Canada to support peace operations

News Release

Canada announces comprehensive, coordinated approach to support Canadian interests and UN peace efforts

August 26, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is taking concrete actions to prevent and respond to conflicts abroad and to support UN peace operations in building a more peaceful and prosperous world.

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced the launch of Global Affairs Canada’s new Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) and the pledge of up to 600 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel to be available for possible deployment to UN peace operations.

Conflicts today are multifaceted, requiring political, security, development and humanitarian responses brought together under the broad umbrella of “peace operations”. The Government of Canada has already demonstrated its whole-of-government approach to the situation in Iraq and Syria. Today’s approach to peace operations is no different: they demand that we go beyond military roles and work closely with local authorities and a range of international and regional partners.

Canada is devoting an unprecedented $450 million to PSOPs. The new funding will help better protect civilians, including the most vulnerable groups, such as displaced persons, refugees, women and children.

Canada is uniquely placed to provide the very best expertise across the full spectrum of peace operations. Therefore, Canada’s PSOPs and future contributions will focus more on the areas of early warning, conflict prevention, dialogue, mediation and peacebuilding, and the empowerment of women in decision making for peace and security.

The Canadian Armed Forces are prepared to contribute personnel across a range of available capabilities, which could include ground troops, leadership for command and headquarters positions, air transport, engineering and medical expertise, military and police training, and capacity building, in order to make a meaningful contribution to peace operations.

Working with Canadian public and private sector partners, PSOPs will serve as an essential platform for tackling the causes and effects of conflict and preventing their escalation or return by increasing Canada’s support for UN peace operations.

Canada’s engagement in peace operations will be a whole-of-government effort, using the full range of Canada’s military and police as well as other capabilities in integrated responses. As conflicts have grown in intensity and complexity, the nature of peace operations has also changed.

Canada is back, and that includes its peace missions. Canada is committed to increasing its support for UN peace operations and supporting its mediation efforts, preventing conflicts and engaging in post-conflict reconstruction. This commitment reflects Canada’s deep desire to be a determined peacebuilder and to make a genuine and useful contribution to building a more peaceful and prosperous world.


“Now, more than ever, is the time for our country to choose engagement over isolation, a time to redouble our combined efforts to address the world’s toughest challenges, from complex emergencies to climate change and security.

“Based on our unparalleled experience in building a peaceful and inclusive society, our bilingualism and our diversity, Canada will do what is needed to support the international community in bravely fighting for justice and security on the global stage; in promoting humanitarian assistance, development, training and capacity building; and in protecting gender equality and all human rights.”

- Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The nature of global conflict has changed, so Canada requires an innovative approach as we move forward supporting international peace. We must get the ground truth, understand the root cause of conflict and learn from the experts who are working directly in the field. My recent trip to Africa provided an opportunity to learn first-hand about the security issues affecting the continent and hear recommendations from regional leaders, representatives of the United Nations, African Union and NGOs on how Canada can best make a tangible contribution to peace support operations.

“Canada is committed to re-engaging in a full spectrum of multilateral peace operations. This is why we are making a significant pledge of military personnel and related capabilities for possible deployment to UN peace support operations.”

- Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“Evolving conflict abroad continues to affect the nature of security to Canada, Canadians and Canadian interests. Peacekeeping has been a long-standing tradition for Canada, and we are taking concrete steps to build a more secure world through police participation in international peace support and stabilization missions. The RCMP, in collaboration with officers from police forces across the country, will help strengthen local policing, improve security and build capacity in fragile and conflict-affected states.”

- Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“I know that our women and our men who will be deployed in various peace missions will inspire their UN comrades with their courageous leadership. They will also help in implementing my development mandate as their exemplary actions will be a crucial determinant for the protection of women, girls and the most vulnerable.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Quick facts

  • Canada’s PSOPs will have three core responsibilities:
    • 1. lead Canada’s stabilization and fragile states policy;
    • 2. coordinate whole-of-government responses to conflicts and crises around the world; and
    • 3. support targeted stabilization programming in, and deployments to, fragile and/or conflict-affected states.
  • Canada’s increased support to UN peace operations is a whole-of-government effort, combining diplomacy, deployment, training and capacity-building efforts, and includes conflict prevention, mediation, peace operations and peacebuilding efforts.
  • Canada’s contributions to UN peace operations reflect a comprehensive approach, drawing from civilian, police and military resources, with protection of civilians as a core concern.
  • The International Police Peacekeeping Program was renewed for a five-year period, with renewed funding of $46.9 million per year provided through Budget 2016 for the first three years to allow for the deployment of up to 150 police officers.
  • The exact size and composition of any future CAF deployment to a UN mission will be based on discussions with the UN and Canada’s partner nations, as well as an assessment of where Canada can best make a meaningful impact.

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Chantal Gagnon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaFP
Follow Minister Dion on Twitter: @MinCanadaFA
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Bernard Boutin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Jordan Owens
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Liaison Office
National Defence Headquarters
613-996-2353 (Toll-free: 1-866-377-0811)

Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations Office
RCMP National Headquarters

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