Question 13: Conclusion
Please respond to the paper as a whole.
|April 30, 2003|
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Lester B. Pearson Building
125 Sussex Dr.
Ottawa, Ontario KIA OG2
Dear Mr. Graham:
In the response to the invitation outlined in A Dialogue on Foreign Policy, the General Council of The United Church of Canada would like to make the following
submission on the current “three pillars” approach of security, prosperity and promotion of Canadian values and culture to Canada’s foreign policy objectives.
The General Council is the national governing body of The United Church of Canada. Decisions taken by people elected to the General Council become the policy of the
church in matters relevant to its internal life, as well as the public policy issues with which it is involved. General Councils of the United Church have spoken since its
formation in 1925 on questions of peace, world development, human rights and preservation of the environment.
We will not respond to the specific questions proposed in A Dialogue on Foreign Policy, but will instead offer a summary of the policies adopted by the General Council
that lead us to support a foreign policy that fosters peace, justice and the integrity of creation.
Since 1984 General Council has been calling for a common security or human security foreign policy based on a comprehensive approach that would concentrate on
economic justice as well as political issues including sustainable development and humanitarian assistance. Real security is the result of building social, political, and
economic conditions that serve human needs around the globe. Canada’s foreign policy has formally promoted the broad acceptance of human security values and should
continue to do so.
In 2000 General Council again reaffirmed in its report To Seek Justice and Resist Evil: Towards a Global Economy for All God’s People that the past emphasis on
“prosperity” has not led to prosperity at all, but disparity. Insights gained from partnerships around the world lead us to challenge economic policies, institutions,
systems and relationships that destroy human well-being and the integrity of creation. Among other initiatives General Council has called for increasing Canada’s Official
Development Assistance levels to reach the agreed upon target of 0.7% GNP, ceasing to impose structural adjustment programs as a condition of debt relief,
strengthening and increasing Canada’s support for civil society organizations, and for the democratization of international financial institutions.
Values and Culture
Increasingly from 1971 successive General Councils have called for the promotion and defence of human rights as outlined in the United Nations’ Conventions, including
gender justice, and the support and strengthening of multilateral institutions as the defining values with which we wish to engage the world. Specifically in 2000 the 37th
General Council reaffirmed the culture of partnership as a model for our own global relationships.
In conclusion we welcome the questioning of whether or not Canada should continue to endorse the above pillars in its approach foreign policy. We would venture to
suggest that these pillars do not reflect Canada’s objectives of human security, economic justice and multilateralism.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the future direction of Canada’s foreign policy.
Richard G. Chambers
Associate Executive Minister
Justice, Global and Ecumenical Relations
The United Church of Canada