Gateway Gazette

Statement to Mark National Peacekeepers’ Day

August 9, 2019 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Today on National Peacekeepers’ Day, we join Canadians in paying tribute to our country’s peacekeepers, past and present, for their service and commitment toward building a safer world.

“Canada has a long and proud history of peacekeeping. Over the past seven decades, Canadian peacekeepers – military, police, and civilians – have served on a variety of operations all over the world to advance and support global peace and security. Our peacekeepers represent Canada with professionalism, compassion, and operational excellence. Their meaningful contributions have a direct and positive impact on the lives of people affected by conflict, and we owe them and their families our unwavering support and our most profound gratitude.

“In the past year, the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces deployed under Operation PRESENCE have been providing essential support to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) with life-saving medical evacuations of injured soldiers and civilians. We are proud of their important contribution and we thank them for making a difference in the region. Canadian contributions to Mali will continue with long term police deployments to MINUSMA and the European Union capacity building mission.

“On National Peacekeepers’ Day, we also pause to honour the memory of the 122 Canadian peacekeepers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of peace. Their bravery will continue to be represented in the selfless work of peacekeepers around the world.

“Over the years, conflicts have changed and have become more complex than ever before. Canada remains determined to do its part on the world stage and improve the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations. This is why we continue to take real, tangible steps to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers and help ensure that peacekeepers are better prepared to face this tragic reality with our leadership on the Vancouver Principles. We are also focused on increasing the proportion of women deployed overseas and empowering women in all aspects of peace and security, including through the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations.”

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