Canada and International Peacekeeping

Canada and International Peacekeeping

Canada and International Peacekeeping

Canada and International Peacekeeping

Excerpt

The recent dramatic increase in the number of international security operations conducted under the peacekeeping umbrella has created a pressing need for a thorough review and analysis of both past experience and prospective challenges in peacekeeping. Canada and International Peacekeeping provides just such an analysis from which may be drawn a series of valuable lessons that will benefit future peacekeeping participants.

International peacekeeping as it is now practiced was invented in 1956, in response to the demands of the Suez crisis, under the leadership of Canada's secretary of state for external affairs, Lester B. Pearson, in cooperation with Dag Hammarskjöld, United Nations (UN) secretary general. Pearson's contribution was officially recognized the following year when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, thus assuring that Canada would thereafter be closely identified with peacekeeping. Since that time, almost 100,000 men and women of the professional, all-volunteer Canadian Armed Forces have worn the blue beret and the blue helmet in the service of peace; in addition, Canada has participated in virtually every UN peacekeeping operation and in many non-UN operations as well, a record unmatched by any other country.

Yet Canada's peacekeeping role has reached a turning point; the government continues to reduce the size of the Canadian Armed Forces while at the same time expressing its commitment to a continued significant contribution to peacekeeping missions. To complicate matters, as Dr. Joseph T. Jockel perceptively points out in his excellent monograph, Canadians currently find themselves attempting to "come to grips with the rapidly changing nature of peacekeeping and are worried about the ability of the UN bureaucracy to manage peacekeeping operations effectively."

Dr. Jockel employs his extensive knowledge of Canada and of international peacekeeping in this historical and contemporary analysis of the Canadian situation, which includes guidelines for future Canadian action. This very welcome contribution to the literature on contemporary peacekeeping will be indispensable to . . .

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