There was a time – hell, there was half a century, beginning with the Nobel Prize-winning work of later-to-be-Prime Minister Lester Pearson in 1956 – when Canada could be counted upon as an honest broker on the world stage. It was a country that you wanted at the negotiating table, because it could be relied upon to take a prinicpled position and because it had the capacity to exercise a little influence in the North American sphere. Uncle Sam has never had the capcity to listen closely but when Canada spoke, at least they listened.
Alas, apparently no longer. Regardless that Canada can surely claim status as a fossil fuel “super-polluter,” we Canada didn’t make the short list of five countries that actually negotiated the Copenhagen Accord. Canada didn’t even make the long list of 17 countries that U.S. President Barack Obama gathered around him when he first arrived at COP15.
But there was one list that Harper topped: a group of mostly second-and third tier nations whose leaders were just bursting to tell the folks back home that they’d met the U.S. President. Admittedly, Harper and Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres had met Obama before. But they were reduced to rubbing shoulders with former East Block “giants” like the presidents of Georgia and Montenegro.
A full listof lunch guests appears below, courtesy of U.S. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Prime Minister Harper must be so proud.
Update – President Obama greeted and talked to the he following leaders during a lunch here in Copenhagen.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Israeli President Shimon Peres
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
Ghana President John Mills
Montenegro Prime Minister Milo Dukanovi
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki
Czech Republic Prime Minister Jan Fischer
Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili
Serbian President Boris Tardic
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning