Is Stephen Harper right to snub the United Nations?

Thomas Bink
Is Stephen Harper right to snub the United Nations?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper clearly has no time for the United Nations.

Harper has again refused to attend the opening of the UN General Assembly, something previous Canadian prime ministers have attended and many international leaders do.

This despite the fact that Harper is in New York, as he was last year at the time of the opening. Instead, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will represent Canada.

Experts say that Harper is making a big mistake by ignoring the UN, or at the very least hurting Canada's standing within the organization and internationally.


Harper's been mum on why he refuses to attend the event, but some say he's still upset about Canada not getting a seat on the Security Council in 2010, and that he isn't a supporter of some of the organizations policies and bureaucracy. Regardless, his choice has not helped Canada's standing within the UN.

"Canada couldn't get elected dogcatcher at the the United Nations today," says Ian Smillie, a contributor to a booklet criticizing Harper's actions.

So we ask you: Should Stephen Harper be attending the opening of the UN General Assembly? Or has the UN become increasingly irrelevant in international politics?

Have your say in the comments area below.