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Canada’s commitment to provide 200 peacekeepers: nothing has changed since 2017

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to respond quickly to the United Nations when he hosted a 2017 summit on the subject in Vancouver, but his government has yet to take action. and this, despite the demands of the United Nations (UN) and the United States government that Canada honor its commitment.

Washington’s request last month was made a month ahead of a follow-up summit in South Korea, where countries were called upon to make new commitments to help both UN peacekeeping missions and their funding in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

Minister Anand made no mention of it while attending the summit in Seoul on December 2. However, she said in an interview with The Canadian Press this week that this commitment has not been forgotten, at least not for the moment.

It’s still under discussion.

A quote from Anita Anand, Minister of National Defense

Ms. Anand indicated that these discussions concern not only Canada’s commitment to the United Nations, but also its willingness to offer its support to countries like Ukraine, where Canada already has 200 soldiers providing training.

She did not provide a timeline for her decision making, but theUnited Nations Organization recently indicated that it needs five rapid reaction forces for its peacekeeping operations in Africa and elsewhere in the world.

The United States has also called for Canada’s participation in the South Korea summit with plans to provide drones and medical units. This is indicated in a letter sent to the Department of Global Affairs Canada, of which The Canadian Press obtained a copy.

Despite this, Anita Anand did not formulate a new commitment to send Canadian soldiers or military equipment. Instead, it pledged $ 85 million – an amount that experts see as considerable financial support compared to other countries.

Our commitment to provide 200 military trainers on the ground is extremely important, especially for a presence in Ukraine to safeguard peace and democracy and contribute to the stability of the government there.

A quote from Anita Anand, Minister of National Defense

We will continue to respect our alliances withUnited Nations Organization and theNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as in our multilateral relations and the peacekeepers are part of it, she said.

A soldier in a United Nations military vehicle.

Canadian Forces soldier deployed in Mali (archive)

Photo: The Canadian Press / Adrian Wyld

Experts have suggested that South Korea’s lack of a stronger will at the summit lowers expectations of the Trudeau government’s earlier pledge to re-engage Canada in peacekeeping missions around the world.

They also warn that it could damage Canada’s credibility in the future.

Canada had 58 police and military personnel deployed as peacekeepers at the end of October, according to data from theUnited Nations Organization. While this is an improvement over the 34 Canadian peacekeepers in August 2020, it is still half the number that was deployed when the Liberals took power in 2015.

The Trudeau government had given itself five years to provide peacekeepers.

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