Statement to mark International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

From: Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs; the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence; and the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today issued the following statement:

“On International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, Canadians from coast to coast to coast recognize the important work of the women and men who serve in UN peacekeeping missions around the globe, putting themselves at risk to help the most vulnerable who are threatened by conflict and violence.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, these brave members who serve have been working tirelessly to support the health of people around the world, saving lives and stabilizing complicated situations under very difficult circumstances.

“This year, we join the United Nations and countries worldwide to highlight the important role that women play in peacekeeping. Raising the number of women in peacekeeping means communities engage with a more diverse and representative range of peacekeepers. Women bring a unique and much-needed perspective to operations, increasing the effectiveness of these missions. Increasing women peacekeepers’ meaningful participation is both the right and smart thing to do. That is why Canada launched the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations in 2017.”

Quick facts

  • The first Canadian peacekeepers were deployed to the Middle East in 1948.
  • This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which was co-sponsored by Canada. The Resolution recognized the importance of including women in all aspects of peace and security.
  • Canada was the largest voluntary financial contributor to the UN Department of Peace Operations in 2019.
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