11 January 2012

Peacekeeping—"Canada can and should do more"

Sometimes a graph is worth a thousand words. A good example is a graph depicting Canada's contribution to U.N. peacekeeping that appeared in the December 2011 edition of Mondial, the newsletter of The World Federalist Movement. The graph, attached, shows Canada hovering around number one in the early 90s and then declining to 53th today. Out of almost 99,000 peacekeepers serving in 2010, we contributed the grand total of 198, mostly police.

We were a leading contributor under a Conservative government led by Brian Mulroney, our contribution declined under the Liberals, and then collapsed in 2006 under a very different Conservative government commanded by Stephen Harper. For a country that very nearly invented peacekeeping, and at one time had a reputation in the world as an honest broker, this is a sad development.

Author of the peacekeeping article, Michael Byers, points out that the United Nations is now deploying more peacekeepers that at any time in its history, yet some missions remain understaffed. In other words, we are needed. And as we have been boosting our military recently, and as we are finally pulling out of our misadventure in Afghanistan, this is an opportune time to meet that need. As Mr. Byers concludes, "Canada can and should do more."

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