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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on 
Foreign Affairs

Issue 12 - Evidence - Meeting of April 20, 2005

OTTAWA, Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs met this day at 4:10 p.m. to examine the development and security challenges facing Africa; the response of the international community to enhance that continent's development and political stability; and Canadian foreign policy as it relates to Africa. Topic: Peace and Security

Senator Consiglio Di Nino (Deputy Chairman) in the chair.


The Deputy Chairman: I would begin by apologizing to our witnesses. The Rules of the Senate do not permit us to sit when the Senate is sitting and the chamber adjourned about six or seven minutes ago. I thank my colleagues for joining us. I suspect that a couple of others are on their way.

For the record, we continue our Senate mandate to examine the development and security challenges facing Africa. We are pleased to welcome as individuals MacDonald Ighodaro, a Professor of Sociology at Saint Mary's University, and Jane Boulden, Canada Research Chair in International Relations and Security Studies, the Royal Military College of Canada. We welcome you to this meeting. Mr. Ighodaro, you will be our first witness, followed by Ms. Boulden. After that, we will look forward to an exchange of thoughts and ideas through questions from our esteemed members and answers from our esteemed guests.

Senator Corbin: We have four different documents. Which are pertinent to this part of the meeting?

The Deputy Chairman: We have one entitled ``Peace and Security in Africa,'' and the speaking notes from Ms. Boulden.

Mr. MacDonald Ighodaro, Professor, Saint Mary's University, as an individual: I appreciate this opportunity to address your committee. I have gone from being a nobody to being a somebody. Canada has done this for me, and I could not wait for this very moment to be able to speak, in particular, on issues relating to peace and security in Africa.

The first heading will deal with issues that I do not, in fact, want to go into. It has to do with the persistent violence of social disorder in Africa. I am tired, because my parents were born into it, I was born into it, and I am still talking about it. I will dwell on global hegemony and political stability or instability in Africa. I will connect that to the notions of exclusion and inclusion, pluralism and assimilation, civil war and genocide. I will not commit myself to deal with these issues in detail.

I have made much effort to provide some form of contextual analysis of the terms ``assimilation, pluralism'' and ``genocide.'' I will not spend much time on that. ``Assimilation'' means the imposition of one's values on another. ``Pluralism'' is what I adore. I love it, and the reason I love it is that I found, in Canadian society, even though the concepts may be competing, most official government documents do speak to notions of integration. ``Genocide'' is a different concept all together. It is a systemic extermination of people that one group believes does not belong.

The three concepts I introduced have their roots in Africa with European contact. I will explain that by hegemony. Many African leaders have adopted the notion of hegemony. They do it, and they do it very well. It is the imposition of one's values upon another based on social differences.

Africa has a colonial legacy. In fact, when you want to talk about it, people do not want to listen. We want to acknowledge it. People do not want to talk about it. One of the root causes of African problems today has to do with the colonial legacy. Somalia and Rwanda come to mind. Somalia was divided into five colonial powers, which somehow resulted in their conflict. Now they have no nation and no government and they have tried to rebuild a failed government. I went into this earlier in referring to hegemony.

There are Euro-North American disruptions into African development in terms of ethnic and cultural harmony to war and balance. The rule of the Europeans, I would say, is and was to use Africans against Africans along ethnic lines, religious lines and social difference lines. Those lines do not make sense to me.

Then you have African leaders. This is what I call internal conflict. They consume and forego the vitality of the communal society, which I found in Canadian society, caring for somebody else. They ignore that and join and emulate the very principles that I am speaking against. This is what I call individual capitalist greed. Individual capitalist greed is an opportunity for a notorious African political leaders to make as much money as they want for their own pockets, without regard to the population mass. What you see today is that African political leaders have amassed a lot of money, a lot of wealth. into their own private accounts, at the expense of their societies. They are dictatorships. Even though they pretend to be a democratic government, they are not. They use terror, death, indefinite imprisonment, disappearance and silencing of the basic principles of human rights. Therefore, Africa cannot help itself. This is what I am here to tell you. If Africa cannot help itself, nobody will help Africa. I am not here today to tell you to help Africa; I am here today to tell you to work with Africa. To work with Africa means to remove the power imbalance between Canada and Africa and to be able to work in a communal way whereby the people are recognized.

What you see in Africa today is persistent poverty. Over 90 per cent of Africans are living in social and economic destitution. Approximately 14 per cent of the world population are Africans, and the world does not trade with Africa. It is calculated that 1.5 per cent of global trade is with Africa. Less than 1 per cent of financial investment is with Africa. That does not make sense if I live in Canadian society.

Africans are in trouble. My people are in trouble. They are in trouble because I cannot single-handedly help this population. Over 6 million African children were injured in the last decade from war; 2 million children were killed in the last decade from war in Africa; 30 million children have been forcibly displaced. These are people who could, in any kind of situation, fall into the refugee convention. At least 10 million African children are refugees. Over 300,000 African children are soldiers.

