Question 2: Canada’s commitment to UN Peace Operations

Canadian Foreign Policy and Global Governance

Questions for the Canadian Federal Political Parties from the World Federalist Movement – Canada ahead of the 2011 Federal Election

2. Canada’s commitment to UN Peace Operations.

According to recent polls, Canadians see their country as a positive force in today’s world. And they see peacekeeping as their country’s most important contribution to the world. UN peace operations deployments are at an all-time high, with over 120,000 civilian, military and police personnel deployed in 15 UN peace operations worldwide. Yet critically important mission mandates (e.g. Sudan, Somalia) are not being met for lack of personnel.

World Federalists and a growing number of defence analysts support the development of a permanent, individually recruited United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS). This new service would complement existing arrangements, which tend to be slow and unreliable, with a much needed, ‘first responder’ for diverse emergencies.

Will your party support an increased Canadian commitment, including increasing the deployment of Canadian Forces personnel, to UN-mandated Peace Operations? Will your party support the development of a United Nations Emergency Peace Service?

Bloc Québécois

Nous sommes en faveur de la création d’un service d’urgence de maintien de la paix au sein de l’ONU.

Le Bloc Québécois croit à la primauté du droit et au multilatéralisme. Ces principes orienteront ses prises de position concernant les interventions de la communauté internationale en cas de conflit ou d’une intervention visant à prévenir un conflit.

En toute logique, il est dans l’intérêt du Québec que le multilatéralisme guide les relations internationales. C’est dans un tel contexte que les pays qui ne sont pas des grandes puissances, comme le Canada ou un Québec souverain, peuvent avoir une voix au chapitre des affaires internationales.

Le Bloc Québécois est contre toute action belliqueuse unilatérale et contre toute guerre préventive. Seule l’ONU peut intervenir pour tenter de régler un conflit et, ultimement, conformément à ses règles, autoriser une intervention d’imposition ou de maintien de la paix. 

Or, force est de constater que depuis le début des années 2000, tant sous la gouverne libérale que conservatrice, la contribution militaire et policière du Canada aux missions de maintien de la paix de l’ONU a chuté de manière importante. 
Conséquemment, le Bloc Québécois est donc au diapason des valeurs québécoises en privilégiant les missions de maintien de la paix de l’ONU.


We support the creation of a United Nations Emergency Peace Service.
The Bloc Québécois believes in the rule of law and multilateralism. These principles will guide its stance regarding the actions of the international community in the event of a conflict or an intervention to prevent conflict.
Logically, it is in the interest of Québec that multilateralism guide international relations. It is within this context that countries that are not major powers, such as Canada or a sovereign Québec, can have a voice in international affairs.
The Bloc Québécois is against any bellicose and unilateral action and against all preventive war. Only the UN can intervene to try to resolve a conflict and, ultimately, in accordance with its rules, authorize a forced intervention or peacekeeping mission.

It must be noted that since the early 2000s, both in the Liberal and Conservative governments, the contribution of Canada’s military and police to UN peacekeeping missions fell significantly.

Consequently, the Bloc Québécois is in tune with Québec’s values in prioritizing UN peackeeping missions.

Conservative Party of Canada

No reply to this question has been received.

Green Party of Canada

Yes, the Green Party of Canada is committed to re-establishing Canada among the global leaders in peace-building, peacekeeping, and international diplomacy.

We were proud of Canada’s decision to say “no” to joining the U.S. invasion of Iraq. We believe our foreign policy objectives must include multilateral disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, and support for United Nations peacekeeping operations. We will expand our defence role in UN-led peacekeeping missions and in emergency and disaster relief and equip it accordingly.

Specifically, Green MPs will:
• Re-align our defence spending to increase our capacity and speed in delivering disaster assistance (e.g. through the DART! Disaster Assistance Rapid Response Team) and our contributions to UN peacekeeping forces and missions, and decrease our contributions to NATO war efforts;
• Play a lead role in establishing a standing UN Rapid Response Force with a mandate for peacekeeping and environmental restoration in both international crisis situations and domestic catastrophes like floods, earthquakes, storms and fires;
• Instruct Canadian Embassies and Consulates around the world to develop effective early disaster reconnaissance and assessment capabilities in order to speed up Canadian response times;
• Shift from a Department of Defence to a Department of Peace and Security;
• Increase our commitment of resources, especially funds for peacekeeping and adequate training and provisioning of troops, to the United Nations.

Liberal Party of Canada

The Liberal Party believes that Canada must return to UN peace operations – to a role that is written into our values and our traditions, a role that is ideal for a country of our size and strength. Canada must wear the blue beret again, and restore our commitments to make the world a safer place.

Under a Liberal government, Canada will undertake a new leadership role in United Nations peace operations.

While Canada was once the world’s single greatest contributor of UN peacekeepers, in 2009 we were 56th. Traditional peacekeeping has changed significantly since Canada vacated the field. Increasingly, deployments are undertaken to more complex and often dangerous situations, better described as peace-making missions. These increasingly involve combat.

Based on the hard-earned experience in Afghanistan, a Liberal government will develop a new leadership role for Canada in today’s peace operations. It will include training, commanding and deploying personnel where it’s clear that a mission is consistent with Canada’s interests, values and capabilities. And while
at present only a small fraction of Canada’s defence budget is dedicated to the incremental cost of United Nations operations, Liberals will ensure that the Canadian Forces have the resources they need to engage in additional Peace Operations.


Le Parti libéral croit que le Canada doit recommencer à participer aux missions de paix de l’ONU – dans un rôle qui est inscrit dans nos valeurs et nos traditions, un rôle idéal pour un pays de notre taille et notre force. Le Canada doit remettre le casque bleu et rétablir ses engagements à rendre le monde plus sécuritaire.
Un gouvernement libéral élaborera un nouveau rôle de leadership pour le Canada lors des opérations pour la paix des Nations Unies.

Autrefois premier contributeur de Casques bleus aux missions de l’ONU, le Canada s’est classé au 56e rang en 2009. Les fonctions traditionnelles de maintien de la paix ont grandement changé depuis que le Canada s’est retiré de ces activités. Les déploiements sont couramment effectués dans des situations plus complexes et souvent dangereuses mieux décrites comme des missions de rétablissement de la paix. De plus en plus souvent, ces déploiements comportent des opérations de combat.

En se basant sur l’expérience durement gagnée en Afghanistan, un gouvernement libéral élaborera un nouveau rôle de leadership pour le canada lors des missions de la paix, comprenant la formation, le commandement et le déploiement de personnel lorsqu’il est clair que la mission correspond aux intérêts, aux valeurs et aux capacités du Canada. Même si en ce moment seulement une fraction du budget de la défense du Canada est dédiée aux coûts additionnels liés à des opérations des Nations Unies, les libéraux s’assureront que les Forces canadiennes disposent des ressources nécessaires pour s’engager dans des missions de la paix supplémentaires.

New Democratic Party

As stated [in response to question 1] above we would make peacekeeping the second priority of Canada’s military. We are strong supporters of the R2P principle and its implementation universally.

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