

Tackling climate change: by leading the G20 in finding an agreement for a global plan of action against climate change.

Pursuing responsible trade: by establishing clear corporate social responsibility rules.

Dewar pointed to the current tensions with Iran to show the stark contrast between his and Harper's approaches to foreign policy.

“Mr. Harper is engaged in reckless and provocative rhetoric from the sidelines,” said Dewar. “We must be firm in our opposition to nuclear proliferation. But a war with Iran will be disastrous. As Leader of the Official Opposition, you can count on me to oppose Canadian engagement in a war with Iran.”

Dewar's bold plan for greater diplomatic engagement will strengthen Canada's influence in Washington.

“The United States will always be our most integrated partner in diplomacy and trade,” said Dewar. “But our influence in Washington depends on our diplomatic influence everywhere else in the world.”

Speaking to McGill students in Montreal, Dewar spoke about the generosity of the Canadian spirit.

“As a former aid worker and Foreign Affairs critic under Jack Layton, I know that your generation is thirsting for a government that will make a positive impact internationally,” said Dewar. “That impact can be accomplished through the rejuvenation of Canada’s capacity to be a leader in multilateralism.”

Read Paul Dewar's full plan, Responsible Leadership in a Changing World.

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