With the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial conference taking place in Vancouver next week, the World Federalist Movement Canada has released the 2017 edition of “The United Nations and Canada: What Canada has done and should be doing for UN peace operations”, a collection of ten articles by civil society experts on the state of Canada’s involvement with international peacekeeping.
“Peacekeeping has become an essential element of international security in a globalized world… There is a compelling case for Canada doing more to fulfil its responsibilities. We are needed by the UN and by the world…” – John Trent, editor and current Fellow of the Centre on Governance (University of Ottawa)
At a time when Canadian involvement with UN peacekeeping efforts has stagnated, it is more important than ever for citizens and civil society organizations to demand greater participation from the Canadian government in mediating and resolving these complex global challenges. The articles included in this publication make a strong and wide-reaching case for how and why Canada should seek more robust re-engagement with UN peacekeeping mechanisms, particularly if we hope to acquire a seat on the Security Council in 2020.
Walter Dorn, President of the World Federalist Movement – Canada, highlights the atrophying of Canadian peacekeeping under the Harper government and the lack of forward progress under the Trudeau Liberals, despite repeated promises of Canada’s return to multilateralism.
“Two years after Trudeau claimed on election night that Canada was back (a claim he reiterated in his 2016 UN General Assembly address), we have yet to see the peacekeeping promises fulfilled.” – Walter Dorn
Meanwhile, Rideau Institute President Peggy Mason outlines why UN peace operations are worth the risk in her article, The “Value Added” of UN Peacekeeping.
“When properly mandated, resourced and managed, UN peacekeeping offers the best chance for a society emerging from violent conflict… Many current UN missions may have comprehensive mandates to build sustainable peace but they manifestly lack the professional forces and equipment to provide the secure environment necessary for peace to take hold.
The full potential of UN peacekeeping will not be realized until countries like Canada meaningfully re-engage.” – Former Disarmament Ambassador Peggy Mason
Another important discussion comes from former Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy, in his article Peacekeeping and security for refugees, regarding one of the most pressing elements of contemporary peacekeeping: refugee management.
“With climate change, famine, armed conflict all on the rise, the way the world comes to grips with the rising number of refugees needs a major re-set… Our contributions to peace operations and to refugee system reform can provide important reasons for other UN member states to view positively Canada’s candidacy for election in 2019 for a two-year term on the UN Security Council in 2020-21.” – Lloyd Axworthy
Beth Woroniuk, coordinator and co-founder of the Women, Peace and Security Network – Canada, in her article, Gender Perspectives and Peacekeeping: More than Deploying more Women, highlights the importance of non-military solutions:
“… the value of the women, peace and security agenda is its potential for transformation rather than greater representation of women in existing paradigms of military response.” – UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000).
The 2017 edition of “The United Nations and Canada” and previous versions can be found at https://unitednationsandcanada.org/
Photo credit: WFM-Canada