Mr. Chair, I am glad that the Conservative foreign affairs critic has brought up this vexing and challenging foreign policy problem. It is one of the major challenges the world faces today, but I want to take some of his comments out piece by piece.
In Kosovo we were part of NATO. NATO decided to prevent a larger conflagration as to what happened in the other parts of the former Yugoslavia and in particular in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia. To prevent that we joined the NATO force and we did bomb. Our pilots did an extraordinary job.
With respect to the African Union in Sudan, the member is quite right. This is a massive problem. We have said to the African Union that we will give them what they want and need to not only prevent what is going on in Darfur but also to increase security in the south. One of our senators did an extraordinary job in working with other countries to secure and terminate an 18 year conflict in the south that killed two million people and created four million displaced persons. Canada was directly involved in brokering that peace accord.
We have not succeeded in Darfur. As the Conservative critic said, people are still being murdered. Rapes are still occurring. It is the government in Khartoum that is directly responsible for instigating that problem.
We have offered Grizzlies and military expertise to the African Union. Some of our troops are there right now. We will offer more, but the African Union has to say yes because we want to work with them. It is their responsibility to sort this out, but we will help them. We have said very clearly that we will be there, that we want to be there to help them save lives on the ground in that country that has suffered so much.
On the issue of Iraq, the member knows full well that his party wanted to go into Iraq and wanted to send our troops into Iraq. That is well known. He knows that and I know that. That was his party's decision. We know now that marching into Iraq would have been a disaster because it is a disaster right now. Our party, the government, would not have done that. We would have continued to support the United Nations' sequestering of Saddam Hussein and to move along with a continued investigation and search for weapons of mass destruction that we know do not exist.
Lastly, on the responsibility to protect, it was this government and the Prime Minister who forced the responsibility to protect doctrine at the United Nations this year. Through our diplomats at foreign affairs and our entire service at the United Nations, including our ambassador, Mr. Rock, we forced on the table the responsibility to protect. Is that enough? No, because the RTP must be something more. There must not only be a responsibility to protect but there must be an obligation to act.
It was Canada that put on the board the responsibility to protect in the United Nations and which is now a pillar of foreign policy in that organization that needs so much reform. It needs change. It needs to adapt and it needs to become effective. I think the hon. member would agree that the next step we must take is we must add to the responsibility to protect an obligation to act, a rules based mechanism to prevent and save lives in the face of genocide.
From Raphaël Lemkin until today one of the greatest failings of the international community has been not to stand up, take action and save lives in the face of a genocide.From World War II to Cambodia, Rwanda, the Congo, the Sudan, Sierra Leone and on and on it goes, the world has failed to act to save lives in the face of despots and their cronies who are willing to kill and murder people.
We have taken a strong step forward in trying to put the focus of the international community on saving lives and preventing conflict. That is the future. That is where our foreign policy is going. That is our challenge not only as Canadians but as Canada is a member of the international community.