When we are talking about soldiers, we are talking about children as young as six years of age. As long as you know how to talk, then you are able to carry a light weapon that would kill someone else in order to defend yourself.

Sixty million Africans is a large number of people. I do not work with numbers; I work quantitatively. These numbers are from the United Nations. If the United Nations canboldly estimate these kind of numbers, that means the figures are higher. I work from a quantitative standpoint. Therefore, 60 million African children do not have access to education. Over 10,000 African children were victims of land mines. I remember when Canada was working actively on that. Almost every African is affected by political disorder and millions now have AIDS or HIV.

One critical issue I would like to put before you is ethnic conflict. Ethnic conflict relates to knowledge. I work within the paradigms of what Canadian society has to offer me. I do not teach what African society has to offer me. I have looked into ethnic religions and the religious divide in Canadian society. I must praise Canadians. To manoeuvre and to have a stable society is the kind of system I want.

I will be the first one to work against recommending a Canadian parliamentary system of government because one must be able to take criticisms, work with the criticisms, and be able to come out and love democracy.

Most Africans do not migrate because they live in rural areas. They are content in their rural areas. Once you are content, then you do not migrate. The only time Africans migrate is when they are displaced. Once they are displaced, they look for protection and safety. The only country that seems to offer that is Canada. Due to geographical location, they cannot get here. Not only that, as a result of the new immigration policy, they cannot enter Canada. I am referring to the safe third country provisions. Therefore, it is imperative for Africans to know about themselves and not see themselves as enemies, but rather as human beings.

I am proposing anti-racist policies to counter hegemonic practices in Africa. People know that in Africa anybody can get away with anything because of the notorious leadership in Africa. People move from here and destroy Africa. That is not the norm of nation states.

We must find ways to confront human rights violators, people who break the rules and feel that they can get away with it. I would like Canada to play an active role, not only in regard to those who commit sexual violence as a crime of war, or those who imprison people because they do not want to hear their views, but those who convert public money so that it end up in their own pockets.

Democratic politics is good in Africa. People love it. However, they hate the outcome. The notion of social justice and economic equity disappears when democratic governments are actually in place. This is a difficult question. Young, educated people are willing to leave tomorrow, but once they have that democracy which I call a dangerous, spurious democracy, they wish the military governments and dictatorships would come back. That makes no sense to me. These are intellectuals and university graduates.

I can name several countries in Africa of which most governments and heads of state do not even have a degree. I will start with the most populated example. The Nigerian government has only had one person in its history who had a degree. These are the people that negotiated colonial domination to independence. Since 1960, Nigeria has not had a single president or head of state who had a university degree. This is a dangerous environment. The same applies to many parts of Western Africa.

I do wish to speak about the role of the international community and the colonial legacy. I wish to speak about the role of Africans in terms of forced repatriation, the practices of violence that are imposed on innocent people. Violence and displacement are common. Nowhere in Africa is not a refugee-producing nation; it has its roots.

The United Nations was charged with this and the NGOs are now favouring forced repatriation. The first principle in international law, international principles or humanitarian ideology that sets out to protect refugees, no matter where they come from is that refugees are promised that they will never be repatriated to the country, the source or place where they fear persecution. The activities that are going on right now in Congo, Somalia, and in Nairobi, Kenya make no sense. Therefore, forced repatriation to a place where you fear death does not conform to international law or international rules. We have serious problems, and those have resulted in the new immigration policy that we have now — the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Canadian society is committed to protecting refugees.

The conscious effort of the international community to evade or hide behind the notions of huge population displacement, in my opinion, is not real. Rather, it is a disguise, and there are other motives behind it. I will tell you about the motives and then I will take your questions. You do not have access to my speaking notes, which are fundamentally different from the handout that I provided to the committee.

I will restrict my examples to Angola and Sierra Leone. There is evidence that international, transnational migration agents — transnational businesses — engage not in promoting Africa but in disuniting Africans by working with rebel groups to overthrow the legitimate government and supply them with confiscated light weapons that children can carry. These groups do not have money to pay back. The only thing they can do is exchange precious natural resources for guns. I have accessed the strength and the whole nonsense of African leaderships that in some way articulate and obtain foreign aid — Canadian money — so they can convert it to their private accounts. It does not make sense to me.

What makes sense to me is that Canada is spending its money. It is not spent on those who want to do a legitimate business but those who know that they can go to Africa, commit crimes and get away with it. We need to spend our money there to prosecute these people and bring them to justice. We need to prosecute African leaders who think that they can say something in the name of democracy but not believe in democracy. We need to do something realistic, although it might not look good on paper. Canada needs to believe that these persons can do something to effect change with $500 million, which is a lot of money.

