Current Conditions

Clear
17.0°C

Foreign Affairs minister says peacekeeping more complicated than years past

October 18, 2016 - 6:07 AM

MONTREAL - There are virtually no direct wars between states anymore and that will make Canada's upcoming peacekeeping missions all the more complicated, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said Monday.

Instead of the traditional role of acting as a buffer between two formerly warring nation states, peacekeepers will now need to be deployed within countries fighting terrorist insurgencies, he said.

Canada recently announced up to 600 soldiers, 150 police officers and $450 million in order to renew the country's former role in global peacekeeping operations.

While Dion wouldn't divulge where peacekeepers would be deployed, he said that countries "in more than one continent" have asked Canada for help.

When Canada first introduced peacekeepers into the Suez Canal conflict in the late 1950's, they were "welcomed" into the war zone, Dion said.

"You had two countries exhausted by their fight, but not having confidence in each other," Dion said. "You don't have that anymore. As I speak there is not one war of opposing states. Today, it is more complex and that's why the expertise of Canada is so welcome."

He said aside from soldiers, Canada will be looking to activate pilots, military engineers, doctors, communications specialists, mine clearers, legal experts, development advisors and police officers for future United Nations missions.

"These asymmetrical conflicts also call for military intervention undertaken in close co-operation with local authorities such as NATO, the European Union, the African Union and others," he told a lunch crowd of 300 at an event hosted by the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations.

"That is why Canada wants to re-engage with these institutions, the UN first and foremost among them."

The Conservatives have criticized the government's new interest in peacekeeping, claiming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to win favour with the UN in order to gain a Security Council seat.

Conservatives say the country's interests are best served when the military is in specific combat roles, such as the former bombing mission in Iraq and Syria against Islamic State.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

  • Popular kelowna News
  • Comments
  • How Vernon residents are spreading community spirit one painted rock at a time
    VERNON - Located on a nondescript side street in Vernon sits a landmark known by all the neighbourhood kids as ‘The Wishing Tree.’ A little wooden sign describing it as such has
  • Police seek missing North Okanagan teen
    VERNON – RCMP are looking for the public’s help finding a missing 16-year-old North Okanagan girl. Ebony Holmgren was last seen on June 16 in the 11000 block of Tassie Drive in C
  • Depp's 'assassin' comments the latest in celebrity anger
    NEW YORK - Johnny Depp apologized Friday for joking about assassinating Donald Trump during an appearance at a large festival in Britain, the latest example of artists using violent imagery when d
  • Heat wave expected across Interior this weekend
    The Interior is going to be hit by a heat wave. Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement warning about hot weather across the Southern Interior, including the South Thompson
  • Okanagan cherry season is underway
    KELOWNA - Nothing quite says summer in the Okanagan than eating ripe, juicy cherries until your hands are stained red and your stomach is aching it’s so full. Lucky for us, that time is now.
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile