Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised Canadian military airlift support for UN pandemic humanitarian missions worldwide.
The announcement was made on Monday, only two days before the vote for two revolving seats on the Security Council is set to take place. Canada is currently competing with Ireland and Norway for the positions.
Canadians with the Armed Forces will be sent to transport supplies provided by the World Food Programme and the World Health Organization to places like Africa and the Middle East.
The cost to taxpayers is unknown at the moment.
Spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada Patricia Skinner told Radio Canada that the UN requested Canada’s assistance in early May.
“As long as the COVID-19 pandemic persists in some pockets of the world, no country is safe,” said Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne in a statement.
“That is why international coordination and assistance, financial and otherwise, is crucial to the response to the virus. By deploying these aircraft, Canada will enable our partners to carry out their life-saving work.”
Champagne was recently sent to New York City by Trudeau in a desperate final push to secure support.
In an interview with the Canadian Press, Champagne argued against recent criticisms regarding Canada’s campaign.
Last week, Greta Thunberg, along with several other climate activists and UN ambassadors of small island nations, slammed Trudeau for his failure to meet international climate commitments.
“For the young generation who will inherit the consequences of these decisions, it is critical that those who claim to be leading on climate action are held to account for decisions they are making back at home,” claims the letter.
Thunberg went on to blast Trudeau for subsidizing Canada’s energy sector and not doing enough to curb carbon emissions.
Trudeau has taken a personal role in lobbying for votes in the campaign. Prior to the pandemic, Trudeau travelled throughout Africa to court leaders like Senegalese President Macky Sall despite the country’s tragic human rights record.
While Trudeau was in Senegal, Sall defended his regime’s criminalization of homosexuality.
“The laws of our country obey rules that are the condensation of our cultural and civilizing values. This has nothing to do with homophobia. Whoever has the sexual orientation of their choice is not the target of exclusion,” said Sall.