In essence, refugees need to be protected and not sent back to a place where they fear persecution. Notorious African political leaders need to be held accountable for their actions. It does not have to be brutal or lead to genocide. We feel that we are threatened, and now we have to hold them accountable. The whole political stability is dependent on a democracy — this is what I call democratic principles.

Therefore, please, I would like to see Canadian principles of justice, of humanitarian values to protect refugees before I die.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ighodaro, your passion has been strongly expressed. I have allowed you to speak much longer than I would allow normally. I would ask if you are finished or if you want another 10 seconds to make a final comment, and then I must move on.

Mr. Ighodaro: The 10-second presentation I would like to make, thank you. There is a problem with African leaderships, those that call themselves democracies and dictatorships. They are not reaching their people. The people do not understand what democracy is. The international community needs to hold people who go to Africa to disable Africa accountable for their actions.

The Deputy Chairman: Thank you. Ms. Boulden, please proceed.

Ms. Jane Boulden, As an individual: Honourable senators, Mr. Ighodaro has provided an interesting lead-in to what I will discuss. My approach is to look at the international community, and particularly the United Nations, and what they have done to try to deal with conflict in Africa.

By way of background, I have looked at this in a variety of ways but all from the perspective of the United Nations. That is mainly my area of expertise rather than African politics, as such.

A project on the use of force by the United Nations led me to look at the Congo in the 1960s and at Somalia in the early 1990s. While I was working at Oxford, I ran a project on the UN and regional organizations and how they dealt with conflict in Africa. This past year, I worked on a project on peace consolidation and how the United Nations could pursue peace consolidation in Africa. That project was sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Office in Britain.

That gives you a sense of how I approach this question.

When you look at how the United Nations has dealt with conflict in Africa, you see two quite competing visions, quite a mixed view of what goes on. On the one hand, it is quite an active organization. Seven of its current 16 operations are in Africa. The more interesting figure is that 75 per cent of all deployed military and civilian police under UN control at the moment are in African operations. That is quite a high number, and that does not include the 10,000 that are now authorized for Sudan. The Security Council spends about 35 per cent of its time, and sometimes more, on African conflict issues, and that does not include such issue-specific questions as HIV/AIDS and the role of children in conflict. It is an active, interested and on-the-ground organization.

On the other hand, the United Nations has a history of failure in dealing with conflict in Africa, Rwanda and Somalia being the most obvious examples. Looking at the pattern of UN operations in Africa, there have been a number of repeats. Of 24 operations, roughly half have been repetitive ones. In Sierra Leone, for example, there were two operations. In Angola, there were four operations. In Somalia, there were two or three, depending on how you count the operations. It suggests an ongoing difficulty in establishing peace in any sustainable way and also in an organizational sense.

A few of those operations have only survived by the use of outside intervention, such as the British rescue of the Sierra Leone operation when more than 500 UN troops were kidnapped by warring groups there. France has also been involved in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to stabilize situations there where UN troops have not been able to do so.

There has been a learning curve, but it is a difficult environment. The United Nations has had a difficult time coping with it. This has also been in part because the international community increasingly, and in particular after Somalia and Rwanda, has had difficulty generating the political will or even the number of troops required to deal with these issues. That has been an ongoing and increasing phenomenon.

I will talk briefly about two themes inherent in this. The first is Africa as an issue area and the second is regional organizations and their role.

Beginning in the late 1990s, but particularly beginning in 1998, in part in reaction to this sense of failure, the UN began focusing on conflict in Africa as a separate issue. This involved the Secretary-General issuing a report on conflict in Africa that in turn prompted action by the Security Council. This includes things like agreements to meet at the level of foreign ministers on a biannual basis in the Security Council to deal with African conflict issues.

Currently there is an ad hoc Security Council working group, and a variety of measures are being undertaken. The Security Council has also gone to the field in what are called Security Council missions. This allows them to impress upon the warring parties their commitment and it gives them an opportunity to see the situation for themselves. That has been an important development.

We most recently saw the Security Council go as a whole to meet in Nairobi. It is unprecedented for the Security Council to meet in a conflict region. That is a symbol of their commitment, but it did raise questions about whether that goes beyond a symbol.

On the question of regional aspects, one of the trends that has developed, particularly since the end of the Cold War but especially in the aftermath of Rwanda, is the drive to give greater responsibility to regional organizations in Africa to deal with conflict issues. In part, this has been acceptance of a phenomenon that was already happening on the ground. For example, beginning in 1990, the Economic Community of West African States responded to the crisis in Liberia. They did so without Security Council authorization, but that is a different issue.

That trend of regional or subregional organizations responding to conflict has grown and taken root since then. It has been encouraged by the international community, in part because it seemed to be good for Africa to have African solutions to African problems. I would argue that it is also in part because it shifts the burden of responsibility and the risks to the regional organizations. Western states are increasingly reluctant to send their own troops there. They are much happier to have the regional organizations take on the conflict.

