Knight's Canadian Info Collection
Knight's Canadian Info Collection


Canadian Peacekeepers

More than 125,000 Canadians have participated in United Nations and NATO peacekeeping duties throughout the world. That is more Peacekeepers than any other country.
Peacekeepers have helped to make the world a better place in which to live. The Nobel Committee recognized the good work that UN Peacekeepers have been doing by awarding them the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.
Canada has honoured its Peacekeepers, past, present and future, by dedicating a monument to their service and dedication. The monument was unveiled in Ottawa, ON in October 1992. The Canadian Peacekeepers Service Medal (see below) is awarded to all Canadians who serve with peacekeeping missions.

For the full story of The Canadian Contribution To United Nations Peacekeeping- use this link. This is a large (external) PDF document prepared by the United Nations Peacekeeping Association In Canada. It contains history, details, missions, photos and additional information.

The following are additional external links regarding Canada's military operations, missions and history. After viewing external links, use your back button to return to this page.

Canadian Military Operations

U.N. Peacekeeping Missions

Canadian Peacekeeping Missions

Military History of Canada

Canadian Forces Portal (tons of information and links here)

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Canadian Peacekeeping / Military Missions since the end of the Second World War

1947 - South Korea. United Nations Temporary Commission in Korea (UNTCOK). 2 soldiers acted as observer during elections. 1947-1948. UNTCOK was meant as a show of good faith toward democracy in the country, and to show that the UN was willing to lend aid to Korea when it was most needed. The mission failed when the USSR refused to allow the observers entry into North Korea.

1949 - Kashmir. United Nations Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan. (UNMOGIP) Up to 39 observers served here until 1979. Canada also supplied an aircraft to headquarters until 1996.

1950 - Korea. United Nations Command Korea. 6,146 troops. By the end of the war in 1953 over 26,000 troops served. From 1953 to 1978 Canada participated with the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission with a very small number of personnel. After 1978 the military attaché in the South Korean embassy assumed this responsibility.

1954 - Middle East. United Nations Truce Supervision Organization. (UNTSO). 11 personnel. One of Canada's longest peacekeeping missions helped enforce the ceasefire between Israel and its new neighbours. This mission continues with 8 personnel.

1954 - Indochina. International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC). 133 military observers in Vietnam to supervise the French withdrawal and monitor border incursions. In 1973 the number of personnel was reduced to 20.

1956 - Sinai. United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I). 1,007 troops helped stop hostilities after Israel, France and Great Britain attacked Egypt over the Suez Canal. The mission lasted from November 1956 to June 1967.

1958 - Lebanon. United Nations Observation Group in Lebanon. (UNOGIL). 77 Observers to monitor arms smuggling across the Lebanese border. The mission lasted from June to December 1958.

1960 - Congo. Organisation des nation unies au Congo (ONUC). 421 troops helped maintain law and order in this African country from July 1960 until June 1964.

1962 - West New Guinea. United Nations Security Force in West New Guinea (UNSF). 13 RCAF personnel served from October 1962 to April 1963 to help maintain peace in this Indonesian island.

1963 - Yemen. United Nations Yemen Observation Mission. (UNYOM). 36 troops and observers monitored disengagement between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from July 1963 to September 1964.

1964 - Cyprus. United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). 1150 troops. Canada maintained a strong presence in Cyprus until 1993 when troops were withdrawn for other uses. There is currently one staff officer still with the mission. Over 25,000 personnel served in Cyprus during our twenty-nine year mission.

1965 - Dominican Republic. Mission Of The Representative Of The Secretary-General in the Dominican Republic. (DOMREP). 1 observer served with the mission from May 1965 to October 1966.

1965 - India and Pakistan. United Nations India-Pakistan Observer Mission (UNIPOM) 112 troops served at any given time from September 1965 to March 1966 to monitor a ceasefire.

1968 - Nigeria. Observer Team Nigeria (OTN). 2 personnel monitored a ceasefire between the Nigeria government and Biafran rebels.

1973 - Middle East. United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF II). 1,145 troops served from October 1973 to July 1979, again to supervise a ceasefire between Israel and Egypt and control the buffer zone between the countries.

