Interview: Prospects for Peace under Joe Biden
Canada should reassert itself as an influential middle power by Prime Minister Trudeau working with the new United States president, Joe Biden, to help coordinate an international response to global crises, says former Senator Douglas Roche.
That is the theme of his latest, up-to-the minute book, Recovery: Peace Prospects in the Biden Era. Roche, former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, is an international political figure and a leading Canadian peace and disarmament expert.
“Prospects for world peace have turned upward with the election of Joe Biden to the presidency of the U.S.” says former Senator Roche. “Biden’s core respect for multilateral negotiations is a basic reason for us to have hope for more peaceful days ahead.”
Roche says that President Biden faces a triple emergency: the climate crisis, the persistent threat posed by nuclear weapons, and the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these issues, Joe Biden will need to restore the United States’ credibility internationally.
“Canada, as a significant middle power, can lead the way with its partners in multilateral fora whose own cooperative sense has just been strengthened with the arrival of President Biden,” says Roche. “As a respected middle power, Canada can command attention and provide leadership in the multilateral fora by speaking up – provided it has a clear and credible message.”
“That message should be to move, in a phased manner, public funding from militarism to human development. This central idea must inform the government’s approach to meeting the global challenge of the coronavirus.”
“A 10 percent cut in military budgets across the world would free up $190 billion a year in extra funding for human needs. Canada could lead the way by devoting 10 percent of its military budget, which would amount to about $2 billion, to the Sustainable Development Goals. Lowering Canada’s spending on the military and increasing expenditures on human development at this time of the coronavirus would be a signal act of leadership by Canada.”
- Read the review by Jim Creskey in The Hill Times
Recovery: Peace Prospects in the Biden Era is winning praise from across Canada, including Lieutenant-General (ret.) The Honourable Romeo Dallaire, Elizabeth May M.P., former Leader of the Green Party of Canada, and Ernie Regehr, former Executive Director of Project Ploughshares.
Roche will be conducting an international “virtual book tour,” speaking to audiences in universities, churches, and civil society organizations.
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