Canada to play larger world role

Sept. 22, 2004 at 9:26 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin told the United Nations Wednesday his country will improve its military and peacekeeping operations.

Martin said Canada will also lead the effort to stimulate developing economies and increase foreign aid, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The prime minister urged the U.N. General Assembly to institute reforms that would speed the world body's ability to respond to humanitarian crises.

He condemned delays in helping the Sudan, where two years of fighting between insurgents and government-backed militias has killed at least 50,000 and forced about 1.2 million people to flee their homes.

"The Security Council has been bogged down in debating the issue," said Martin, who promised $20 million to the African Union peacekeeping force that is trying to end the civil war.

Martin vowed Canada would act independently when lack of agreement at the world body prevents desperately needed interventions, as in Rwanda or Bosnia.

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