November 14th, 2017

NDP statement ahead of UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial Conference

The following statement was issued by Hélène Laverdière, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, and Randall Garrison, NDP Defence Critic:

As Canada hosts an international meeting on peacekeeping this week, we are reminded that, two years into the Liberal government’s mandate, Canada has failed to deliver on its promises to the United Nations.

The Liberals pledged during the 2015 election to renew Canada’s commitment to peacekeeping. Yet, under this Liberal government, Canada’s contribution to UN peacekeeping missions has reached an all-time low.

Over a year ago, they promised up to 600 troops and 150 police officers to UN peace operations. If Canada’s offer at this week’s meeting is limited to just equipment and training, this will be yet another broken promise.

The UN has asked Canada to contribute troops and police officers to missions such as those in Mali, Central African Republic, or South Sudan. Canada has so far turned these missions down. Our international partners, who are depending on us, have already expressed disappointment in Canada's lack of commitment. We cannot expect the rest of the world to do the heavy lifting while we preach from the sidelines.

Canada has also made promises related to gender and peacekeeping. But, without a fully-funded implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, we are concerned that on this, too, Canada will fail to deliver. This is about more than including more women in peacekeeping. Canada’s commitments must include funding for the full range of gender mainstreaming initiatives, funding to combat sexual exploitation and abuse, and funding for women’s roles in peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

If the Liberals really want to show Canada is Back in the field of peacekeeping and contribute to making the world more secure, they'll contribute the troops and the money that is needed. Anything less will be a disappointment.