Canada to beef up UN peacekeeping missions

Time to ‘choose engagement over isolation’ senior government minister

Canada to beef up UN peacekeeping missions

World Bulletin / News Desk

Canada said Friday it would dramatically increase its commitment to global peacekeeping missions with money and troops, Canadian media reported.

At a press conference at a federal air base in Quebec, four senior government ministers said $450 million and up to 600 personnel will be earmarked for peacekeeping.

It marks a return to a peacekeeping role historically played on the world stage by Canada but was cut back in more recent years.

“It is time for Canada to choose engagement over isolation,” Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said. “[It is] time to act with responsible conviction as a determined peace builder.”

 The number of personnel committed is a dramatic increase compared to the current contingent. As of the end of July, 19 Canadian troops were deployed on peacekeeping missions, The Canadian Press wire service reported, and the new 600 figure will bring Canada more in line with its peacekeeping commitment during the 1990s.

At the press conference, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said while Canada is returning to a larger role in national peacekeeping, that role has changed somewhat.

“Around the world, the nature of conflict is changing and it’s more complex than ever,” he said. “Today, peace support operations are conducted where there may be no peace to keep, or where the fragile peace constantly teeters on the edge of violence.

“We need to understand conflict better. We need to look at the root cause of conflict, and think of innovative ways to move forward,” Sajjan added.

But none of the ministers commented on where Canadian troops would serve.

CBC News, Canada’s national broadcaster, said unnamed sources mentioned three possible locations – Mali, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Sources also said Canada could take on the role of peacekeeper in more than one country.

The announcement was made now because the Canadian government had to make a specific commitment as a requirement to attend the international UN peacekeeping conference in London, scheduled to take place in two weeks.

Canada did not attend last year’s conference in Washington, but during last year’s fall election campaign, now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to beef up the country’s peacekeeping commitment.

Trudeau is expected to announce where Canadian troops will be deployed when he attends the UN General Assembly next month, the CBC reported.

The $450 million will be spent over three years on projects that further global security.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Ağustos 2016, 13:08