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May 29th, 2015

Statement by the NDP on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers

NDP Defense critic Jack Harris (St.John’s-East) made the following statement on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers:

Today, we pay tribute to the men and women who have served in UN peacekeeping operations. The NDP is proud to support UN peace building and peacekeeping operations as military and foreign policy priorities.

Canadians are rightly proud of Canada’s contribution to UN peacekeeping. Canadians have been involved since the first UN mission in 1948, and Canada’s leadership was instrumental in the establishment of the first UN peacekeeping force in the Suez Crisis. Now, more than 125,000 Canadians – military, police, and civilian – have served in close to 50 UN missions around the world.

Tragically, 122 Canadian men and women have lost their lives on peacekeeping missions, and we honour their courage, sacrifice, and contribution to international peace and security.

Given our proud history, Canadians are dismayed by our diminished role, having fallen in rank under both Liberal and Conservative governments to a dismal 67th place in contributions by nations to UN peace operations. The NDP believes that Canada should, can, and must do more to support the promotion and protection of peace worldwide. New Democrats will continue to advocate the prioritization of peacekeeping as a valuable and integral element of Canadian foreign policy.