Trudeau con­tin­ues whirl­wind tour of New York City

Truro Daily News - - CANADA -

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau found him­self in the midst of a whirl­wind 10-meet­ing day in New York City on Wed­nes­day as he pre­pares Canada’s cam­paign for a tem­po­rary seat on the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

Trudeau at­tended one-on-one meet­ings with seven world lead­ers, plus sep­a­rate pub­lic fo­rums with Bloomberg and ac­tivist Melinda Gates, as well as a speech at Madi­son Square Gar­den the day be­fore he speaks to the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly.

Bi­lat­eral meet­ings were sched­uled with the lead­ers of Ta­jik­istan, the Nether­lands, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Uganda and In­done­sia — per­haps enough, one spokesman joked, for a per­sonal record for the num­ber of bi­lat­er­als in a sin­gle day.

“There’s a lot of work that goes into this,” said Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ah­mad. “Ob­vi­ously we have a voice on the world stage . ... We gen­er­ally be­lieve Canada can play an ac­tive role.”

Prior to those meet­ings, Trudeau took part in the Bloomberg Global Busi­ness Fo­rum to pro­mote his so-called pro­gres­sive trade agenda. The prime min­is­ter has told New York au­di­ences that bol­ster­ing labour pro­tec­tions, gen­der equal­ity and Indige­nous rights is de­signed to help more peo­ple feel the ben­e­fits of trade and pre­serve sup­port for in­ter­na­tional com­merce.

The prime min­is­ter also par­tic­i­pated in an arm­chair dis­cus­sion with U.S. phi­lan­thropist Gates to talk about women’s rights be­fore speak­ing to more than 6,000 young peo­ple at We Day UN about youth en­gage­ment in pol­i­tics.

He told Gates about how his dad be­lieved in hu­man rights, but couldn’t be called a fem­i­nist — and how Trudeau him­self had a sud­den epiphany one day when he re­al­ized the term ap­plies to any­one who be­lieves in work­ing for greater equal­ity.

“There is a re­claim­ing of that word, in a good way,” he said.

Ah­mad said Trudeau’s meet­ings with lead­ers from a di­verse ar­ray of re­gions means he will wind up dis­cussing a gamut of the world’s on­go­ing crises.

The meet­ing with In­done­sia in­clud­ded an ex­change about atroc­i­ties against Burma’s Mus­lim mi­nor­ity, while those with the Latin Amer­i­cans touched upon the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic cri­sis roil­ing Venezuela, he said.

Trudeau doesn’t have a meet­ing planned with U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, but his events brought him close to two pre­de­ces­sors.

Bill Clin­ton spoke be­fore him at the Bloomberg event, and Barack Obama was speak­ing af­ter him at the Gates event.

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau par­tic­i­pates in a panel dis­cus­sion at the Bloomberg Global Busi­ness Fo­rum in New York yes­ter­day.

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