Minister Goodale, Minister Freeland, Minister Hehr and Minister Sajjan mark the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers


May 29, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Kent Hehr, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers:

“Today, we salute the women and men of United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, past and present, who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of peace, hope, and security around the globe.

“With 16 peacekeeping operations deployed worldwide and 117,000 uniformed and civilian personnel from 125 member states serving under the United Nations flag, there are more peacekeepers on the ground today than ever before. We are grateful for their dedication to bringing stability to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations and helping to rebuild societies.

“The first UN peacekeeping mission was established on this date, May 29, 1948, to help bring stability to the Middle East. Throughout the history of UN peacekeeping, over 120,000 Canadians have served on more than 50 UN operations. Today, some 90 Canadian military members, police officers and civilian experts are serving on peacekeeping missions around the world in places like Haiti, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Peacekeeping has a deep connection to Canadian values and leadership. Sixty years ago, the former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, then Secretary of State for External Affairs, received one of the highest honors, the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize, for his efforts in establishing the first armed UN peacekeeping force in response to the Suez crisis.

“Canada continues this tradition by leading discussions on important topics at the UN, such as modernizing peacekeeping; developing innovative police peacekeeping; integrating gender perspectives into peacekeeping; and putting protection of civilians at the centre of UN operations. 

“That being said, we are keenly aware of the challenges facing UN peacekeeping and the changing dynamics surrounding modern conflicts. This is why we will continue to support the UN in preventing and resolving conflicts, and sustaining peace, while helping to improve the way in which UN peace operations are conducted. To this end we will be hosting the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference in Vancouver, this November.”

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