Listen Now

Paris: What was Canada’s best international moment of 2011?

By: /
26 December, 2011
By: Verto Support

There weren’t a lot of good moments for Canadian foreign policy in 2011, but the best (as things happily turned out) was the decision to join NATO in Libya. Since the UNSC resolution to intervene in that carnage was based on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, a Canadian idea first proposed by Lloyd Axworthy; and since the resolution was serially linked to the Council’s referral of Libyan human rights abusers to the International Criminal Court, another idea with deep roots in Canada, our presence on that particular stage was a natural fit. Failure in Libya would have been destructive to NATO, including to Canada. It might also have have suggested that the Responsibility to Protect doctrine was simply too politically risky. But all’s well that ends well and the Canadian government could (and did) brag mightily about its engagement.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Journalism in Canada has suffered a devastating decline over the last two decades. Dozens of newspapers and outlets have shuttered. Remaining newsrooms are smaller. Nowhere is this erosion more acute than in the coverage of foreign policy and international news. It’s expensive, and Canadians, oceans away from most international upheavals, pay the outside world comparatively little attention.

At Open Canada, we believe this must change. If anything, the pandemic has taught us we can’t afford to ignore the changing world. What’s more, we believe, most Canadians don’t want to. Many of us, after all, come from somewhere else and have connections that reach around the world.

Our mission is to build a conversation that involves everyone — not just politicians, academics and policy makers. We need your help to do so. Your support helps us find stories and pay writers to tell them. It helps us grow that conversation. It helps us encourage more Canadians to play an active role in shaping our country’s place in the world.

Become a Supporter