1973 - Vietnam. International Commission for Control and Supervision (ICCS). 248 personnel helped monitor the ceasefire and return of prisoners to Vietnam. Completed in 1974.

1974 - Middle East. United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). 190 personnel withdrew on March 24, 2006 ending three decades of peacekeeping on the Israel-Syrian border involving 12,000 troops stationed near the Golan Heights.

1978 - Lebanon. United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. (UNIFIL) 117 troops served between March and October 1978 to assist with Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon.

1986 - Middle East. Multinational Force and Observers. (MFO) This mission was created after the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt in 1979. Canada began contributing personnel to this non-UN mission in 1986, when 1,800 troops were sent. Twenty years later we still have 31 personnel stationed in Egypt.

1988 - Iran and Iraq. United Nations Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group. (UNIIMOG). Up to 525 personnel supervised the disengagement of the two sides from August 1988 to February 1991.

1988 - Afghanistan and Pakistan. United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan (UNGOMAP). 5 observers monitored the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan from May 1988 to March 1990.

1989 - Central America. United Nations Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA) 174 personnel helped verify compliance with the Esquipulas Agreement signed between Nicaragua and its neighbours to end conflict in the region. Canada participated from November 1989 to January 1992.

1989 - Namibia. United Nations Transition Assistance Group Namibia (UNTAG). 301 personnel served between April 1989 and March 1990.

1990 - Kuwait. (The Persian Gulf War) 2,700 personnel including three ships and a squadron of CF-18s and a medical unit helped a UN force push Iraq out of Kuwait. Ended 1991.

1990 - Haiti. United Nations Mission for the Verification of the Elections in Haiti. (ONUVEH). 11 election observers served from November 1990 to February 1991.

1990 - Afghanistan and Pakistan. Office of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan and Pakistan (OSGAP). 1 military observer from March 1990 to 1995

1991 - Iraq. United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM). This organization was created to disarm Iraq, especially weapons of mass destruction in 1991. Over the course of the mission from April 1991 to December 1999, 100 personnel participated. After American air strikes against Iraq in late 1998 a new UN agency was created to hunt for illegal weapons. Two Canadian Forces personnel were posted to the New York headquarters for this mission from 1999 to the spring of 2000 when they were replaced with civilians.

1991 - El Salvador. United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL). Up to 55 personnel investigated human rights complaints and assisted military reforms and elections. The mission lasted from July 1991 to April 1995

1991 - Angola. United Nations Angola Verification Mission II (UNAVEM II). 15 observers monitored a ceasefire from July 1991 to April 1993.

1991 - Cambodia. United Nations Advance Mission in Cambodia (UNAMIC) that became United Nations Transition Authority in Cambodia. (UNTAC) . 7 military observers served from November 1991 to February 1992 with UNAMIC, then another 240 with UNTAC from February 1992 to September 1993. Part of the latter mission was de-mining and disarmament.

1991 - Western Sahara. United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara. (MINURSO). A maximum of 35 personnel helped monitor the ceasefire and supervise a referendum from May 1991 to June 1994.

1991 - Kuwait. United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKON) 5 observers monitored the demilitarized zone between Iraq and Kuwait from 1991 until September 2001.

1991 - Red Sea/Arabian Gulf/Persian Gulf. Maritime Interdiction Force (MIF). Canada contributed one vessel to this international force frequently from 1991 to September 2001. The purpose is to enforce a United Nations embargo against Iraq.

1992 - Yugoslavia. European Community Monitoring Mission in the Former Yugoslavia (ECMMY). 48 personnel monitored a ceasefire between January 1992 and August 1995 under the auspices of the European Community and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

1992 - Somalia. Canada contributed to three separate United Nations missions in this country from October 1992 and January 1994. United Nations Operation in Somalia I and II (UNOSOM I and UNOSOM II) and the Unified Task Force (UNITAF). Approximately 1,300 personnel participated, most between December 1992 and March 1993.

