• The Central Conundrum of Baird’s UN Speech

    • October 8, 2012

    It’s too easy to dismiss John Baird’s October 1 speech to the UN General Assembly as simply another exercise in appealing to the party’s base. True, it did precisely that, capturing headlines back home as a “scathing rebuke” to the organization for its failure to address the Syrian situation seriously. But the problem is that

  • Une diplomatie verbeuse

    • October 7, 2012

    Published in La Presse, October 5, 2012 Lors de son dernier discours aux Nations unies, le ministre John Baird a exposé les fondements de la politique internationale de son gouvernement. Elle repose sur deux piliers: une diplomatie fondée sur des principes moraux et sur un activisme volontaire. Or, si en matière de rhétorique, la politique

  • Should Canada Promote Religious Freedom?

    • October 2, 2012

    Guest contributor: ELIZABETH SHAKMAN HURD, Associate Professor of Political Science, Northwestern University. In the United States, religious freedom is described as the ‘first freedom’: a fundamental human right and a sine qua non of democratic politics. Americans, we are told, invented and perfected religious freedom. It’s ready for export, and exporting it we are. The

    By CIPS
  • John Baird on Human Rights in Foreign Policy

    • September 27, 2012

    John Baird’s speech on September 14 at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations may be long on benign self-congratulation, which goes down well when speaking to Canadian audiences. But at least it sheds some light on “the untold story of our government’s principled, values-based foreign policy”. The bulk of the speech tackles the principles of

  • John Baird’s Journey

    • September 24, 2012

    In a speech last week to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Minister John Baird set out the priority he attaches to human rights in Canadian foreign policy. That Minister Baird prioritizes human rights is hardly new: his speeches and public statements repeat, mantra-like, the Harper government’s commitment to defend and promote “freedom, human

  • Going Along to Get Along? Canada Soft-Pedals Russia’s Role in Syria

    • June 16, 2012

    Why is Canada giving Russia an easy ride on Syria? Moscow has been running diplomatic interference for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and providing his regime with weapons. Meanwhile, Assad’s loyalists have escalated their attacks on Syrian civilians, including women and children. Until this week, we heard barely a peep from Ottawa about Russia’s indefensible role