International Organizations | The Canadian Encyclopedia

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  • Article

    Bomarc Missile Crisis

    The CIM-10B Bomarc was the world’s first long-range, nuclear capable, ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile. Two squadrons of the missile were purchased and deployed by the Canadian government in 1958. This was part of Canada’s role during the Cold War to defend North America against an attack from the Soviet Union. Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s refusal to equip the missiles with nuclear warheads led to a souring of Canada’s relationship with the United States, especially once the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the issue to the fore. The issue split Diefenbaker’s Cabinet and contributed to his party losing the 1963 election.

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  • Article


    The Commonwealth of Nations is made up of 56 countries, including Canada, that were for the most part once part of the British Empire. They work together on international policy and hold a major sports event every four years. It is one of the world’s oldest political associations of states.

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  • Article

    General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) (Plain-Language Summary)

    The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was an international trade agreement. It was signed by 23 nations, including Canada, in 1947. It came into effect on 1 January 1948. It also led to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. The GATT was focused on trade in goods. It aimed to reduce tariffs and remove quotas among member countries. The GATT helped reduce average tariffs from 40 per cent in 1947 to less than five per cent in 1993. The GATT was an early step toward globalization. The WTO replaced the GATT on 1 January 1995. This article is a plain-language summary of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry: General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

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  • Article


    Genocide is the intentional destruction of a particular group through killing, serious physical or mental harm, preventing births and/or forcibly transferring children to another group. The Canadian government has formally recognized certain instances of genocide abroad, including the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor, the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Uyghur genocide and the Rohingya genocide. Within Canada, some historians, legal scholars and activists have claimed that the historical, intergenerational and present treatment of Indigenous peoples are acts of genocide.

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  • Macleans

    Halifax on Eve of G-7 Summit

    Go at daybreak, when the morning fog still cools the air.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on June 19, 1995

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  • Macleans

    Halifax Summit

    It is a source of pride to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien that more than 30 years after he first entered politics, time has not altered his fondness for blunt talk - even in the most exclusive gatherings.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on June 26, 1995

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  • Article

    International Boundary Commission

    The International Boundary Commission (IBC), comprising a Canadian and an American section, is responsible for the maintenance and supervision of the boundary line between the United States and Canada under the terms of the 1925 Boundary Demarcation Treaty.

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  • Article

    International Joint Commission

    International Joint CommissionInternational Joint Commission, the oldest of Canadian-American intergovernmental organizations, was established by the BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY of 1909 to deal mainly with the apportionment, conservation and development of water resources (including hydroelectric power) along the international boundary. Since beginning its work in 1912 it has reported on over 50 issues affecting the US and Canada, has produced decisions on even more applications for diversion of waters, and has supervised dozens of decisions for...

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  • Macleans

    Kyoto Accord Opposition Growing

    In Alberta political circles, Lorne Taylor is sometimes referred to as the "egghead redneck." It is a mark of the man that Taylor, who is Alberta's environment minister and who holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology, takes more umbrage at the first half of that moniker than the latter.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on October 14, 2002

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  • Article

    Canada and the League of Nations

    The League of Nations was an organization of 63 countries established in 1919, after the First World War. Canada was a founding member. The League ultimately failed in its aim of collective security. It was replaced by the United Nations at the end of the Second World War. However, the League of Nations did establish a new model for international organizations. League membership brought Canada its first official contact with foreign governments and helped to establish its position as a sovereign state. It also introduced Canada to the opportunities and challenges of international co-operation and peacekeeping.

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  • Article

    League of Nations Society in Canada

    The League of Nations Society in Canada was founded 1921 to promote international peace by developing public knowledge of and support for the League of Nations. With headquarters in Ottawa, it operated until 1942. Its presidents included such public figures as Sir Robert Borden, Sir George Foster, Ernest Lapointe and Cairine Wilson. John W. Dafoe, Newton W. Rowell and J.S. Woodsworth served on its national council. The society's activities were primarily promotional and educational. It distributed league publications and its own monthly, Interdependence, and sponsored speaking tours and radio broadcasts by supporters. It was the first Canadian organization to encourage public interest in and understanding of international affairs.

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  • Macleans

    Munk's Indonesian Gold Coup

    On Nov. 14, Peter Munk left his presidential suite at the Jakarta Grand Hyatt and headed to the government offices of Ida Bagus Sudjana, Indonesia's minister of mines and energy.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on December 9, 1996

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  • Article

    NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created on 4 April 1949. It was Canada’s first peacetime military alliance. It placed the country in a defensive security arrangement with the United States, Britain, and Western Europe. (The other nine founding nations were France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Italy.) During the Cold War, NATO forces provided a frontline deterrence against the Soviet Union and its satellite states. More recently, the organization has pursued global peace and security while asserting its members’ strategic interests in the campaign against Islamic terrorism. As of 2021, there were 30 member countries in NATO.

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  • Editorial

    NATO: Canada's First Peacetime Military Alliance

    The following article is an editorial written by The Canadian Encyclopedia staff. Editorials are not usually updated. On 4 April 1949, in the auditorium of the State Department on Washington's Constitution Avenue, the foreign ministers of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and eight other countries signed the North Atlantic Treaty.

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  • Macleans

    Security High for G8 Summit

    "A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle.This article was originally published in Maclean's Magazine on June 17, 2002

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