(OTTAWA) - Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP (Saanich- Gulf Islands), issued the following statement on National Peacekeepers’ Day:
“Today is an opportunity to celebrate the Canadian peacekeepers who have dedicated their lives to promoting global peace and security.
“Canadians can be deeply proud that it was Canadian values and leadership that laid the foundation for United Nations peacekeeping. Canada provided the first generation of peacekeeping operations with troops, and paved the way for future initiatives on the part of the international community. Since that time, the goals of peacekeeping missions have expanded to include establishing long-lasting peace by strengthening the rule of law, increasing government accountability, and promoting peaceful reconciliation.
“Unfortunately, we have turned our back on peacekeeping. Canada now contributes only 115 peacekeepers to international operations – we are now 68th in the world in the number of peacekeepers we commit, behind Paraguay and Turkey.
“I thank our peacekeepers for their contributions to the advancement of global peace and human rights. Thousands of our men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice in their commitment to providing assistance in post-conflict states, and in working with the international community to create conditions that lead to the resolution of violent conflicts.”
Paul Manly, Green Party candidate (Nanaimo - Ladysmith), continued:
“Today we celebrate and honour the proud Canadian heritage of peacekeeping, and Canada's historic role as an innovator of thought and action for conflict resolution.
“Peace is part of Canada’s identity. Canadians are good, kind people, with generous hearts and spirits. We are also pragmatic and reasonable. These are the values that informed our nation as we sent out the world's first peacekeepers and set the standard for UN peacekeeping.
“Now, more than ever, the world needs diplomatic peacekeepers to support human rights and help end suffering.
“I offer my gratitude and respect to the Canadian men and women peacekeepers who have proudly served our country in far away conflict zones to make the world a better place."
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