Mr. Speaker, the NDP supported Canada's military involvement and also supported extending the mission, in June, in order to protect the people of Libya from the violence of the Gadhafi regime. The NDP's support for the two motions was in large part motivated by and based on the doctrine known as R2P, responsibility to protect. Canada was particularly proactive in developing this doctrine at a time when it truly believed in the prevention of political crises and genocides at the international level.
There are a number of pillars, a number of important elements, in the responsibility to protect. The first pillar is that the state carries the primary responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. However, what this doctrine says is that when a government is incapable of protecting its population from such crimes or dangers, or when it is the perpetrator of possible genocides, war crimes or crimes against humanity, the international community has a responsibility—an obligation—to intervene to protect the population, provided that it has the agreement of the Security Council.
We supported the first two motions regarding the mission in Libya because of this principle, this doctrine. We can say that it was a great success. The intervention went well and the situation on the ground has drastically changed.
I heard my colleague opposite say that Gadhafi has been ousted.
Recently, we have also heard Libyan leaders saying that the horror is over. The situation on the ground is therefore extremely different from the one that existed six months ago.
In light of what I believe we can refer to as this success, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our soldiers and diplomats, who worked very hard to achieve this goal.
Now that the situation on the ground has changed so much, we must focus on other things. Our job is not to extend the military intervention but, rather, to provide the expertise and civilian resources needed to give humanitarian assistance to the people and promote the building of state institutions and the development of democracy.
Just two days ago, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said that, a few months ago, the Security Council and a number of regional agencies and arrangements took on the challenge of taking accelerated and decisive action to protect the people of Libya from violence. He added that, today, we once again have to take accelerated and decisive action, this time to strengthen peace and democracy.
Canada can play an essential role in helping Libya to rebuild peace. It will not be easy. I would like to quote from a very interesting document that was published by the World Federalist Movement-Canada, which aptly states:
...post-conflict peacebuilding is extraordinarily complicated. Many states relapse into armed conflict, due to a variety of factors including persisting ethnic rivalries, lack of economic opportunities and social cohesion, and the inability of international actors to adapt their assistance to the political dynamics of the societies they seek to support. A transition to a democratic Libya, in an ethnically diverse country that has experienced over four decades of authoritarian rule, will not be easy.
This transition will indeed be extremely difficult, but it is essential. It is of the utmost importance. We must start now if we do not want to face other problems 5, 10 or 20 years down the road that might force us to once again resort to the use of bombers or other such action. We must seize this opportunity now. The Arab spring must be able to fulfill all its promises.