Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly also says she wants to strengthen a Canadian-led international convention that condemns arbitrary detention (or hostage diplomacy) so that it has more teeth.
Ms. Joly told The Canadian Press that while the simmering crisis in Eastern Europe with Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s borders is all-consuming, she is actively working to carry out a mission given to her by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: create a new Indo-Pacific strategy.
I will soon be going to the Indo-Pacific region. This will therefore also be part of the commitment before tabling the Indo-Pacific StrategyMs. Joly said in an interview this week before concluding a visit to Germany and France.
” The geopolitical situation in Europe takes up a lot of my time, but I am very aware that the Indo-Pacific strategy will be a signature of our government. »
The Indo-Pacific label is foreign policy shorthand for policies and approaches across the wider Asia-Pacific region that address confrontation with China. Ms. Joly attends a major international security conference in Munich where the Ukrainian-Russian crisis is a major topic of discussion. But she will take part in China-focused talks in Paris at a European Union forum on Indo-Pacific issues.
It’s organized by the French, so it’s also part of understanding what other like-minded countries are doingshe said.
With the United States leading the way to recalibrate the West’s relationship with China, Ms. Joly’s work is part of Canada’s efforts to redefine relations with China after they plunged to a level never reached following the resolution last year of the Meng Wanzhou case and the two Michaels.
When theRCMP arrested, on a US extradition warrant, Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, China has detained two Canadian men, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, in what has been considered by Canada, the US and dozens of other allies as retaliation. They were detained for almost three years before the United States dropped its extradition case against Meng Wanzhou, ending the saga for all.
Convention against arbitrary detentions
A year ago, the standoff with China led Canada to create a new international convention condemning arbitrary detention in diplomatic affairs that now has the support of 68 countries. It was formed as part of an effort to build a broad international coalition to help win the freedom of Messrs. Kovrig and Spavor.
China, along with many other critics, rejected the statement, saying it lacked any real coercive power. Ms. Joly said she saw merit in what many observers are suggesting: that the convention needs a provision for sanctions or some other punitive measure against states that use what Ms. Joly and others now call
She said she had spoken with G7 partners on how to strengthen the convention.
Pretty. Because, even if the two Michaels are back, we absolutely must show, we must prevent any form of use of arbitrary detentions in relations between States. It was a new tool at the time. But I think he has matured well. We need to encourage it even more.”,”text”:”We will want to give it more teeth and at the same time bring other countries to the table, said Ms. Joly. Because, even if the two Michaels are back, we absolutely must show, we must prevent any form of use of arbitrary detentions in relations between States. It was a new tool at the time. But I think he has matured well. We need to encourage him even more.”}}”>We will want to give it more bite and at the same time bring other countries around the table, said Ms. Joly. Because, even if the two Michaels are back, we absolutely must show, we must prevent any form of use of arbitrary detentions in relations between States. It was a new tool at the time. But I think he has matured well. We need to encourage it even more.
Some of Canada’s G7 partners have publicly declared their support for strengthening the convention.
Last week, on its first anniversary, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken endorsed the convention.
The United States continues to call on the international community to collectively respond and press for the release of all those who are arbitrarily detained around the world. We commend Canada for its leadership in combating the practice of imprisoning individuals for diplomatic purposes, Blinken said in a statement. We urge others to support this initiative based on the rule of law and respect for human rights.