While the world is plunged into a major pandemic that is altering the lives and livelihoods of people everywhere, essential services must still be maintained. And for the United Nations, one of those essential activities is peacekeeping.
Not only do peace operations need to be maintained (within the context of national social distancing guidelines and other mitigation and control measures related to COVID-19), but troop rotations must still take place.
While Canada’s support for the UN Secretary-General’s global ceasefire is much appreciated, the United Nations also has an urgent need for help with its peacekeeping operations. Canada can help fill the need, especially in the Mali mission.
A letter outlining why the Mali mission is an excellent choice has been sent to Prime Minister Trudeau and signed by WFMC, Artistes pour la Paix. Canadian Pugwash, Project Ploughshares, and the Rideau Institute. Included with the letter was a two page brief by WFMC President Dr Walter Dorn explaining in more detail why the mission in Mali is a good fit for Canada.
At a time when MINUSMA is under practical and financial pressures, Canada can help achieve the mission’s important objectives, which include buttressing a still-fragile peace process, supporting democratic governance in Mali, blunting the influence of terrorist groups and spoilers, strengthening national police capacities, and (not least) protecting civilians. A contribution at this crucial time would help show that Canadian support for peacekeeping is constant and dependable, long-term and not episodic.
What you can do
Add your voice to the call for Canada to renew its commitment to peacekeeping in Mali.
Write to Prime Minister Trudeau and ask that Canada make provision for a renewed personnel commitment to the peace support operation in Mali, including the pledged but yet to be registered Quick Reaction Force.
Further information tracking Canada’s recent peacekeeping commitments can be found on the website of WFMC’s project, Canadians for UN Peacekeeping.