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When Prime Minister Trudeau stated in 2015 that "Canada is back," many observers were hopeful that this would mean a Canadian foreign policy in which Canada took its historic place as an honest mediator. The hope was that Canada would help usher in an age of diplomatic solutions and peace: reducing conflict and standing up to tides of war.
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To be sure, Professor Hoodfar's release highlights the benefits of diplomatic engagement and could be the beginning of a shift in Canada-Iran relations. While Canada's closest international partners re-engage Iran and establish diplomatic and/or economic ties, Ottawa has understandably been taking its time on playing catch up.
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In just over four months, the media-friendly, question-taking and selfies-giving Trudeau has managed to seemingly make Canada cool on the world stage, using the increased spotlight to highlight the merits of diplomacy and engagement, including on issues such as climate change, respect for diversity and human rights and international peace.
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The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion is ready to re-establish diplomatic relations with Russia. During a speech at the University of Ottawa on a new Liberal foreign policy approach, Dion said Canada has no positive consequences for completely cutting ties with Russia.
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Overwhelmingly, America's neighbours to the north profess strong support for both the reestablishment of U.S. diplomatic ties with Cuba, and the lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against the island nation, according to an Angus Reid Institute survey of Canadians. But there is one thing bothering Canadians about this thaw in near-frozen U.S.-Cuba relations.
As "Implementation Day" of the historic nuclear deal between world powers and Iran approaches, during which Iran will begin fulfilling the bulk of its end of the agreement while sanctions by the United Nations, United States and the European Union are removed, Canada must begin planning for the eventual restoration of ties with Iran in keeping with the new Trudeau government's affirmation to re-engage Tehran.
All eyes would be on Beijing. North Korea's frequent provocations to help secure political concessions, and often financial and food aid too, are no longer having the effect they used to. Having all been burnt once too often in the past, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington are not in mood to play such games. And crucially for Pyongyang, neither, it seems, is Beijing.
As India enters its 70th year of independence and its status on the world stage grows, its position within Asia becomes more critical. It's high time India consciously, calculatingly and coordinately uses its ample soft power to its advantage. One way is to open a global chain of Gandhi Centers.
Last week the New America Foundation hosted its launch for an interdisciplinary cybersecurity initiative. I was fortunate enough to be asked to attend and speak, but the real benefit was that I was af...
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How are technological innovations shaping global futures? What could the next industrial revolution look like and who and what might bring it about? Have the eurocrisis and the rise of nationalist sen...
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Will Canada support the organization and monitoring of fair and free elections that will take place in one year? CAR must not become another Rwanda. As the Government considers what action to take, it must remember that what we do now or fail to do will have an impact on CAR society for years to come, and we will be judged on how we choose to act.
Vladimir Putin posed as a protector of children, while making gay youth outcasts in their own country. The IOC posed as an organisation above politics, while unabashedly bending national politics to its commercial interests. Barack Obama posed as a defender of human rights by grappling with foreign governments, while he shied from the fight in domestic politics.
While much of the media and many in the opposition like to say that women's rights have faltered under Harper, the Thompson Reuters Foundation actually ranked Canada the best G20 country for women last year on account of its "strong policies against violence and exploitation combined with good access to education and healthcare."
The use of chemical weapons against civilians is a condemnable act, a crime against humanity. Nevertheless, we need to ask ourselves whether a military intervention is not likely to worsen the situation. The last thing the U.S. wants now, is to see Syria turning into a second Iraq.