International News Desk – At Home: Afghanistan pleads with Canada to stay the course – In Foreign News: Pacific Rim countries unite against climate change

International News Desk – At Home: Afghanistan pleads with Canada to stay the course – In Foreign News: Pacific Rim countries unite against climate change

At Home: Afghanistan pleads with Canada to stay the course

It has been the opinion of many Canadians over the last several years that our country’s involvement in Afghanistan is without any real merit. Troops continue to be sent into the war-torn country on the assumption that they are aiding the nation in its battle against the terrorist forces of the Taliban.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan for the latter half of the 1990s and was forcibly removed by co-operative efforts between Americans, Canadians, the British, and the Afghan-based Northern Alliance because of its strict implementation of Muslim Shariah law. For the freedom and safety of Afghani citizens, the world community saw fit to remove the Taliban from rule and to establish a democratic system in the country.

Since 2001, Canada has had an integral role in the military endeavours within Afghanistan and this has indeed been the primary military exploit of our country for the past seven years. As the mission continues, however, it has become less and less popular not only with the public but with members of Parliament who feel that this expenditure of troops is unnecessary and essentially a waste of money and effort.

Although Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his close associates maintain that the Middle Eastern mission to maintain peace and security is going well, it can’t be denied that public opinion does not coincide (1).

On the brink of an almost overwhelming tide of negativity concerning the Afghan mission, the prime minister of Afghanistan himself has spoken out in a plea to the Canadian public to support the perseverance of Canadian troops in the region.

CBC News Today reported that Prime Minister Hamid Karzai made a plea directly to the doubting citizens of Canada, asking that they support the troops in Afghanistan and urge the government to keep them on after the mission is set to end in 2009.

He aimed his plea specifically at the citizens of Quebec, who are most set against the Afghan mission, saying that while he always regrets the loss of troops, without Canadian soldiers patrolling his country there is bound to be heightened violence from a renewed Taliban.

(1) TheStar.com. ?Afghan leader woos Canadians.? Retrieved September 19, 2007, from http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/257326

In Foreign News: Pacific Rim countries unite against climate change

Amidst many doubts concerning the outcome, the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Sydney, Australia has released its climate change declaration.

While the U.S. joined in on talks about resolving climate change, its collaboration with John Howard’s Australian government to think outside the Kyoto Protocol was not met with appreciation by other APEC members, notably Malaysia, China, and the Philippines (1).

It is the belief of these APEC countries that to decide on anything other than the Kyoto Protocols is to work against the global cooperative effort toward ending climate change, and that such a move will only delay action by corresponding governments.

The declaration released following the summit has outlined the intentions of APEC countries with regard to several different aspects related to climate change, including development and energy security. Still refusing to adhere strictly to Kyoto principles, the APEC Declaration has instead called for a global convention after 2012 in which the entire world community will be called upon to form a cohesive solution to climate change.

Until then, the countries have simply agreed to further research and funding toward green development and the slowdown of carbon-producing industry.
A full rundown of the APEC objectives can be found in the official ?Sydney APEC Leaders? Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development? document, available on the APEC website.

(1) BBC News, 2007. ?Apec ?muddies the climate waters?.? Retrieved September 19, 2007, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6981360.stm

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