Regional organizations have done so because they know that the international community will not come to the rescue or, if it does come to the rescue, it will be too late and too ineffective. They learned the lessons of Rwanda and Somalia and have taken them to heart. You see this in particular in the development of the African Union Charter, the transition from what used to be the Organization of African Unity. There is a greater sense of the need to take control of their own destiny and their own issues. That development is still in its infancy.

These organizations face huge resource questions. ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, which is the organization that has had the most experience in peacekeeping, has 16 member states. Ten of them rank in the lowest third on the human development index put forward by the United Nations. I say that not to point out their level in the ranking so much as to point out that we are asking states that can barely cope with their own situations to take on the issues and military operations required for regional conflict.

Where does that leave us? What can Canada do? I could come up with a long list, but I have noted two as a way of leading into discussion. One is to pursue the idea of peace consolidation a little more. In the post Cold War era, through the United Nations, there has been a greater recognition that peace is more than just stopping the fighting. That sounds simplistic to say, but somehow it took us a while to get there. Peace is more than the absence of war. We need to think about issues of economic development, justice and many of the issues Mr. Ighodaro has raised.

How you do that, both as an individual state and through the international community, is not straightforward. There are a number of institutional obstacles to overcome as well as the ongoing question of resources and what the best way is to deal with these solutions.

The other thing is to just get on with it. Canada is doing a number of important things, and we should do more. Again, I return to the resource issue. There is a requirement for more training and more cooperative arrangements and exchanges. At one level, it is easy to say that almost anything will help. That is the case, but it is important to be careful about just doing a whole range of small things without having the bigger picture in mind. That is why the increasing emphasis on 3Ds here in Canada is welcome. We see that mirrored in other countries such as Britain where they call it the ``joined up'' approach. The European Union has the African Peace Facility, which is a suborganization of the EU, that will help to support these organizations. We can be doing more of that kind of thing as well.

Senator Poy: Mr. Ighodaro, how would you propose that the Canadian government prosecute political leaders in African countries? As you said, they are not really democratically elected. However, they are recognized by the government. From a practical point of view, how does one do that?

Mr. Ighodaro: Canada should work with relatively weak principles of democratic society that claim that. That is one area. Second, Canada must be smart. There is a history in those countries. If what Canada is actually spending money on is not producing the intended results, something is wrong somewhere. The traditional NGOs will not do it. They get away with it. The government that practices democracy back and forth will not do it. The people who do not know their democratic rights will not do it, but there will be a group and individuals, not familiar with Canadian society, not familiar with the outcome of those people who will recognize that it is time for Africa to experience some form of decency in living. Canada should be working with those individuals and groups.

Senator Poy: Are you talking about individuals in Africa or in Canada?

Mr. Ighodaro: Both.

Senator Poy: You are talking about Canadian government. The Canadian government cannot go in and take out a leader. I do not see that happening. I do not think it is appropriate for one government to say, ``The leader in your country should not be the leader, and we will take him out.''

Mr. Ighodaro: No one should get me wrong. It is not only the people in the government who are quantified as dangerous to the people to whom Canadian aid or international aid does not reach. Those are the people in whom Canada wants to invest. However, there are people that Canada can work with such as those who consider themselves African and commit to die for the improvement of Africans. In African culture, you are told that you have to die for your family because you do not want your family to die for you. The same thing is expected in the community. You are expected to die for your community as they would die for you. As I grew up, I came to the realization that people kill others in their society for their own individual greed.

I will not sit here and tell you that there are no African politicians with whom Canada can work. That is not my mission. My mission is to explain that those traditionalists, those who know how to say, and can say, what Canada wants to hear and get the funding and convert that money to their own private money are not the people I want Canada to work with.

Senator Poy: How does Canada identify these people?

Mr. Ighodaro: Canada is a very smart country. I love, adore and embrace Canada. The complexity within Canadian society in terms of ethnicity, religion, race and language and to be able to survive as a nation is something that every Canadian who lives here should be able to emulate and live with. Conflict is not always with guns; it can be by word of mouth.

My students do not agree with me, but at the end of the day, they are my students. They are frustrated with Canadian foreign policy on paper and not in practice because they see people dying and the money does not get to the people who need it. You cannot sit there and tell me that you do not know how to do it because I think you do know. Canada is a smart nation. Whatever works in Canada can be transplanted to any society.

Senator Downe: My question pertains to the United Nations. This committee has heard from a number of people who were critical of groups like the IMF and the World Bank and what they are doing in Africa.

Many Canadians support the principles of the United Nations, but they are growing increasingly concerned with the mismanagement of their objectives. Do you see any role for Canada in assisting the UN; and what could we do specifically to assist the UN in fulfilling their mandate?

