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

By: /
December 26, 2011

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.