Canada and ‘re-engaging’ United Nations peacekeeping. A critical examination.
With the advent of Justin Trudeau in 2015, Canada appears to be determined to revitalize its historic role as a peacekeeper. Central is whether Canada truly abandoned UN peacekeeping per se. In order to answer this question, the following needs to be addressed. The first relates to the meaning of UN peacekeeping and the evolution of peacekeeping’s aims, tools, and basic principles, such as consent, impartiality, and the appropriate use of force. The second concerns the role of Canada in UN peacekeeping from 1947 to 2017. Given the nature of UN peacekeeping and Canada’s role from 1947 to 2017, the rhetoric of Trudeau government is confusing. Canada never truly disengaged from UN peacekeeping. Rather, for a variety of reasons, it shifted from UN-led to UN-approved peace operations. If the Trudeau government’s re-engagement means he intends to support UN-led missions rather than UN-approved peace operations in contradiction from the current trend, this has several implications that require careful examination. The final chapter articulates some of these implications.