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Canada and

Late 1940s-present

Order of events

November 1956

The first United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) is established to respond to the Suez crisis.

July 1960

United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) begins.

March 1964

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus is established.

May 1974

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) is established in the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel.

9 August 1974

Nine CAF members die when their plane is shot down in the Middle East.

10 December 1988

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to all UN peacekeeping forces.

September 1991

Canadian troops join the multinational peace support effort in the Balkans.

October 1991

Canadian troops join the United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC).

April 1992

United Nations Operations in Somalia (UNOSOM) mission is established.

October 1993

United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) begins.

March 1995

Canadian troops join the United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH).

October 1999

Canadian troops join the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

November 2000

Canadian peacekeepers join the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).

July 2018

Canada begins its participation in United Nations peacekeeping efforts in Mali.

Classroom materials

Classroom materials main page

Lesson plan: Grade 7 to 12

Canadian peacekeepers anthology

Canada has a long history of serving in support of peace efforts around the world. Those in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have made significant contributions in dozens of peacekeeping efforts.

Service, courage and sacrifice

CAF members defend our country, protect our peace and stand up for security around the world. As part of these efforts, Canadians have deployed overseas to participate in United Nations (UN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other multinational peace operations.

Peacekeepers are neutral international troops who are sent to countries in turmoil to help reduce tensions and restore peace. They play vital roles including monitoring ceasefires, patrolling buffer zones, clearing landmines, investigating war crimes, helping refugees and providing humanitarian aid.

Significant dates

International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Every year on 29 May, the UN pays tribute to all of the uniformed and civilian personnel who have supported UN peacekeeping efforts. The date also honours the more than 4,200 peacekeepers from around the world who have lost their lives serving under the UN flag.

National Peacekeepers'

In Canada, a national ceremony is held in Ottawa each year at the Peacekeeping Monument – Reconciliation – on the Sunday closest to August 9. On this date in 1974, nine Canadian Armed Forces members died when their plane was shot down in the Middle East.

Around the world and across generations

More than 125,000 CAF members have served in international peacekeeping efforts in dozens of countries over the decades. Approximately 130 of them have lost their lives and many more have returned home with physical and psychological wounds.

Over 4,000 officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other police forces in Canada have also taken part in these missions. In addition, thousands of Canadian diplomats and civilians have made important contributions to these efforts.

Preventing conflict

Peacekeeping developed following the bloody world wars that killed tens of millions of people in the first half of the 20th century. In their aftermath, members of the international community increasingly looked for ways to prevent future conflicts.

Canada leads the way

Canada played a key role in creating the concept of UN peacekeeping. Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs Lester B. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his leadership in helping establish the United Nations Emergency Force in Egypt during the Suez Crisis of 1956. Canada also took part in this large-scale mission that helped prevent a wider war.

Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations

The goal of this international agreement, announced in 2017, is to help increase the meaningful participation of women in UN peace operations.

The Vancouver Principles on peacekeeping and the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers

This international agreement is intended to help protect children from being forced to fight in conflicts by making this issue a priority in peacekeeping operations.

UN peacekeeping operations and missions

Find more information about UN peacekeeping, peacebuilding and conflict prevention activities.

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