Ceremony marks National Peacekeepers’ Day 2018
By Trident Staff,
with files from DND
On Thursday August 9, National Peacekeepers’ Day, a ceremony to mark the occasion was held in the World Peace Pavilion at the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal,
During the ceremony, Commodore Craig Skjerpen, Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic spoke regarding the CAF legacy of participating in United Nations peacekeeping missions and the vital role of assuring peace and security around the world.
In Ottawa, Minister of National Defence Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale and Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland issued the following statement to recognize National Peacekeepers’ Day:
“Today on the 10th anniversary of National Peacekeepers’ Day, we join Canadians in expressing our deepest gratitude to Canadian peacekeepers, past and present. We recognize the women and men who have upheld Canada’s proud history of peacekeeping throughout the years by helping to bring peace and security to vulnerable people and communities in some of the world’s most volatile regions. Canada has provided instrumental support to restore peace and security in areas devastated by conflict. Our peacekeepers play a vital role in achieving these objectives while demonstrating compassion and courage.
“Canada is proud to have had more than 125,000 members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, diplomats, civilian experts, and provincial and municipal police officers serve on a variety of United Nations peace support operations and multinational task forces around the world since 1949.
“Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, underscores our commitment to peacekeeping and peace support operations. This commitment is evident as Canadian Armed Forces troops recently began a year-long United Nations peace operation, the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), until July 2019. Furthermore, Canada remains steadfast in its pledge to advance and support global peace and security in the face of the evolving challenges faced by peacekeepers. This is why the Government of Canada launched new efforts to reform and modernize peace operations, including the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations and the Vancouver Principles on Peacekeeping and the Prevention of the Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers. This is also why Canada has approved the deployment of up to 20 Canadian police officers to support the United Nations and European Union efforts in Mali.
“We remember the nine Canadian United Nations peacekeepers who tragically lost their lives on August 9, 1974, when a United Nations-marked Canadian Armed Forces transport aircraft was shot down during a resupply mission in the Middle East. This remains the largest single-day loss of Canadian life during a peace support operation. These Canadians, counted among the 122 Canadian peacekeepers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace since 1949, will not be forgotten. Their bravery continues to be represented in the selfless work of peacekeepers around the world.”