Canada Should Use Its ‘Soft Power’ To Champion Global Human Rights

Canada Should Use Its 'Soft Power' To Champion Global Human Rights

As the world enters the third decade of the 21st century, it’s waking up to some other fact, confronting threats to global solidarity and human safety which aren’t necessarily economical in character.

Climate change, inequality, populist movements, cultural nationalism, and international epidemics are posing significant challenges to global development and human safety. And on the flip side, the international balance of power is changing as we go from an unipolar world, regulated largely by the USA, to a bipolar world where China is emerging as the significant counterpart into the U.S.

These tumultuous times pose challenges and involve collective actions since many dangers to human safety can’t be included inside the geographical borders of nation states.

Though Canada has decreased its overseas aid responsibilities recently, it’s excellent capacity to compensate for it using its gentle ability to handle problems of global development and safety. Soft electricity is understood to be a compelling strategy to international relations and diplomacy that does not involve coercion and transactions on a nation’s cultural and economical impact.

Considering that the planet and the nature of risks to human safety and solidarity have shifted, our strategy to global solidarity and development need to also change.

No More All About Earnings

For too long, we’ve measured advancement and well-being concerning growth in GDP independently and framed topics of global development predominantly concerning absence of revenue. There are increasing calls to query this strategy.

Additionally, it has affected international security discourse by popularizing a notion of human safety that exceeds the conventional focus on territorial safety and encircles health, environmental and food security.

That notion recognizes the geographical and spatial connectivity of risks. It is based on the understanding that the battle for human survival in the long run will be fought not only by defending national boundaries but by recognizing the interconnectedness of the destiny of individual race — and by evoking the empathy that joins us as human beings that are human.

Canada has been in the forefront of promoting this idea. Through the creation of this Human Safety Network with like-minded nations, Canada was powerful, to an extent, in affecting international institutions to advertise a human security agenda.

New Risks

Canada should continue its efforts in this direction, particularly in light of heightened dangers to human safety that the planet faces now in the shape of climate change, polarization, cultural nationalism, intolerance as well as the worldwide spread of illness. Canada’s efforts in promoting a individual rights-based approach to global solidarity are admirable.

When it’s an problem of liberty of speech offenses in repressive regimes or helping international refugees, Canada has adopted a humanist approach, and it has set high ethical standards.

Considering that the present change in the world balance of power from U.S. dominance into the one which involves China and other emerging markets, middle-power nations such as Canada, France, and Germany will probably be in a greater place to utilize their soft capacity to influence international institutions on individual rights-based growth and to encourage much-needed human rights across the globe.

Though Canada’s current decrease in foreign aid continues to be aggressively criticized, it may be observed in a favorable light as it indicates a movement away from problem approach that’s based on short-term diplomatic aid.

What is actually necessary for long-term sustainable growth is to deal with the root cause of underdevelopment, including unaccountable authorities, corruption, and concentration of political authority from the hands of the couple without appropriate checks and balances or principle of law, weak property rights and contract enforcement, and lack of opportunities for the huge majority of taxpayers.

Legitimate International Leadership Needed

However, if Canada’s choice to cut back international aid signals the requirement to deal with root causes of underdevelopment is not apparent. Too frequently, the worldwide has supported repressive, dictatorial regimes from the Global South to market its economic and geopolitical interests.

It is time to realize sustainable and people-centred growth isn’t possible provided that unequal structures of energy and repressive political regimes stay undamaged in developing nations.

The world is prepared for a new vision that defines individual advancement in a deep manner and understands that the interconnectedness of the destiny of humankind. However, to accomplish this, we are in need of a real and credible worldwide leadership.

Considering Canada’s global picture and its own historic record in promoting moral standards and independence around the world, it controls increased validity. Yet, to bring about real change, middle-power nations such as Canada should embrace a leadership role in executing an ethical schedule to guarantee the survival and security of humankind.

Is Canada prepared to lead?

March 11, 2020