Peacekeeping: Changes and constants

Steve Staples and Josh Libben discuss what’s changed and what hasn’t over the history of U.N. peacekeeping and call on the Canadian government to once again become a significant contributor to peacekeeping missions (“What we’ve learned in 65 years of peacekeeping,” Ottawa Citizen, 28 May 2013):

What should Canada’s role be in the future of UN peacekeeping? As the last rotation of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan nears, peacekeeping missions are gaining prominence in the international stage, such as the new peacekeeping mission in Mali. The time may be ripe for a Canadian re-engagement with UN peacekeeping.

Canada has the capacity to greatly improve UN peacekeeping. Many peacekeeping veterans still serve in the Canadian Forces, and Canada’s ability to train new peacekeepers from less experienced countries around the world is unparalleled. Our equipment, especially large transport aircraft purchased to supply the war in Afghanistan, is needed desperately by the UN for its global missions.

Our reputation is waning in the international community — demonstrated by our recent loss of a coveted seat on the UN Security Council to Portugal. Now is the time for Canada to return to the United Nations through international diplomacy, backed by a renewed commitment to United Nations peacekeeping.

Photo credit: UN/Marie Frechon

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