The 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial concludes in Vancouver with 46 new pledges for UN peacekeeping operations

News Release

On November 14 and 15, 79 countries and five international organizations attended the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver.

November 15, 2017 – Vancouver – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

UN peacekeeping is one of the most effective tools to respond to crises around the world. It is also facing a wide range of challenges, and we need to continue to adapt our approach to ensure it remains effective as we respond to 21st century conflicts. To better address the root causes of conflicts, improve operations and protect those at risk, Canada firmly believes there is a need to do peacekeeping differently.

On November 14 and 15, 80 UN Members States and five international organizations committed to doing peacekeeping better and differently: Canada hosted over 550 delegates for the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver. Building on the successes of previous meetings in New York, London and Paris, Defence Ministers held discussions and announced pledges that will lead to:

  • greater safety for at-risk populations;
  • better performance of peacekeepers;
  • greater engagement of women in communities in conflict;
  • a renewed emphasis on the role of police; and
  • more effective operations, particularly in francophone countries.

Among the concrete achievements that were reached:

  • 48 delegations made new peacekeeping pledges;
  • 13 delegations reaffirmed and advanced past pledges to UN peacekeeping; and
  • 54 countries endorsed the Vancouver Principles on the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers in peacekeeping operations.

The integration of women at all levels and in all roles is vital to achieve long-term, sustainable peace. This is why, in all discussions, the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial examined ways the UN can further empower women in peacekeeping roles. To this end:

  • 26 countries pledged to integrate gender perspectives and promote the participation of women in UN peacekeeping operations;
  • An international, military-led gender champion network was formed;
  • The UN Military Gender Advocate award was presented to Major Seitebatso Pearl Block of the South African Defence Force to recognize her work towards gender integration and advocacy during her deployment with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and
  • The Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, Angelina Jolie, issued a stirring call for urgent action to prevent sexual violence in conflict.

Further, nine countries announced pledges to support operations in francophone environments, and 21 countries unveiled commitments linked to policing in UN peacekeeping missions.

Additionally, participants explored the role that the private sector can play in conflict prevention and recovery. Youth from Canada and around the world also shared innovative ideas and engaging perspectives on the challenges of our modern era.


“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the delegates who attended the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in my hometown of Vancouver. Over the last two days, we explored what we can do better, and what we must do differently, to support peace operations in areas of instability. Our responsibility now is to build on the momentum we have generated here in Vancouver.”

- Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

“We are very grateful to Canada for its strong commitment to UN peacekeeping and for hosting such a successful Defence Ministerial. Peacekeeping is truly a global partnership, which we saw in action over the course of this meeting.  Member states from all regions of the world made generous and concrete pledges that will help us implement our mandates more effectively and better serve and protect the most vulnerable in conflict zones around the world.”

- Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix

“UN peacekeeping is constantly adapting and modernizing to advance peace and address complex conflicts in some of the most difficult environments. The commitments made by Member States today will help us towards meeting these challenges. We have been working hard to improve our performance of our operations and make them more agile and effective and efficient. We look forward to working with member states, including Canada, as they realize the commitments made today.”

- Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare

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Renée Filiatrault
Director of Communications 
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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