On Tuesday March 6th Rideau Institute President Peggy Mason was interviewed by Terry Milewski on CBC’s Power and Politics about yet another Canadian failure to respond to a UN request for Canadian peacekeepers.
To watch this interview click: RI President interview on Power and Politics (CBC, 6 March 2018).
Mason describes three key factors at play:
– the visceral institutional antipathy in the Department of National Defence (DND) against UN peacekeeping;
– a weak Defence Minister who is much better at conveying what DND wants to Cabinet than the other way around; and
– an absent Foreign Minister, given her overriding responsibility for Canada-USA trade.
With its focus on the peace process and the political issues at the heart of the conflict, modern multidimensional UN peacekeeping offers a country emerging from violent conflict the best chance of building a sustainable peace. Says Mason:
The great tragedy is, after Canada’s long absence from UN peacekeeping, our military leadership is woefully ignorant of its value and why it is so important that we live up to our promise to re-engage.
For the background story to the interview, see: Plan to send Canadian Peacekeepers to Colombia fizzled due to official foot- dragging (Murray Brewster, CBC news, 6 March 2018).
For more detail on Canada’s unfulfilled commitments, see: 15 months on, Canada still has not pledged actual troops for an actual UN peace operation (Rideau Institute blog, 21 November 2017).
Photo credit: CBC Power and Politics video