1992 - Balkans. United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) followed by United Nations Peace Forces Headquarters (UNPF). Close to 2000 personnel served in a variety of missions in the former Yugoslavia from the February 1992 until December 1995. They secured the Sarajevo airport, provided humanitarian relief, and protected demilitarized zones around Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. 13 personnel were also involved in monitoring "no fly zones' over Bosnia-Herzegovina (1993 -1995). From 1993 to 1996 one frigate with 210 personnel were used for the enforcement of maritime sanctions against the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1995 some staff participated in the United Nations Confidence Restoration Organization mission (UNCRO) as well. Several personnel and aircraft were also involved the Sarajevo Airlift from 1992 to 1996. In 1995 NATO replaced the United Nations as the sponsor of this mission.

1992 - Former Yugoslavia. United Nations Committee of Experts (UNCOE) (1992-1994). At any given time, Canada was providing up to seven legal and military police officers to UNCOE in Operation Justice, to report on the evidence of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

1993 - Uganda and Rwanda. United Nations Observer Mission Uganda-Rwanda (UNOMUR) followed by United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) 115 personnel from June to October 1993 then December 1993 to February 1996. The missions were to monitor the Rwandan border then assist displaced persons and protect relief supplies following a civil war. A further 247 personnel also provided humanitarian assistance during 1994 but not under mandate from the UN.

1993 - Mozambique. United Nations Operations in Mozambique (ONUMOZ). 4 observers monitored a ceasefire and kept warring sides apart. The Mission lasted from February 1993 and December 1994.

1993 - Haiti. Haiti Embargo Enforcement followed by United Nations Mission in Haiti (UNMIH). 750 personnel, 80+ civilian police and one navy vessel enforce the embargo, train police, protect international personnel and maintain security from September 1993 to present. This included a small observer group along the border with the Dominican Republic in 1994.

1994 - In February of 1994 Canada announced it would be contributing 12 CF members to CMAC, making it the largest single contributor at the time. From 1 March 1994 to 30 June 2000, anywhere from 4 to 12 CF personnel served with the CMAC at any one time.

1995 - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. United Nations Preventative Deployment Force in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (UNPREDEP). 1 officer from March 1995 to February 1999 then a further 55 personnel helped set up the NATO Extraction Force headquarters, December 1998 to April 1999.

1995 - Azerbaijan. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) sponsored a peacekeeping mission in the former Soviet area of Nagorny-Karabakh. 3 personnel assisted this mission from 1995 to 1996.

1995 - Former Yugoslavia. NATO Implementation Force (IFOR). This mission replaced the United Nations in the Balkans in December 1995 with 1,029 Canadian troops. In 1996 the mission was renamed SFOR and became a stabilization force. The number of Canadian personnel was gradually reduced after 2001 to 650 members by October 2004. In 1996 we contributed one frigate to enforce an embargo. The United Nations did continue some work in Bosnia-Herzegovina, called United Nations Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNMIBH) (December 1995 – February 2000). Canada contributed two Canadian Forces members to de-mining and police training. From August to November 1997, 112 personnel providing tactical air support to enforce the Dayton Peace Accord.

1996 - Zaire. African Great Lakes Multinational Force. 354 personnel to assist in the delivery of humanitarian supplies to Rwandan refugees and facilitate their return to Rwanda. This mission lasted from November to December 1996.

1996 - Haiti. United Nations Support Mission in Haiti (UNSMIH). 750 personnel supported UN peacekeeping and institution building mission from July 1996 to July 1997.

1996 - Croatia. United Nations Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP). 1 officer from February 1996 to September 2001.

1997 - Guatemala. United Nations Mission in Guatemala. (MINUGUA). 15 observers and civilian police went to help enforce a ceasefire. The mission lasted January to May 1997.

1997 - Haiti. There were two missions to this country in the same year. Mission de Police des Nations unies en Haiti. (MIPONUH) contributed vehicles and driver instructors from November 1997 to February 2000. The United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti (UNTMIH) sent 750 personnel and a number of police officers to train police and protect UN staff from August to November 1997.

1997 - Italy. Canadian Air Component in MAMDRIM. 14 personnel supported the SFOR mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina by providing weather briefings, intelligence briefings and aircraft maintenance. From February 1997 to February 1998.

