“Canada’s global military role lacks awareness”, says Former PM on ‘Talking Foreign Affairs’

Adil Cader of ‘Talking Foreign Affairs’ (right) with Former Canadian Prime Minister, Kim Campbell

Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell was the recent guest on ‘Talking Foreign Affairs’ with Adil Cader.

The two discuss Canadian Foreign Policy and Gender Equality. On Canada’s role on the global stage, she remarks, “Many Canadians are not aware of the extent to which Canada has, in fact, participated in military operations around the world.” Mrs. Campbell adds, “It was the Canadian Prime Minister who put pressure on President George H.W. Bush to get an approval from the United Nations before going into Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait. In that case, Canada was able to have quite a strong influence on the way America engaged in that conflict.” She further opens up on the country’s position in the World Wars and various military conflicts, as well as its relations with the United States.

The host, Adil Cader, then brings up a question on the unique factors about Canadian foreign policy that have made the country’s soft power so competitive and influential. To this, the former Prime Minister responds that primarily, it’s the country’s history of not being a hegemon and, at the same time, being supportive of the decolonization and independence of other states. On the representation of women as leaders, she recounts the time visiting China as only the second female defence minister in the world until that point of time. “The Chinese were much more interested in the fact that I was Minister of Defence than that I was Prime Minister because I had no experience serving in the military.”

She also draws from her expertise of teaching international relations and strategic studies that after the end of the cold war, nuclear weapons were no longer the primary focus in defence policies. In the interview, Mrs. Campbell reminisces her meeting with Nelson Mandela. She expresses her views on various aspects of the United Nations and her great hope for a female Secretary-General.

“Peacekeeping is only as good as the political will and capabilities of the countries involved” 

Kim Campbell

‘Talking Foreign Affairs’ seeks to educate young people on key international issues and analyse key themes of foreign policy and current global affairs. Their offerings include hosting panels, addressing conferences, carrying out research and publishing. 

Kim Campbell became Canada’s 19th Prime Minister in 1993, was the first and till today the only female holder of the office. Kim Campbell also happened to be the first ever female NATO Defence Minister as well as the world’s second female Defence Minister.

Adil Cader specialises in Australian Foreign Policy and Global Diplomacy. He is a Pacific Forum Young Leader, a Board Member of the Australia-Pacific Youth Dialogue and is actively involved with diplomacy education.

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