The Canada and UN Peacekeeping 2020 update, released each year on August 9 by WFMC, demonstrates that the number of Canadian peacekeepers has reached historically low levels.
According to WFMC President, Dr Walter Dorn, “This year’s numbers are particularly disappointing. Canadians were told that this country would do more, not less to support UN peace operations. When it comes to deploying boots on the ground, we’re just not seeing promises being kept.”
One bright spot is the renewal of Canada’s provision of a C-130 military transport aircraft to the UN for a second year, from August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021. Canada’s C-130 will be based at Entebbe, Uganda and will service multiple UN peace operations.
“This is a positive development,” says Dorn. “However, Canada can and should do more. Ideally, Canada would make a renewed commitment of military and police personnel in Mali. We left after only a year, while three-year rotations are more common practice for UN troop contributors.”
The UN has announced new mission requirements to implement a Force Adaptation Plan for MINUSMA, the peace operation in Mali. That plan requires capabilities that Canada would be well positioned to provide, such as helicopters, monitoring, and rapidly deployable units. A letter from Canadian peace organizations suggesting a Canadian deployment to Mali was sent to the Prime Minister earlier this year.
“A return to Mali would help the government make good on it promises, to Canadians and to the world,” says Dorn.
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.
Canadians for UN Peacekeeping (updated monthly)