During the Suez Crisis of 1956, Secretary of State for External Affairs Lester B. Pearson – later Canada’s 14th Prime Minister brought into common use the term peacekeeping
Since 1947, Canadian Forces have been involved in 72 international operations leading up to the declaration of the Peacekeepers’ Day in Canada falls on 9 August
PA Daniel, Oshawa Resident served in Korea and Gaza as a peacekeeper during his 35 year career with the Canadian Military. He provides a short story while serving in Gaza
Canadians as Peacemakers
New missions – The Cold War’s end signalled a new era of international co-operation at the United Nations. In the five years ending in 1996, the UN set up 24 new peacekeeping missions – six more than the total for the previous 43 years. UN peacekeeping hit an all-time high in late 2006, with more than 80,000 peacekeepers serving on 18 different missions.
New conflicts within states – Traditional peacekeeping took place between states, monitoring peace treaties to which all parties had agreed, and patrolling contested borders. Lately, more conflicts have been internal. Their sides are ‘non-state actors’, not governments. They are harder to define, making it harder to identify who should participate in peace negotiations. Also, there is often no clear area of conflict – fighting is spread through a country’s entire territory. In these cases, the international community is asked to create basic structures for peace and security, and take on responsibilities that used to be internal affairs of the state.
New actors: Conflict resolution is no longer the exclusive job of the UN. Regional organisations such as NATO, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Organisation for African Unity are also involved. In addition, a wide range of other civil and NGO organisations plays key roles in peace operations.
New skills – Because we now face more complex crises, we’ve begun to send people with a greater mix of skills. Military personnel now work with police and other experts to return conflict societies to security. These experts may include regional and municipal administrators; judges and prosecutors to develop judiciaries and run courts; media, health, tax and social policy advisors; child protection experts; facilitators and mediators; and even people to manage basic services such as sewage treatment plants or railways.
Canadian peacekeeping policy is evolving in new directions to meet changing conditions. This site explains how Canada has responded to these challenges to carry out today’s peace operations.