Ms. Boulden: Are you asking with specific reference to Africa or is it a general management kind of question?

Senator Downe: I am asking the question with specific reference to Africa.

Ms. Boulden: There is an opportunity at the moment to help the United Nations. It is an organization in crisis, there is no question about that. The mismanagement allegations have come on the heels of deep and far-reaching concerns about its legitimacy and credibility that were well in the works before Iraq and have taken hold since then.

The next year or so is a good time to help. Canada could play a role. You could discuss a variety of simple, structural, fairly straightforward items. We have to do what we already do, but do more of it and do it better. We are quite active on certain issues at the United Nations. We are slightly constrained by the fact that we are not on the Security Council at the moment. Canada is in a relatively small group of states for whom that is not as much of an impediment as it might be for others because of our reputation. Canada, the Scandinavians, Australia, New Zealand and some of the Western European countries, for example, have a strong reputation and a significant amount of ongoing ability to influence some key actors.

We have been very good, particularly under Paul Heinbecker, while he was at the United Nations about encouraging issue-oriented discussions on, for example, the role of diamonds, sanctions, children in conflict and so on. We could take on one or more — but I think one would be enough — of the conflict areas and become more focused on that as Canada, not just at the UN, but in our own foreign policy.

As I say in my speaking notes, we should develop more of our own expert capacity on these issues. We need more people who know everything there is to know about what is going on in West Africa if we are to influence what is happening there over time. It is not just about changing things in the next six months; we are talking in each case here about long-term approaches.

Senator Downe: I do not disagree with your suggestion about Canada developing expert capacity, but are we doing an end run around the UN? Are we duplicating what the UN should be doing? Do we then add more layers that are competing rather than complementing each other?

Ms. Boulden: I do not think so. I share your concern, however. When I spoke about the peace consolidation project, that was part of one of our proposals, that is, to consider the idea of establishing a peace consolidation committee at the Security Council. The thought was that this might be a proposal Canada could run with.

I am not a huge supporter of that. I think it is just what you described — it adds a committee, another layer of institutionality, to the Security Council. This is something the Security Council should be doing anyway. I am not in favour of anything that lets them off the hook in the slightest way. That is a separate issue from us developing a greater capacity to deal with African issues.

Senator Downe: I notice there have been proposals advanced in Central America where for the first time now we have democratically elected governments in all of the countries, the last time I checked. Canada has a significant amount of experience and expertise in corporate governance, courts and institutions. People are suggesting that is what we should be doing there. I am hearing you say that we should help Africa by finding something similar that we are good at in an area that they are not as good at.

Ms. Boulden: I agree. There is always a balance when you are trying to be issue-oriented. Do we focus on justice or democracy? Do we take a regional approach — Central America, Africa and, if Africa, what part of Africa? We need to balance the two. We cannot do everything. We have to choose, but we must be aware that, in choosing, we leave out some things.

The Deputy Chairman: We have heard more severe criticism than Senator Downe suggested. Senator Dallaire, then Major General Dallaire, was quite critical in his testimony. Would you comment on the fact that the UN has recognized that they have some problems, and the Secretary-General has come up with some major ideas, as he refers to them? Do you feel that they have recognized that the problem exists and how major it is, and are their solutions what is needed?

Ms. Boulden: I think they do recognize the problems. It is always dangerous to say ``they.'' Key actors in the UN system certainly recognize the problems and the nature of the problems. It is a huge undertaking to try to solve them with the type of major reform that is on the table at the moment.

One of the dangers in what is happening at the moment is that a package of reforms is being discussed, but the issue of Security Council reform is being highlighted as the be-all and end-all. It is also the one that is least likely to happen. There is a fear, which I share, that, if the Security Council reform aspect of the package fails, the whole reform package will go with it. At one level, that might be fair, because the problems are significant. If we cannot address them sufficiently in light of the nature of the Security Council, then it is a sign of the state of the international community's view of the United Nations. Maybe that will prompt us to get on with it.

That said, there is much in that package that is quite useful that I hope will be pursued and not get lost in the shuffle.

The Deputy Chairman: The word ``dysfunctional'' has been used. Do you feel that, if the reforms do not proceed, that we have a functional entity, or do you believe that it is dysfunctional at this time if reforms are not completed?

Ms. Boulden: It depends which part of the United Nations you are talking about. It is a huge organization with a number of different groups. What you are focussing on is the Secretariat and the Secretary-General.

The Deputy Chairman: The decision-making bodies.

Ms. Boulden: Then there is the general assembly. It is particularly the Security Council on which people are focussing. I was probably too diplomatic in what I was trying to say when I talked about how Western states increasingly do not commit themselves to operations in Africa. It is part and parcel of a greater trend of a sense of a double standard. The Security Council only engages in things which interest the permanent five, and in particular which interest the United States. You can call that dysfunctional. It is actually the way the organization was intended to work. Whether that is sufficient for us now is another question.

