Canada’s Prime Minister Attending Munich Conference

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Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has addressed the Munich Security Conference today. He urged global leaders to accept that a changing world requires more effort to bring economic prosperity for all.

Trudeau’s speech came after he spent the last week in Africa and Kuwait. There he stressed several times the importance of improving education and providing hope for young people. These steps are necessary to keep youth from turning to militancy.

It also came after what he has called a tumultuous month for the globe – the rise of tensions between the United States and Iran in early January; the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner by an Iranian missile; the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has now killed more than 1,000 people and infected more than 42,000.

Both the Iran-U.S. relationship and the coronavirus is high on the agenda for the three-day conference, though Trudeau will attend only on Friday.

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World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week the coronavirus, called COVID-19, is “public enemy No. 1,” with a potentially bigger impact than any act of terrorism.

Before delivering his speech, Trudeau met with a U.S. congressional delegation led by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, as well as the prime ministers of Niger and Albania and the president of Kazakhstan.

Trudeau is continuing Canada’s campaign for votes for a temporary seat on the powerful United Nations Security Council. He planned his trip to Africa in large part to help that campaign; he met more than a dozen African leaders over the last week.

Only one, President Macky Sall of Senegal, publicly pledged to support Canada as it competes with Norway and Ireland for two available seats.

Foreign Affairs Minister Champagne is also attending the conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Five weeks passed after the fatal shot down, which killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians, when Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crashed shortly after takeoff.

Canada’s Prime Minister is growing increasingly upset with Iran’s refusal to set the flight’s black boxes to France for analysing. Champagne said last week Iran does not have the technology, but France does and the technology is not portable.

Champagne is staying at the conference for the full three days. He is also met today with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

The Munich conference theme this year is “westlessness” a term describing a crumbling of the knowledge of what defines the western world and what role it will play in global security amid the rising influence of the non-western world.