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Worldwide Human Security

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POLI 283 Spring 2005 Shane Fitzgerald 254809 Introduction Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the world has been searching for the next big threat to peace. With the United States arguably left alone as the only global Superpower, the threat of large scale warfare has diminished considerably. This has drawn attention to the smaller conflicts and hardships of the world. The establishment of the United Nations provided a place for the countries of the world to come together and convene in a peaceful atmosphere, but also revealed the delicate and complex predicament of inner-state conflicts and the relevance of sub-state actors in the international theater. Among these relatively newfound developments is a collection that ignores state boundaries and threatens indiscriminately. These are threats to the human race, threats to human security. Canada is privileged enough to be in a position whereby it can afford to allocate resources in hopes of combating these threats, and contribute to this global issue, but the extent to which they do so is a controversial subject. Should human security be the core value in Canadian foreign policy? This paper will argue that such a stance is impractical due to the infancy of the human security philosophy, irresponsible due to Canada's economic reliance on states with questionable practices in human securities, and possibly even hypocritical due to Canada's limited influence over other states. ...read more.


Without a system similar it Owen's to provide definite guidance for the efforts, it would be impractical to name human security as the core value of foreign affairs. Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You Canada's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) adjusted for purchasing power, ranks as the 11th highest in the world3, but the total value of the foreign trade (in 2003) ranks as the 4th highest in the world4. The high level of trade is clearly very important to Canada's economy, and the United States has a large share in that trade. According to Statistics Canada March 2005, the United States were responsible for 84.64% of all Canadian exports, and 58.8% of all Canadian imports. The same is true of Canada's rank in the United States' top trading partners, although at a smaller percentage. Canada is responsible for 23.6% of the United States' exports, and 17.6% of imports (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/index.html), so while Canada is also important to the American economy, it is at a much lower level. This partnership works well for both countries now, but if Canada were to take a stance on human security, they would need to confront the United States on some issues. The first value of the Human Security Program is the Protection of Civilians. ...read more.


actions in Guantanamo Bay allegedly violate the basic human rights of those imprisoned there, and who's preemptive strike against Saddam Hussein in Iraq does not uphold the philosophies of "Conflict Prevention" and "Peace Support Operations". Is Canada that powerless against the United States? Mark Proudman claims that even this is true of European countries due to their inability to make war anywhere if need be (cite). With all states essentially reduced to a soft power position except for the USA, Canada has an unfortunate partner to be economically tied to if they want to be the marquee upholder of human security. It's The Thought That Counts The desire to uphold human security is a noble one, it foregoes the realist philosophy of exclusively self serving states. All signs point to this movement evolving towards success, the desire is there, the principles are developing. Foreign Affairs Canada has already created a human security program and is acting on it. They have joined the Human Security Network with over a dozen other like-minded countries to share their vision. Human security is still a pipe dream, it hasn't yet matured enough to support the weight of a country's foreign policy. Canada has the reputation, the resources, and the generous national attitude to become a great champion for this cause, unfortunately the cause is not ready for the champion. ...read more.

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