Senator Corbin: As you were talking, I was reading parts of your paper that you did not specifically or pointedly address. One matter that has been bothering me, and which I have questioned many times, is the one you raise on the last page. You say there are some significant obstacles to such an approach — that is the 3D approach that you were talking about at the bottom of the previous page — not the least of which is the inherent disinclination of international actors and institutions to coordinate with one another.

If you are engaged in diplomacy, you talk to your colleagues from other delegations, you share the burden, you share the cost, you share the studies, and you share in the initiatives on the ground. Could you tell me if you are aiming at anyone in particular when you talk of international actors and institutions, and who would they be? I will follow up on whatever answer you are willing to give me.

Ms. Boulden: At the international level in that particular reference, what I had in mind was the international financial institutions and the United Nations unwillingness to cooperate with one another.

Senator Corbin: Why is that?

Ms. Boulden: It is the same reason that within, say, Canada and the 3D approach, there is an inherent disinclination of CIDA to cooperate with Foreign Affairs to cooperate with DND. It is an ongoing problem. It is inherent in every government you will come across.

Senator Corbin: It is endemic.

Ms. Boulden: If you study political science, you will note that bureaucratic politics theory seeks to explain all that. It is a persistent trend that is found just about everywhere you go. That said, I do not think it is something that is insurmountable.

I was referring to it because there is this greater sense now that, in dealing with conflict, we need the multi- dimensional approach. The UN has been prompted by member states and other actors to try to engage in more coordination with the World Bank and the IMF and other actors who are involved in that end of the equation.

To give you an example, when an operation is being planned at the UN, a number of member states have a resistance to allowing the development side of the equation to begin before the military side is over. They want an exit date. At that point, the military leaves and everybody else comes in. One of the reasons they want that is because it avoids a situation in which the military is there without an exit strategy and without a date for leaving and might be there indefinitely. In terms of their publics at home, they are unwilling to make that commitment. Those are the kinds of institutional obstacles to which I am referring.

Senator Corbin: I heard it said yesterday from sources I will not name that CIDA, in wanting to target more closely the countries that it intends to aid or help, has included in the 25 or so that were named two countries that Foreign Affairs says should not be included in that program. What you are telling us confirms that something is not working well here at home, not just abroad in the councils of the sages. It is here at home. That is something that is not only annoying but to me is very grave in the efficacy of our government being able to get its heads together and come up with common approaches that are not disruptive in terms of what it is that we all want our foreign policy to achieve.

This committee, if things do not unfold as many people think they may unfold in the coming weeks, will be going to New York. We will be meeting with the Canadian ambassador at the UN.

I am sure we will be meeting with Madame Frechette, Kofi Annan's assistant, a bright Canadian who has a very good understanding of what works and what does not. We will surely be questioning them on the issues you raise.

What are the profound reasons for the IFIs not wanting to cooperate more with the established institutions? Why do they decide to forge ahead like a bull in a china shop in Africa, disrupting systems and policies that, although perhaps not perfect in terms of our western vision, have served the people well to some extent? Could you give us more insight into that very particular relationship or lack of relationship? We have all been bothered by the perceived attitude of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. All witnesses who have appeared before us have decried their actions in Africa. Could you elaborate on that, please?

Ms. Boulden: On your question about why they disrupt systems that have served well, I am not rushing to their defence, but it is not their intention, obviously, to disrupt. They do go with the intent of helping.

In the past 20 or more years, in particular, the institutions have put forward a particular package of reforms that they require recipient states to pursue in order to get financial support. It is increasingly recognized that, not only are those disruptive, but also, in certain situations they are completely counterproductive. True to form, it takes institutions quite some time not only to realize it but also to change their way of approaching things.

That has gained further inertia by the fact that these institutions are controlled primarily by Western states, in particular by the United States. They run on weighted voting systems. Their money primarily comes from those states and they are the ones that call the shots, and that deeply influences the type of policies they pursue when they go out into the world to do these things.

I do think that they are learning some of these lessons. However, these organizations are all dysfunctional at a certain level. Think of the problems inherent in Canadian government and multiply it by 1,000 any time you are talking about the UN or another of these other institutional organizations.

That said, the World Bank in particular has been particularly good at funding disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of troops in post-conflict situations. This again raises the issue of timing. It would be far better if funding and those efforts could begin practically the moment a ceasefire starts. However, because of the way the international community has developed its approach over time, that comes far later — after there have been elections, after there has been a UN military operation and so on. That shift is now starting to integrate those things more fully from the beginning. That is just an example.

Senator Corbin: It does not compensate for the damage they have done over the last 20 years.