1998 - Honduras. Joint Task Force Central America (JTFCAM) 290 personnel performed humanitarian work and the DART (Disaster Assistance Response Team) deployed from November to December 1998.

1998 - Kosovo. Kosovo Diplomatic Observer Mission/Verification Mission. 23 personnel supported the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe with treaty compliance from October 1998 to May 1999

1998 - Central African Republic. Mission des Nations unies en Republique Centrafricaine (MINURCA). 80 personnel maintained security in the capital, Bangui, and then provided support during elections. This mission lasted from March 1998 to December 1999.

1999 - Kosovo. Canada participated in several missions in this region. United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) 1 liaison officer followed by 1,450 personnel with the NATO Force Kosovo (KFOR). Two aircraft were also used in the Humanitarian Airlift in Support of Kosovar Refugees from April to August 1999. A further 4 personnel served with the United Nations Mine Action Co-ordination Centre in Kosovo for six months from June to December 1999. From January to April 1999 there were 8 personnel serving with the Kosovo Verification Coordination Centre in the Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia.

1999 - Turkey. Joint Task Force Serdivan (JTFS). 200 personnel from the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) deployed after an earthquake. The mission lasted from August to October 1999.

1999 - Mozambique. United Nations Development Programme's Accelerated Demining Programme. (ADP). 3 personnel served on this mission from April 1999 to July 2000.

1999 - East Timor. International Force in East Timor (INTERFET). 650 personnel, including a navy vessel and aircraft, were sent to restore stability as the country voted for independence from occupying Indonesia. This mission lasted from September 1999 to February 2000. The remaining few personnel with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) finished their mission in May 2001.

1999 - Congo. United Nations Mission in the Republic of Congo. 1 officer was initially assigned but there are currently 9 personnel on this assignment to enforce a ceasefire between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and five regional states that was signed in 1999. This is a United Nations sponsored mission, MONUC.

1999 - Sierre Leone. United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) was created by the United Nations after years of civil war. 5 observers went to this African country in November 1999 to monitor disarmament. The mission was completed in July 2005.

2000 - Sierra Leone. International Military Advisory Training Team (IMATT). 8 personnel initially deployed has increased to 11. The British led mission to restore peace and stability in this war ravaged West African country began in November 2000 and continues.

2000 - Ethiopia and Eritrea. United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) 450 personnel deployed to verify a ceasefire. The mission lasted from August 2000 to June 2003.

2000 - Albania. The Rinas airport recovery project. Albania's main airport was damaged when it was used for the Kosovar airlift. Together with the Canadian International Development Agency, National Defence helped rebuild runways, parking aprons and taxi-ways. This mission lasted from September 2000 to September 2001.

2001 - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. NATO Operation "Essential Harvest" involved 200 personnel and lasted from August 2001 to September 2002.

2001 - Afghanistan. International Campaign Against Terrorism. 2,000 personnel was reduced to 1,000 in 2002 under this American led international mission against terrorism to remove the Taliban from government in Afghanistan and support a democratic government.
See 2006 mission listing for Afghanistan.
2003 - Senegal. Special Representative of the Secretary General in West Africa. 1 colonel on a peace support mission that lasted for one year from March 2003 to March 2004.

2003 - Democratic Republic of Congo. Interim Emergency Multinational Force. Canada contributed two aircraft and about 50 personnel for the month of June to the French led operation.

2003 - Liberia. United Nations Mission in Liberia. (UNMIL). 4 personnel from September to November 2003 to aid in the transition from regional peacekeeping mission to a United Nations sponsored mission.

2003 - Iraq. United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). One military observer assigned to this mission lead by the Secretary General Special Representative for Iraq. The mission is continuing.

2004 - Haiti. United Nations Multinational Interim Force followed by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). 602 personnel. Mission from March to August 2004. Since 2005, 6 personnel continue with the UN mission.

2004 - Sudan. United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMISUD). The two personnel originally assigned to this mission have been increased to more than 100. About 60 personnel are currently still in theatre with the United Nations and the African Union Mission. They are providing support in headquarters and training in the use of military vehicles in the troubled Darfur region.

