Canada’s main role in the world has not been very clear in recent years. The nation has been involved in a couple of international ventures that include the provision of aid to needy nations, sending of troops to nations plagued by conflict and wars among others. Although these international ventures have portrayed a good image of the nation and has made it come across as a nation that is always willing to help others, there is still a, lot more that the nation can do to influence the world in a positive manner. Therefore, although foreign aid, as well as the sending of troops to conflict zones, are recommendable, this is not only how foreign nations should view Canada. Canada’s role in the world should be in terms of leadership. The country should exhibit leaderships in terms of the economy, human rights, international education among other aspects that might influence foreign nations to follow suit and try to achieve economic prosperity, internal education as well as the maintenance of human rights. In simple terms, Canada should aim to be a role model.
One of the most important needs of the current world society is general human rights. Canada has an exemplary platform to become a world leader in human rights and encourage other nation to follow suit. According to Alex Neve, a renowned Canadian human rights activist who is also the secretary-general of the Canadian branch of Amnesty International, Canada needs to lead by example when it comes to the disconnect between human rights at home and in foreign nations or abroad (Cates-Bristol , 2009, par 6). Neve goes on to state that Canada must return to what the world known it is known for; its strong belief in peace principles, gender equality, diversity, tolerance, respect and its human rights history (Cates-Bristol , 2009, par 7). There are so many countries in the world where human rights are abused and in fact, most political upheavals that occur in nations across the world take place when human rights are aggressively abused and people take to the streets to protest. Sometimes, the situation gets so bad that war erupts and nations such as Canada are forced to send troops to keep peace. A perfect example of a current event is the on-going conflict in Somalia. However, Canada has the ability to influence the world even by a higher margin if it concentrated more on being a leader in human rights and active role model to other nations that would follow suit. Other nations in the world usually look up to countries such as the United States and Canada and when these nations are the forefront of fighting for human rights, individual countries might alter their governing structures to pave way from the achievement of these human rights. Therefore, even more important than the sending of troops to foreign nations is Canada’s duty to be a leader in human rights and therefore motivate other nations to follow suit.
Canada also needs to exhibit economic leadership in the world by instituting various economic policies that other countries might utilize to see economic success. This is especially in regard to economic independence. A huge portion of the Canadian budget is usually set aside every year to provide foreign aid to various nations. However, the country can do more by becoming a world economic leader through the enactment of various economic policies that will see it economy prosper to greater levels that it is currently is. Canada experienced a very solid economic growth between the years 1993 and 2007 before the global recession hit. In terms of leadership, Canada has already made giant strides in regards to this and is soon going to become a global economic leader. For example, the nation put in place economic measures that ensured that during the global recession, it was G7 nation that experienced the least decline (Canadian Economic Action Plan, 2010, p. 3). In addition, the nation had the strongest fiscal position among the G7 nations at the global recession onset and this allowed it to respond quickly and also forcefully stimulate its national economy and support its citizens through this tough time. The Economic Action Plan set out a policy response plan that is among the largest stimulus packages in the G7 nations (Canadian Economic Action Plan, 2010, p.5). The nation was able to weather through the recession better than many other countries because of effective policies (Canadian Economic Action Plan, p. 6). Therefore, Canada nation has the ability to influence the world even more by becoming an economic leader characterized by working policies that can also be adopted by other nations.
Education is becoming one of the tools of facilitating national progress and Canada has effective devices that can enable to become a global leader in education. It is said that education brings people into the light from darkness and with it vast economic resources, Canada should strive to contribute to the achievement of global education that will ultimately translate into the overall progression and enlightenment of the world. The nation should be at the forefront of facilitating international education. This role has mainly been tasked to the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) which is the national organization that is dedicated to making the nation a worldwide leader in international education (Canadian Bureau for International Education, n.d). International education has various benefits that include cross-cultural communication skills and leadership development (Canadian Bureau for International Education, n.d par 7).
In conclusion, the role of Canada; at the world front should be concentrated more on leadership, for example on economic leadership, human rights leadership, and international education leaderships. Through these, it will have a greater influence on the world; greater than the influence brought by actions such as military power and foreign aid.
Cates-Bristol, K. (2009, December 15). Is Canada Still a Leader when it comes to human rights? Retrieved November 24, 2014, from http://www.cigionline.org/articles/2009/12/canada-still-leader-when-it-comes-human-rights
Canadian Bureau for International Education. (2014, August 14). Rising to Canada’s Global Engagement Challenge: CBIE Champions Study Abroad. Retrieved November 24, 2014, from http://www.cbie.ca/news/rising-to-canadas-global-engagement-challenge-cbie-champions-study-abroad/
Canadian Economic Action Plan (2010). Canada’s Global Economic Leadership Report to Canadians June 2010.