Canada Receives Support from Jordan Ahead of the UNSC Seat Elections

Seeking to return to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from three years now, Canada is just months away from the voting day. The Jordanian King Abdullah II recently supported the country’s bid for a seat in the Council.

On Monday, Jordan’s ambassador to Canada, Majed Alqatarneh was a part of the delegation, when he met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and shared about the Middle Eastern nation’s support for Canada’s bid. “Canada’s commitment to our region is highly appreciated and everybody in the region looks highly to Canada’s position,” he said.

Since winning the federal elections in 2015, Justin Trudeau has been ensuring to Canada’s global influence, and to re-engage with the United Nations and the international community. Since then, he has put forward his intentions to bring the country back on the board of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

“It’s time. It is time for Canada to step up once again,” he said at the time.

In August 2016, Trudeau announced his plans to pursue one of the 10 non-permanent seats of the Security Council in 2020-21 as part of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG). The last time Canada had a seat on the council was in 1999-2000. Decade after, the former Conservative government under Stephen Harper tried to attain a place in 2010, but had lost to Portugal.

The UNSC opens two seats every two years from the non-permanent members. With Trudeau’s announcement three years back, Canada became a late entrant to the race, nearly a decade after Ireland in 2005 and Norway in 2007 had already announced their candidacy.

In June 2020, the 193-member General Assembly will vote to pick two countries that will serve in 2021 and 2022. The selected two will be joining the five permanent members – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China – and eight other non-permanent members.

As of September 30, 2019, Canada had spent $1,865,269 on its campaign for the seat in the UNSC, which didn’t include the salaries of the 13 government employees appointed to work on the country’s bid full-time. Despite that, the two countries vying against Canada, are believed to possess strong candidacy.

Where Norway brings a challenge to Canada in foreign aid spending, Ireland is a competes in the role as a peacekeeping nation. Norway donates more than 1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) compared to Canada’s approximately 0.26 per cent. On the other hand, the peacekeepers deployed internationally by Ireland are eight times more than that of Canada. Consequently, the other two nations do appear to have an upper hand in the elections next year.

However, Canada is also increasingly moving ahead in its association with the United Nations. Jordan’s ambassador Alqatarneh said that the North American nation deserves a seat in the Council as its positions have “always been moderate”. Besides, he also said that Canada promotes human rights, women’s rights and citizens’ rights, respects others and is also a leader on the environment. “This will be definitely reflected positively with your presence on the Security Council,” he said.

Each of the three nations jockeying for a seat have their own USPs, which could prove to overpower the other contenders. However, with nearly seven months still left, none of the three could be visualized as a clear winner.

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