Last year, Ottawa pledged 150 police officers and 600 troops to the UN peacekeeping missions. The situation today is obviously different.
According to the latest scoop, Canada is prepared to offer elite troops and high-end equipment for the sole purpose of training the UN peacekeepers deployed on dangerous missions by other countries of the world.
A formal announcement on the matter is expected to be made by the Prime Minister during the congregation of international defence ministers in Vancouver.
Multiple sources reveal that the announcement will not include any commitment of troops on ground for specific peacekeeping missions in troubled regions.
It is expected that the Vancouver proposal – to be presented by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday – will address the significant gaps in the UN Peacekeeping processes.
The continuous shortcoming in planning and surveillance, along with the collective quality of ground forces deployed into the conflict-ridden regions has been a collective matter of concern for the world body.
Sources say that contrary to previous pledges of deploying ground forces for peacekeeping missions, Canada will now provide the UN with highly skilled military and police options to support these missions.
This would mean shorter and smaller deployments of Canadian troops to intermittent missions in the future. It will be a noticeable deviation from conventional peacekeeping that involves deployment of infantry battalions where needed.
In addition to this, Canada hopes to push for certain institutional reforms to strengthen the coordination and commitment between countries.
“Peacekeeping is a great thing. Canada invented it. But it is sorely in need of reform…The traditional way of going about things needs to change for new world situations,” said a senior government official.
The previous pledge for specific numbers of troops was made by Canada without a complete analysis of the entire situation.
Canada only associates with ceasefire observer peacekeeping missions, which are quite few. There have been various deployment pitches made to Canada by the UN for troop requirements in Sudan, Mali and other dangerous regions. All of these missions have been politely turned down.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.