2004 - Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the fall of 2004 a European military force assumed command from NATO. There are about 24 personnel still in the Balkans with the Task Force Balkans and EUFOR Liaison and Observation Teams. Since 1992 more than 40,000 Canadians have served in the Balkans.

2005 - Sri Lanka. Operation Structure sent the DART to provide disaster relief following the Asian tsunami. January to February 2005.

2005 - Gaza. Eight personnel are providing military advice to the Palestinian Authority. They are based in Jerusalem and the mission is continuing.

2005 - United States. Operation UNISOM. 900 personnel including navy divers, three vessels and engineers provided relief to the Southern United States after Hurricane Katrina. Completed in one month October 2005.

2005 - Pakistan. Operation Plateau. DART disaster assistance team deployed to the Kashmir region of Pakistan following an earthquake. October to December 2005.

2006 - Afghanistan. In February Canadian troops moved from Kabul to Kandahar to assume command of the Multi National Brigade for Regional Command South. There are 2,300 personnel serving at Kandahar Airfield (KAF) and with the Provincial Reconstruction Team at Camp Nathan Smith located in Kandahar City. Since the end of July 2006 this mission is now a NATO mission (ISAF) and continues the war against terrorism.

2007 - West Bank - Palestine. The European Police Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS) works in the military occupied territories of the West Bank. This mission has had two serving Canadian police officers deployed for one year terms in the West Bank since 2007. Their objectives is security sector reform by creating a stable and professional police force with the Palestinian Civil Police,
2008 - Myanmar/Burma. DART deployed to Myanmar to assist in disaster relief following a devistating cyclone.

2010 - Haiti. Canada's military deployed the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to provide "eyes-on" feedback and assistance to the catastrophic situation left by the massive earthquake that occurred in Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. A convoy of vehicles including transport planes; a frigate (HMCS Halifax - FFH-330), and a destroyer (HMCS Athabaskan - DDH 282); a Sea King helicopter; a CF-17 loaded with a Griffin helicopter, along with 2,000 Armed Forces members and rescue workers, were sent to Haiti to provide aid and rescue to trapped Haitians and Canadians.
2012 - Canada’s contribution to French operations in Mali consists of one CC-177 Globemaster III heavy lift transport aircraft and about 40 Royal Canadian Air Force personnel: flight and maintenance crews from 429 Transport Squadron and traffic technicians from 2 Air Movements Squadron, both units of 8 Wing Trenton, ON. The one month mandate of Air Task Force Mali is limited to airlift, and specifically excludes combat.
2013 - The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), was deployed in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. 315 Canadian military personnel were deployed to the northern part of the island of Panay in the Phillipines following the November 8th, 2013 typhoon. Engineers cleared debris, opened roads and restored electrical power. A military water-purification system provided almost 500,000 litres of drinking water. Medical teams treated 6,500 patients and help set up aid centres. The military also sent 2 Griffon helicopters to reach isolated communities. The whole effort was supported by an air bridge to Canada supported by giant C-17 transport planes.
2015 - Canada's DART team was deployed to Nepal following a major earthquake in April, 2015.
2017 - Canada will send a battle group of roughy 450 soldiers to Latvia by early 2017 as part of a NATO plan to counter fears of Russian aggression in eastern Europe. Six CF-18 fighter jets for air policing duties over the Baltic states and the deployment of a navy frigate as part of NATO's standing task force will also be sent to the area.
2018 - In March 2018, after the United Nations sent a formal request for a military contribution to its ongoing mission in Mali (MINUSMA) (established in April of 2013 with a mandate to “support the transitional authorities of Mali in the stabilization of the country and implementation of the transitional roadmap”) the government of Canada will contribute six helicopters, four light utility “Griffons”, two twin-rotor “Chinook” transports and approximately 250 military personnel (possibily up to 600) to MINUSMA.


