Canada's Role in UN Peacekeeping


Thee United Nations (UN) was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War to engage in constructive dialogue and hopefully avoid future wars. Starting in 1948, the UN asked its members to contribute service personnel to help stabilize conflict zones by enforcing ceasefires and preventing small conflicts from escalating.

In 1956 during the Suez Crisis, Canadian Secretary of State Lester B. Pearson proposed at the United Nations that an armed, impartial peacekeeping force could be inserted between Israeli and Egyptian forces to enforce a ceasefire and stabilize the situation.

Pearson won the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in creating the United Nations Emergency Force, and it set the precedent for future UN peacekeeping missions.

Following Canada’s involvement in the Suez Crisis, many Canadians embraced peacekeeping as a potent symbol and a significant way for Canada to aid countries in conflict. Since then, Canada has been involved in operations around the world.

While domestic and political support for United Nations peacekeeping has changed since the Cold War, the Canadian Armed Forces were among the most respected peacekeepers in the world. Between 1948 and 1988, Canada contributed roughly 10 per cent of the total UN peacekeeping forces.

In all, more than 125,000 Canadians have served in UN peace operations, and 130 Canadians have died during these operations

(Source: Canadian War Museum)


Peacekeeping in The Balkans

Peacekeeping in Cyprus

Peacekeeping in Rwanda

Canada and Other Missions