(Children from Vancouver, B.C. watch a film from the National Film Board of Canada in 1945)
October 1946 - Twenty three nations, including Canada, sign the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the agreement that many years later led to the creation of the World Trade Organization.
December 19th 1946 - Ottawa announces that it will formally establish a High Commission in India, its first diplomatic post in South Asia.
January 13th 1947- Lous St. Laurent gives a lecture at the University of Toronto entitled the Gray Lecture, in which he outlines the five principles of his foreign policy, including:
1. National unity
2. Political liberty
3. Rule of law in national and international affairs
4. Values of Christian civilization
5. Acceptance of international responsibility in keeping with Canada's conception of its role in international affairs
Canada will achieve this by participating in constructive international action through multilateral organizations. For the first time, Canada was elected to a two-year term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, beginning in January 1948. (48-49, 1958-59, 1967-68, 1977-78, 1989-90 and in 1999-2000).
December 10th 1948 - Proclamation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, of which Canadian John Peters Humphrey is the primary author.
April 4th 1949 - Canada, along with 11 other countries, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, DC, creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), with the mandate to ensure the collective military security of all members. The NATO treaty marked a new era of ties with the United States and of distance from Great Britain and spelled out the importance of economic collaboration. In April 1949, Canada was the first country to vote for the ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance. The new treaty included what is sometimes called the "Canadian Article" -- Article 2 -- calling for social and economic cooperation among members.
January 1950 - The Colombo Conference took place, providing an opportunity to discuss Asian development. Participants included Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Ceylon. Cabinet declined to "approve" publication of the Colombo Plan (to promote Asian development and implment the first aid program for the developing world) and made it clear that nothing would come from Ottawa until the US had signed onto the deal. The deadlock was broken only when the Department of Finance suggested tying Canada's $25 million (U.S.) contribution to the purchase of $10-15 million worth of Canadian wheat.
Other notable events in Canada's relationship with Asia during this time period include Foreign Affairs Minister Lester B. Pearson's refusal to sponsor Indian membership in the peace conference to end the conflict in Korea, and Canada's defense of American military aid to Pakistan.
December 18th 1950 - The first Canadian Troops enter Korea, thereby joining the Korean War. In all some 25,000 Canadians served in the war; over 300 died and 1143 were wounded.
February 1951 - After Canada supports a United Nations resolution condemning China as an aggressor in the Korean War, the government in Peking (now called Beijing) retaliates, ordering Canada to close its small legation in Nanking.
September 1951 - Canada and 48 other nations sign the Treaty of San Francisco, a formal peace treaty with Japan, re-establishing normal diplomatic relations. Canada officially establishes an embassy in Japan for the first time (prior to the declaration of war Canada had operated a legation from 1929-1941)
1952 to 1953 - Future Prime Minister of Canada Lester B. Pearson is the President of the UN General Assembly.
July 21st 1954 - The conclusion of the Geneva Conference results in the Geneva Peace Accords, which led the French to withdraw their forces from what was then called Indochina (present-day Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos). The Accords also divided Vietnam into North and South along the 17th parallel. Canada played a role in supervising the ceasefire in Indochina, as part of the International Control Commission (ICC) along with Poland and India for the next 18 years.