The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety, today issued the following statement:
“On this International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, we honour peacekeepers who are currently serving, or have served, in UN peace operations and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice during their service.
“The theme of this year’s International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “People Peace Progress: The Power of Partnerships.” It reminds us of the essential role UN peacekeepers play in preventing large-scale conflict, protecting civilians from violence and supporting countries in building sustainable peace. Canada has a long history of contributing to UN peace operations, with more than 125,000 peacekeepers deployed since 1948-including personnel of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and provincial and municipal police forces, as well as Canadian diplomats and civilians. Canadians have served in missions in the Balkans, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mali, Rwanda and South Sudan, among others. Over the years, peace operations have become increasingly complex and dangerous.
“Peace is why Canada launched the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations in 2017. People and partnerships are key to ensuring progress to create meaningful change for women in peace operations. Working towards peace and progress, Canada has funded several innovative training projects to increase uniformed women’s meaningful participation in military and police roles. Most recently, Canada renewed its participation in the UN Pre-Selection Assistance and Assessment Team (Pre-SAAT) training for women police officers from Francophone countries to help them succeed in deploying to UN missions.
“Peace is also at the core of the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers, which Canada launched in 2017 to help ensure that children’s rights are always protected at all stages of a conflict and are protected from the threat of becoming child soldiers.
“On this day, we honour our Canadian military, police and civilian personnel deployed around the world, including the thousands of deployed peacekeepers from more than 120 UN member states. We applaud their commitment and dedication as they accept the risks of deployment to provide high-value service, responding to the changing needs of UN peacekeeping and actively working to protect civilian populations around the world.”