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Canada bolsters peacekeeping and civilian protection measures 

Vancouver –  For decades, peacekeeping has helped provide protection to millions of vulnerable people affected by conflicts. However, the context for modern peace operations has changed. Today’s conflicts are intractable, more dangerous, and more complex. Given this new reality, we need to find new solutions. Canada is advancing innovative approaches to enhancing the protection of children, increasing the participation of women in peace operations, and providing the specialized capacities that the UN needs to deliver on their mandates.

That is why today at the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced the launch of the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers. This initiative, created in partnership with retired General Romeo Dallaire, will identify early warning signs, take action to end recruitment, and promote the reporting of abuses and grave violations against children.

During the Summit, the Prime Minister also announced the Elsie Initiative on Women in Peace Operations. Through this, Canada and partner nations will provide assistance and incentives to increase the proportion of women deployed in UN peace operations. Studies have demonstrated a strong link between women’s involvement in peace operations and the achievement of long-term, sustainable peace.

Finally, Canada announced that it will also make a range of specialized military capabilities available to the UN. These smart pledges include a Quick Reaction Force that includes approximately 200 troops and accompanying equipment; an Aviation Task Force of armed helicopters; and tactical airlift support to address critical gaps in the UN’s ability to transport troops, equipment, and supplies to their missions.

In addition to military capabilities, Canada will also develop and implement innovative new training programs designed to enhance the overall effectiveness of UN operations. This will include the establishment of a Canadian Training and Advisory Team to work with a partner nation before and during its deployments to peace operations, as well as contributions to UN centres, schools, and mobile training teams.

Moving forward, Canada will continue to work with the UN – as well as potential partner and host nations – to identify locations where Canada’s military capabilities can fill key gaps and bring the most value to UN peace support operations.

“The nature of conflict has changed. So too have the demands of peace operations. Discrete offerings and one-off commitments have gotten us this far, but we won’t be able to deliver true, transformative change without a real institutional change. Canada is prepared to help lead that charge. To rethink how we engage, not just where we engage. To close the institutional gaps that prevent us from being even more effective agents of peace in a world that sorely needs it. That’s how we’ll protect the world’s children, empower women and girls, and build a more peaceful and a more prosperous world.” –  Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada


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