(OTTAWA) May 29, 2016 – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich – Gulf Islands), issued the following statement on International Day of UN Peacekeepers:
“Peacekeeping is a Canadian invention. In 1956, Lester B. Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in creating the concept by sending a United Nations Emergency Force to Egypt to bring an end to the Suez Crisis. And many Canadians remember with pride the early 1990s, when Canada sent more than 3,200 peacekeepers to missions around the world. Today, our involvement ranks us a disappointing 73rd in the world as we contribute only 79 personnel to peacekeeping missions.
“As Greens, we advocate for Canada to once again take a lead role in peacekeeping missions, something Canadians have consistently indicated in polls that they consider a top priority. On International Day of UN Peacekeepers, we remember the 3,471 men and women who have lost their lives in the pursuit of peace, and keep our thoughts and prayers with those on 16 peacekeeping missions around the world today,” Ms. May said. “I look forward to contributing to Minister Harjit Sajjan’s policy review of our defence strategy. We need to give peace a chance.”