Canine diplomacy on center stage at ''Dachshund UN''

Canine diplomacy on center stage at ''Dachshund UN''

Dachshunds sit in their positions for the performance installation "Dachshund UN", Feb. 28, 2013, in Toronto. / Michelle Siu, AP Photo/The Canadian Press

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CBS News

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 3:34 PM

TORONTO (CBS News) -- Germany and France exchanged harsh barks, Nigeria got very friendly with Saudi Arabia while the U.S. was the noisiest throughout the evening.

Canine representatives of the world's leaders met at a rather unusual United Nations meeting in Toronto Thursday.

The gathering was an art performance installation titled ''Dachshund UN'', where dogs stood in for a United Nations Commission on Human Rights meeting.

The show's North American debut featured 36 dachshunds as United Nations representatives from France, Germany, the United States and other nations.

Australian artist Bennett Miller created the show to question humanity's potential for creating a universal justice system, reported CTV News.

"It's a powerful, profound piece of work but it's kooky on the surface," said Tina Rasmussen, artistic director of Harbourfront Centre's World Stage 2013 performances.

"What does it mean when China is asleep or when Chile is aggressive?" asked Rasmussen.

"It gets the audience to consider human behavior differently," said Miller.

"Dachshunds are impressive but restricted, you can match that to the United Nations.''

Susanne Feeley, owner of Mr. Smalls who represented Ukraine and Carrots who represented France, said she heard Miller and World Stage were looking for volunteers and immediately filled out an application for her dogs.

"I don't have kids but tonight it was like I was seeing my kids at a school performance," said Feeley.

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