Inspired by the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to United Nations Peacekeepers in 1988, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal (CPSM) was created to acknowledge the efforts of all past, present and future Canadian Peacekeepers. This includes all serving and former members of the Canadian Forces, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other police services, and Canadian civilians who have upheld the long tradition of Canadian peacekeeping.

The History of Canadian Peacekeeping
(by Peter McCluskey, CBC News Online)
(Updated October 30, 2003 and May 21, 2004)

The seeds of peacekeeping can be found buried on the battlefields, in the trenches and in the graveyards of Europe and Asia. The men who fought and lived through two world wars never wanted to see another. They believed that by putting an end to regional conflicts they could reduce the potential of the world ever being consumed by war again. They would create a new international body to keep peace in the world and support social and economic progress.

The newly formed United Nations seemed the perfect place to put such lofty ideals into practice; an organization founded on the principle of discussing and mediating ideological and political differences.

The first United Nations peacekeeping mission was in 1948. Its objective was to supervise the cease-fire between Israel and her Arab neighbours after the War of Independence. Monitors were sent to supervise the truce.

But the first peacekeeping force wasn't established until 1956, a time filled with fears of another global conflict erupting. And once again the backdrop was the Middle East.

In the midst of summer, Egyptian President Gamal Abdal Nasser declared he was nationalizing the Suez Canal, cutting out the Anglo-French company that held controlling interest in the vital waterway that joins the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Nasser told a cheering crowd that the imperialists could "choke on their rage." From that point on, ships wishing to use the canal would pay a toll and that money would go toward financing the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile.

France and Britain were worried about Nasser's future plans to control such a strategically important waterway. They were also worried about what amounted to a direct challenge from Egypt to their trading interests. Secret plans were made for Israel to attack Egypt. France and Britain would send troops to protect the canal.

In October fighting erupted. On one side the Egyptians; on the other, Britain, France and Israel. Once again it looked as if the major military powers of the world would be drawn into battle. Would the Soviet Union come to Egypt's aid? Would the United States become involved in order to keep the Suez open? The world braced for another deadly meeting of the world's military powers.

But it was not to be. A former diplomat, relatively unknown on the world stage, now Canada's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, had a proposal. He argued that a force sponsored by the UN, made up of soldiers from non-combatant countries, could separate the warring armies and supervise the cease-fire.

The UN General Assembly accepted his proposal, as did the various belligerents. Canadian General E.M.L. Burns was named commander of the UN force and peacekeeping was born.

Although the "Suez Crisis" remains a vivid reminder of how seemingly regional issues can threaten to draw much larger nations into conflict, it is equally important to applaud the political and diplomatic courage shown by UN members who agreed on an untried and untested idea - peacekeeping.

For his vision of a world where countries would enter a conflict in order to bring stability and peace, Lester B. Pearson would receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

Since then Canada has been at the forefront of peacekeeping operations around the world. Soldiers, police and civilians have all played prominent roles in separating armies and in the resolution of conflicts in Golan Heights, Cyprus, Crotia, Haiti, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan, El Salvador, Somalia, Rwanda and Angola to name a only few. Currently Canadian peacekeepers are serving in 14 operations in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.

But Canada's involvement in so many trouble spots has not come without a price. More than 180 Canadians have been killed while on peacekeeping duties around the world. The operations in both Somalia and Rwanda led to a crisis of confidence in the Canadian military.

Canada's armed forces have undergone dramatic change over the years since Pearson proposed that first peacekeeping effort in the Middle East. Canadian soldiers now find themselves more likely to be disarming combatants than fighting battles.

The job they will most likely face now is protecting civilian populations, organizing elections and guarding humanitarian convoys. The military has also set up a Rapid Response Force to fly to the scene of natural disasters. Its first deployment came in 1998 when Hurricane Mitch ravaged Central America. Canadian soldiers and medical staff rushed to provide medical and humanitarian relief.

Arguments exist for the end to UN peacekeeping operations: too costly, too ineffective, a hindrance to the development of a stable, lasting peace negotiated by politicians and diplomats. But in the near future it seems unlikely the UN will abandon what has become its most highly respected international symbol. The blue helmets of the peacekeepers are likely to remain as a buffer between the world's warring factions.

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