Emergency Debate – The Situation in Syria

Elizabeth May: Mr. Speaker, my question to the hon. member for Mississauga East—Cooksville is this. We have seen a disturbing trend in statements by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in relation to the United Nations. It is a kind of contempt for the United Nations, the idea of multilateralism and diplomacy, the idea that we will not go along to get along. I put it to him that in a conflict like Syria it becomes so very clear that when we seek a political solution, if we did not have the United Nations we would need to invent it.

For all its flaws, for all its failures, if we cannot get a multilateral solution with persistent pressure through the UN, through the Security Council, on Russia, on China and on those countries that have long-term relationships with Bashar al-Assad, we would not ourselves want to prop up someone like that, but now that the so-called rebel forces appear to be riddled with al Qaeda and we have the conflict spreading with potential destabilization with Israel’s rocket attack, we are in really serious trouble. Would he not agree with me that we need the United Nations as the primary vehicle for getting to political peacemaking solutions?

Wladyslaw Lizon: Mr. Speaker, Canada has been working with the members of the United Nations and with other countries. Of course, I agree we have to talk with Russia and China. We have to talk with everyone. Russia and China are not the only countries that Mr. al-Assad has good relations with, or historically speaking, has had relations with. For whatever reason, they seem to support him.

However, the democratic countries of this world should get together with the United Nations on bilateral agreements to make sure that everything that can be done is done to end the violence and the armed conflict. Continuing violence and fighting will not solve anything. War does not solve anything. It has to come to peace for a lasting solution to be achieved.