Peacekeeping decision delayed
Two years after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “Canada is back” on the world stage, the federal Liberal government is preparing to host a major international peacekeeping conference but will not announce where it will deploy Canadian assets.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said that the government has not yet decided on a mission, and won’t before the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial forum in Vancouver on Nov. 14 and 15.
The summit was envisioned to seek pledges of troops for UN peace operations, but Sajjan said the Canadian government took lessons from a similar summit last year in London, and does not want the Vancouver conference to be just about “announcements.”
Some 500 delegates from 70 countries are expected to attend the event, according to the defence department.
Sajjan suggested he would not be drawn into making pledges. “One of the things we need to get away from and what I’ve seen in the past is nations come in and say this is what we’ll offer, that doesn’t actually provide the impact. Another senior government source said that retired senator and lieutenantgeneral Romeo Dallaire has proposed to Trudeau that the government use Canadian military assets and expertise to form a specialized standalone military unit whose goal is the demilitarization of child soldiers — that can be mobile, deployed anywhere to UN peacekeeping missions, as needed.