Ms. Boulden: No.

Senator Corbin: They should make amends for that. They have disrupted the livelihood of vast populations in so many countries. You cannot morally just walk away from that, can you?

Ms. Boulden: You can, but you should not.

Senator Corbin: That is what they are doing.


Senator Prud'homme: Do not be surprised if CIDA officials do not appear to be on speaking terms with the representatives of Foreign Affairs. It is a well-known fact that CSIS does not talk to the RCMP, that International Trade, which still has no enabling legislation, is the process of appointing ambassadors when a bill has yet to come before the Senate. We seem to be living in a kind of fantasy world.

As for our friend from St. Mary's University, you have picked the wrong week to meet me. I am pleased to make your acquaintance, but as you know, Canada is a vast, beautiful, multicultural and bilingual country!

I have been in Parliament for 41 years and if one of my unilingual English colleagues seated opposite had been treated as I was very recently on Parliament Hill, they would have raised a stink if they hold been told, in French: ``Je ne parle pas l'anglais! Montrez-moi votre pièce d'identification.'' Come and see me and I will tell you all about this incident. This is a challenge for us every day. Be very careful, or other countries could be misled about how things really are here in Canada. Here, bilingualism is a daily struggle.

I have nothing specific to ask you. All I hope is that we carefully consider what you have told us.

I will review very carefully the transcript of Ms. Boulden's testimony because she talked about a subject that holds a special kind of fascination for me. I have to admit that it is unfortunate. I tend to agree with what Senator Corbin said. In the announcement that was made, only my anglophone Senate colleagues were named. I have been kind today, but wait until tomorrow in the Senate.

You are absolutely right. I was very surprised to hear announced the names of the 25 countries that will be the focus of our study, when our mandate, which was awarded without consultation, was to study the situation in Africa. All of the Arab nations have been omitted from this list. Some will say that this is my pet project. I was surprised to see that no Arab country was on the list. Yet, they are in need of foreign aid from CIDA. I am a little disappointed to see that and the situation has made me pause to reflect. Thank you ever so much for trying to enlighten us. Committee members are very mindful of what you had to tell them.

I did not have any questions, only a comment. And I will continue to comment until this Parliament draws to a close, as I give some thought to how I plan to cast my ballot in the next federal election. As it is, I can barely contain my anger.


Senator Mahovlich: Mr. Ighodaro, the countries that colonized Africa were mostly religious countries, including France, Portugal and Spain. Does religion play a part in Africa today? No one has mentioned it. In the United States and Canada, the first thing you notice in every village and town is a church. Is it the same in Africa?

Mr. Ighodaro: I must apologize. I did mention religion, but maybe I was too fast in my presentation.

Senator Mahovlich: I must have missed it.

Mr. Ighodaro: I termed it in my presentation as issues of social difference. If people do not hear ethnic or religious conflict, then I have a last opportunity to pull that together, and I speak to social differences. Yes, issues around religion are problems for Africa and have led to different conflicts, antagonisms and war. Religion cannot be dismissed when considering Africa's problems.

Their religion is fundamentally flawed. It is not real in the minds of the people who can see what religions are set out to do and what religion is actually doing in Africa. Religion through the Bible was one of the means by which Africans gave in to the whole notion of slavery. They learned that if you are slapped, you do not slap back, and that God will take care of everything.

The Bible has been fundamentally misused. The Koran in Africa has been assaulted because the Arabs burned down the houses of Africans, captured them and sold them to the Europeans. Therefore, religion is not working for Africans, for Africans to realize that they have a right to their dignity, a right to religion and a right to live in any geographical location.

Senator Robichaud: Ms. Boulden, the last line of your presentation says that the international community has failed to respond adequately to the crisis in Darfur or to trouble spots in West Africa. You are saying that with everything that has happened, we have not learned very much. If another situation were to arise, we would not be in a better position to deal with it.

Ms. Boulden: It is very much a situation of the glass-half-full, glass-half-empty approach. It depends on which way you look at it. Yes, that is essentially what I was getting at. We can argue that we have come a long way and we have learned a lot of lessons, but as Darfur in particular indicates, especially on the heels of those events, if something else major were to occur, I am not convinced that we would have a rapid, adequate response.

There is a fundamental reluctance to contribute militarily to Africa. That notion has taken hold since the events in Rwanda and Somalia, in spite of all the other activity and discussion. The responsibility to protect is much discussed. In some ways, Darfur was the classic example, you would think, but it was not invoked and Dafur has not led to much response internationally. I am not naturally a pessimistic person but it is easy to be pessimistic when it comes to this issue.

Each time there have been crises, there have been other distractions elsewhere. When Liberia went into crisis in 1990-91, the world was dealing with the invasion of Kuwait and the military operation to liberate it. In the late 1990s there was deep involvement in Kosovo, while any number of crises were going on in Africa. A priorization occurs in the international community and, in particular, in Western countries. That is a fact. We have to determine whether to deal with that and how to deal with that, or to accept that that is the way states work.

