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National Peacekeepers' Day: Canada’s support for UN peace operations: Still a work in progress

With more than 104,000 military, police and civilian personnel now serving in 14 UN-led peacekeeping missions, the UN currently supports more troops in field operations than any actor in the world, including the U.S. Department of Defense and more than the UK, France, China and Russia put together.

In March of this year, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the future deployment of an Aviation Task Force to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for a period of one year. The Canadian deployment to Mali, now well underway, will include up to 250 military personnel (plus twenty police) and an aviation task force composed of Canadian Chinook transport helicopters and Griffin armed helicopters to provide escort and protection.

While the World Federalist Movement – Canada (WFMC) welcomes this initiative, questions remain about Canada’s commitment to the Mali operation, as well as what further steps Canada will take. According to WFMC President Walter Dorn, “After a couple of years of dithering, Canada needs to do more.The Mali deployment needs to be sustained for a reasonable period of time. And there are many other ways we can participate and contribute to the UN’s efforts on behalf of international peace and security.”

Dorn discusses the need for Canada to do more to train its own personnel for deployment as peacekeepers in a recent paper he co-authored with Joshua Libben entitled, “Preparing for peace: Myths and realities of Canadian peacekeeping training.”

Read more and check out the 2018 edition of our Canada & UN Peacekeeping Fact Sheet on the website of our campaign, Canadians for Peacekeeping. The campaign website is updated monthly with statistics from the United Nations and links to news articles.

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