In a troubling development, earlier this month, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan confirmed that Canada will not be extending its peacekeeping commitment in Mali. Sajjan was quoted as saying, “We’ve said this for a year. We wanted to offer up support for what the UN wanted to do. One big ask they had was the concept of smart pledges. Nations come, take a yearly responsibility. We have done that.” WFMC is concerned with the brief nature of this deployment and would like to see further, longer term commitments from the government.
Upon election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to re-engage in UN peacekeeping. He gave explicit instructions in the defence minister’s mandate letter in this regard and the government made major pledges at the Peacekeeping Ministerial in London in 2016. The Prime Minister then made additional pledges at the Peacekeeping Ministerial in Vancouver, in November 2017. Despite all of this talk, Canada did not make a substantial deployment until the summer of 2018.
WFMC’s project Canadians for UN Peacekeeping tracks the status of these promises and pledges that Canada has made and includes a summary of Canada’s current deployment, as well as WFMC President Walter Dorn’s Tracking the Promises: Canada’s Contributions to UN Peacekeeping, both of which are updated monthly.