Senator Robichaud: Are we on our way to figuring it out?

Ms. Boulden: Do you mean Canada?

Senator Robichaud: Yes, Canada and the role we have to play with the international community. It makes me wonder when I see on television what has been happening and then I sit here and try to assess what is being done, how it is being done and how we could do more to prevent such situations or at least protect the children. I feel terrible when children are used and tortured. They do not stand a chance in such situations. What kind of outlook must they have on the world, given what is happening to them? They do not have a chance of contributing to their nation. We all see it and yet we are no further ahead. It distresses me.

Ms. Boulden: I agree. To take a couple of practical issues, if we are talking about military crises, civil war, conflicts that spring up, or even the Rwandan genocide, we know for certain that speed of response matters. The sooner help gets there, the better. Six weeks or even six days can be far too late. You have to be there as quickly as possible. That is a huge undertaking. In respect of the military, you have probably heard from Senator Dallaire. A lot is involved in being capable of doing that as Canada, let alone as the United Nations. I agree entirely. We actually know much more. Canada has done a tremendous amount towards contributing to knowing what is needed. We are still having problems in pursuing it.

Senator Corbin: Ms. Boulden, this is a personal question. You were introduced to us as the Canada Research Chair in International Relations and Security Studies at the Royal Military College of Canada. I would like you to tell us what that entails. It is important for us to try to grasp what kind of training our future military leaders are receiving at this fine college. I am sure you are involved in seminars and discussions to throw ideas around and come up with valid solutions. Could you enlighten me, please?

Ms. Boulden: I started at the Royal Military College just over one year ago in January 2004, having been at Oxford University for three and one-half years on a research fellowship. Canada Research Chair is the program that is funded by the Canadian government to bring academics home and to keep academics here who might otherwise go abroad. You may be familiar with the program.

Senator Corbin: I am not.

Ms. Boulden: That is the idea behind it. I teach. I have reduced teaching commitments because I have a research chair and I am meant to be engaging in ongoing research and writing. This is the first time I have taught undergraduates. I have taught in the Masters of War Studies program as well. It has been an interesting and positive experience for me. There are many bright and committed people there. They are particularly committed to going out and doing the kinds of things we have been talking about.

Senator Corbin: Are they all military trainees, or do you also have other people going there?

Ms. Boulden: The undergraduates are all officer cadets. At the graduate level, the students are a mix of civilian and military.

Senator Corbin: What kind of civilians are they? Are they government people?

Ms. Boulden: Sometimes. One or two civilian students in my graduate class are there because they are interested in issues relating to war studies.

Senator Corbin: Are there similar chairs elsewhere in Canada?

Ms. Boulden: Yes, there are a variety of subject areas. You can be in science, arts, or a variety of subjects.

Senator Corbin: I mean specific to your field.

Ms. Boulden: There are probably 10 or 12 in the country.

Senator Corbin: Are those spread over various universities?

Ms. Boulden: That is correct. I do not know the exact number, but it would be something like that.

The Deputy Chairman: Thank you, Ms. Boulden, for answering some personal questions. You did not really have to do that, but thank you.

I have a quick comment and then a question for Mr. Ighodaro.

I have actually opined in the Senate that if, in Sudan, there had been a lot of white children, the response would have been different. I will not get into that tonight, but I think we could have an in depth discussion about that.

Mr. Ighodaro, what is your opinion on the old debate about tying aid to performance on human rights, et cetera. Could you tackle that in a couple of minutes?

Mr. Ighodaro: Canadian society and Canadian leaders are leaders on human rights issues. The world looks up to Canada when it comes to human rights. Canada does not fight. I do not know why we have an army. We should have a peace force that deals with the army. People who have been abused, displaced and imprisoned all over the world value Canada. They love Canada before they even see it. Millions do not get to see it. It is not an old debate. It is current. It is contemporary. It is present. I feel that, with the laws and Constitution that we have, it is here to stay. I firmly believe that, no matter what kind of problems we may encounter.

The Deputy Chairman: Mr. Ighodaro, I am not sure that I articulated my question properly. Opinions suggest that aid or assistance should only be given to countries that practice an improvement in human rights. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Should we even talk about it?

Mr. Ighodaro: It is not a good thing. It is wrong. Those people who impose themselves, either through anarchy or dictatorships, will be able to articulate what Canadians want to hear, and the aid will not get to the people whom Canada actually cares about. Canada is a smart nation and will find a way to get to the people that need Canada's help.

The Deputy Chairman: Thank you both for coming. We have kept you longer than we normally would. We extend our gratitude, and your contribution will be noted appropriately in our report.

The committee adjourned.

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