The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers:
“Today, we salute United Nations peacekeepers, past and present, who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of peace, safety, and freedom for others. They have greatly sacrificed to provide hope and security for the most vulnerable persons around the globe.
“Peacekeeping has a deep connection to Canadian values and leadership. The first UN peacekeeping mission came about in large part due to the efforts of Lester B. Pearson, our fourteenth Prime Minister, and the leadership of UN Forces Commander E.L.M. “Tommy” Burns. Together, their actions during the Suez Crisis of 1956 marked the beginning of Canada’s identity as a peacekeeping country.
“Since then, UN peace operations have evolved from separating belligerents and monitoring cease fires to protecting vulnerable populations and working to establish the conditions for durable peace. As conflicts have grown in intensity and complexity, so too have the risks for UN peacekeepers who put their lives on the line for the safety of others.
“On behalf of all Canadians, I commend UN peacekeepers for their selfless work and tremendous contributions to the advancement of global peace and human rights. We will continue working with the UN to promote peace and the resolution of serious conflicts around the world.”