UNGA: Haiti and Ukraine will dominate talks for Trudeau

Today is the day the stars come out at the United Nations.

US President Joe Biden, traditionally a Day 1 speaker, is due to take the podium this morning instead, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau among those present in person.

The delegation will also hear from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, whose live-streamed speech marks a rare exception to General Assembly rules.

Zelensky’s seven-month defense of Ukraine against aggression by Russian President Vladimir Putin was a dominant theme of the meeting.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Canada is particularly focused on maintaining the health and integrity of the global coalition of countries united against Russia.

Joly says she expects to hear Zelenskyy repeat her pleas for as much support as her allies can muster.

“Obviously what Ukraine expects from Canada is always more financial support and more heavy artillery,” she said.

“We have already done a lot. But we need to do more. And we will do more.”

Trudeau is expected to make his own news, especially as he announces Canada’s latest contribution to a UN effort to tackle treatable diseases in the developing world.

He is also due to attend a meeting with Caribbean partners to discuss the ongoing crisis in Haiti, where relentless waves of gang violence have persisted all summer, killing hundreds.

Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the UN, said he recently visited the country to see the chaos for himself. The gangs even took over the courthouse in the main city of Port-au-Prince, he said.

“We’re not going to declare…we have a magic bullet. That’s not how it works,” Rae said.

“We have to learn from some of the mistakes of the past where interventions have happened without the full support of the Haitian people. And we have to make sure that we work with the Haitian people.”

This is easier said than done in a country ruled by a caretaker government, he added.

“We will try to play as constructive a role as possible. We all know it will take more.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 21, 2022.