The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “conflict

A Unique Commitment With a Powerful Champion

Posted on September 15, 2017

Yesterday’s story by Toronto Star’s Tonda McCharles on the possibility of Canada’s peacekeeping future being tied with the demilitarization of child soldiers could represent a clear departure for this country’s foreign agenda. Two key influencers have come together to move Canada in that direction. The first is the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial forum to be held in Vancouver in November, and the second is the redoubtable General Roméo Dallaire.   The global forum, designed to gain pledges from the participating nations towards peacekeeping, will be interested in Canadian input since this country’s participation on that file has been under review for an extended time. Still, the idea of having a rapid deployment military unit that can move quickly and be trained on preventing the recruitment…

As Soft Power Ramps Up, Soft Power Comes Into Its Own

Posted on August 10, 2017

With “hard” power clearly in a resurgent mode, it’s time to focus more on “soft” power and the advantages it holds in balancing off some of the more frightening aspects of human nature. Fortunately, there are lots of resources to assist us, chief of which was the recently released The Soft Power 30 – an intriguing global ranking of Soft Power and those nations that attempt to use it.   The rankings aren’t as vital to the research that went into them but they nevertheless are important, even ironic. Here are the top 10: France (1), United Kingdom (2), United States (3), Germany (4), Canada (5), Japan (6), Switzerland (7), Australia (8), Sweden (9) and the Netherlands (10). Canada’s positioning in the top 5 shouldn’t…

Enduring in Epic Times

Posted on April 10, 2017

It was the first bold political development of the new millennium, full of cautious hope and promise, and it’s now flirting with disaster. We were in South Sudan as international observers in 2011, as people voted by a huge margin for the right to establish their own independent state. Subsequently, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. The mood within the country was euphoric, but the caution felt by the international community was well placed. It was one thing to form a united southern front against the northern government of Sudan in the decades-long great war, but would the southern tribes, many historically at odds with one another, be able to hold it together to enable the successful birth of the…

The Dangers of Coping

Posted on March 14, 2017

They arrived in a manila package at our Calgary home one day, sometime in 1956. Our family gathered around as Dad pulled out the architectural drawings and laid them on the table. They were plans for how to construct and stock a bomb shelter in case of an atomic war. A large silver siren located on top of a long white pole occasionally reminded us of that fact, as occasionally it would emit a practice wail in preparation for the real thing. For an entire generation of Canadians, none of this is strange. The Cold War was actually heating up and the threat to human existence always seemed to hang precariously in the balance. Popular music and movies were always there to remind us…

History’s Most Troubling Chapter

Posted on February 8, 2017

It seems like every time we see a list of the greatest problems faced by our troubled world that the refugee challenge is repeatedly positioned in the top five. At no time since World War Two has the subject dominated us in such a fashion. Yet we frequently fail to understand how the narrative of people moving across the planet in fear of their lives has been developing, with each generation facing unique hurdles and implementing new solutions. Take a look at the chart above, provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and via the good folks at VOX. It’s staggering and a revealing glimpse as to why so many think the world is a deeply troubled place. Conflict, persecution and…

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