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September-October 2017

Trudeau performance review: Foreign affairs

How the PM has failed to tackle climate change, refugees, and more on the global stage

Tannara Yelland@tyelland

Since taking office, Trudeau has been astute at bringing the politics of personality and appearance to the fore, a smiling face making overtures toward progressivism as his party upholds many of the policies their voters were spurning. His approach since Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president has been one of conciliation, even on matters that an […] More »

Gender Block: Harper won’t have a glowing review to hang on the fridge

Hillary Di Menna

Last week the United Nations took a look at Canada’s human rights record. This has not been done since 2006, making this the first review since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister.  A Globe and Mail article written by Alex Neve, the secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada, is currently circulating. Right away it quotes British member of the UN […] More »

Friday FTW: Regulating the bloody arms trade

Catherine McIntyre

On Tuesday, the UN agreed to set some standards on the 70 billion dollar arms trade. Right now, weapons-trading is an unregulated business, where illicit dealing gets lost in the same grey market as government trading. But with the first ever global arms trade treaty (ATT), that’s about to change. Theoretically, the treaty will stop […] More »

Friday FTW: The crazy concept of happiness and progress

Catherine McIntyre

On Wednesday the UN asked us all to forget our misery; forget our stressful, routine, depressing lives and just cheer up. People all over the world listened and marked the first International Day of Happiness with events such as “laughter yoga” in Hong Kong, positive message posters at the London Liverpool train station, and free […] More »
July-August 2011

Unearthing Vancouver’s forgotten utopian UN conference, Habitat ’76

Peter Tupper

Walk around Vancouver’s Jericho Beach in 2011 and you’ll see some odd architecture: an empty concrete wharf, a welded steel railing that overlooks English Bay, a strange rail embedded beneath the sailing club. These are all that is left of a complex of five gigantic aircraft hangars that was home to an international conference 35 […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Linda McQuaig on the United Nations Emergency Peace Service

Linda McQuaig with Katie Addleman

In the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, the Canadian government commissioned the departments of Foreign Affairs and National Defence to investigate the feasibility of a United Nations rapid-response service. The research was co-directed by Peter Langille, an academic and defence analyst known as a critic of NATO’s military doctrine, a key figure in the development […] More »

Wednesday WTF: 79 UN countries voted that it's OK to execute queers

simon wallace

On November 16 the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (Social, Humanitarian & Cultural) debated a resolution demanding an end to summary and arbitrary executions. Included in the text was a non-exhaustive list that highlighted many of the groups that are currently subject to inordinate levels of state persecution: ethnic groups, linguistic minorities, street […] More »

Canada loses out in bid for Security Council seat, Conservatives blame Ignatieff

kevin philipupillai

Before yesterday’s vote by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the message from Canadian government officials was one of cautious optimism. There might be tense moments and flustered diplomats, but Canada had not lost a vote for a Security Council seat in 60 years. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made two big speeches to the […] More »

The UN votes today on making clean water a human right—and Canada's voting no

jesse mintz

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 28, 12:14 — The Council of Canadians reports that the United Nations general assembly has voted in favour of the resolution to recognize water and sanitation as basic human rights. The still-unofficial vote count was 124 votes in favour, zero votes against, and 42 abstentions. We’ll update with the official vote when […] More »
July-August 2008

7 environmentally friendly moves to quit the bottled water habit

Melissa WilsonWebsite

In 2006, Canadians spent $731 million consuming 2.1 billion litres of bottled water, with most of those plastic bottles ending up in landfills. If you’re tired of slowly destroying the planet while building the bank accounts of companies like Coca-Cola and Nestlé, here are a few tips for going back to the tap. 1. Create […] More »

Wednesday WTF: B.C. the "Best Place on Earth"? Not For women, says new report

jasmine rezaee

British Columbia’s adherence to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) has been recently assessed by the West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) with disturbing results. West Coast LEAF’s first annual Report Card has assigned the B.C. government a grade of “D” when it […] More »