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TakeAction for August 2019: Building peacekeeping

The next Canadian government faces decisions on UN peacekeeping

The United Nations currently has about 100,000 military, police, and civilian personnel serving in 14 peacekeeping missions. That’s more troops in UN 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.

During the UN’s first five decades Canada was a leading contributor to peace operations, but Canada now ranks 59th in the world. Canadian contributions of personnel have declined under successive governments and now stand at (as of June 2019) 152 military personnel and 25 police.

Public support for Canadian participation in UN peacekeeping missions has remained strong over the years and contributions from countries like Canada with advanced military and logistics capabilities are needed to increase operational effectiveness. However, in recent years Canada has maintained a small and diminishing presence in a handful of UN peace operations.

Following this October’s federal election, the next government of Canada will have to make important decisions about how best to support United Nations peace operations.

The 2019 Canada and UN Peacekeeping fact sheet, released today by the World Federalist Movement – Canada (WFMC), reports that with the winding down of Canada’s deployment to Mali now underway, the number of Canadian peacekeepers will soon reach a critically low level.

According to WFMC President Walter Dorn, “Canada’s deployment of an aviation task force to the UN’s Stabilization Mission in Mali was a step in the right direction. But that deployment of one year (plus a month) was shorter than most. A two or three-year deployment is what usually occurs.”

“On the whole, Canada’s commitment to UN peace operations over the last few years has been uncertain and inconsistent –– well below what Canadians expect, as shown by polls, and falling far short of the promises made by government officials.”

What you can do

During federal election campaigns, WFMC surveys the federal political parties about their positions on specific areas of interest to World Federalists.

One of the areas asked about is peacekeeping and what kind of commitments the federal parties will make.

You can familiarize yourself with the information contained in the federal election toolkit (aussi disponible en français), as well as the 2019 Canada and UN Peacekeeping fact sheet and:1) When federal candidates in your riding come to your door, ask them about where they, and their party, stand on peacekeeping. Alternatively, you can ask at all-candidate meetings and other constituency level public meetings and debates.

2) Write a letter to the editor expressing your support for peacekeeping – and other! — world federalist ideas.

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