Canada to seek UN Security Council seat for 2021-22

World Today

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks during a news conference on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at the United Nations headquarters. Trudeau says Canada will seek a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council starting in 2021. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that Canada will seek a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council starting in 2021, citing his administration’s renewed commitment to engagement in world affairs.

Trudeau, who took office in November, said Canada’s ideals align with many of those dear to the U.N., including human rights and diversity.

“It’s time for Canada to step up once again,” he said. Canada last held a seat on the Security Council in 2000.

Trudeau’s announcement at the U.N. in front of about 300 diplomats, staffers and others came after U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Canada and meeting with Trudeau last month.

Canada has served six times on the Security Council since the late 1940s. In 2010 it lost a seat to Portugal, a defeat blamed on a lackluster attempt by the Conservative government then in charge.

The 15-member council has five permanent members who each have veto power: The United States, Britain, France, Russia and China. Ten additional members are elected for two-year terms.

The 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly won’t vote on the seat Canada is pursuing until the fall of 2020.

Story by the Associated Press