The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “peacekeeping

Peace’s Missing Component

Posted on April 26, 2018

The headlines have been fairly consistent.  “Canada Introduces a New Era in Peacekeeping,” notes Legion magazine.  “UN Peacekeeping in a New Era,” is the title of a policy piece by the Routledge Group.  The Globe and Mail headline read, “Liberals Grapple with a New Era of Peacekeeping.” It’s remains a difficult thing to discern exactly what this new era entails, but with much of the emphasis on troops, helicopters, the risks and dysfunctional nations overseas, we could be missing the most important resource.  One headline from 2015 asked a key question: “Peacekeeping Has Evolved: Is Canada Ready?”  Well, that depends on if, and how, that resource is utilized. The resource is women, in all of their wisdom, lived experience, survival skills, military knowledge, understanding…

A Unique Commitment With a Powerful Champion

Posted on September 15, 2017

Yesterday’s story by Toronto Star’s Tonda McCharles on the possibility of Canada’s peacekeeping future being tied with the demilitarization of child soldiers could represent a clear departure for this country’s foreign agenda. Two key influencers have come together to move Canada in that direction. The first is the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial forum to be held in Vancouver in November, and the second is the redoubtable General Roméo Dallaire.   The global forum, designed to gain pledges from the participating nations towards peacekeeping, will be interested in Canadian input since this country’s participation on that file has been under review for an extended time. Still, the idea of having a rapid deployment military unit that can move quickly and be trained on preventing the recruitment…

Women & Global Peace: Inseperable

Posted on November 2, 2016

WE KNOW THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA IS undergoing a significant review as to where it would like to place its 600 peacekeepers in the near future. In this troubled world, the opportunities for involvement seem almost endless, although it appears likely that the deployment will occur somewhere on the African continent. Many Canadians like the idea of returning to peacekeeping as a valid Canadian extension to the world, whether or not people choose to describe it by another term like peacebuilding or peacemaking. Yet given this country’s heightened awareness placed upon the role of women in its development programs, it would be helpful to look through a similar lens when considering anything to do with military peacekeeping. We’re not talking about female soldiers…

Keeping the Peace in a New World

Posted on September 1, 2016

LAST WEEK’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF future peacekeeping intentions provided some clarity on the resources committed to such efforts, though the precise locations for involvement remained vague. Until the Trudeau government finalizes its review of Canada’s engagement strategy in the larger world, it remains a difficult thing to target any one area. Nevertheless, the pledge of 600 troops supplied by a $450 million budget represents an intention to elevate peacekeeping to a place of higher priority. Given modern realities, the announcement isn’t about attempting to recapture the lustre of the past but a necessary look to the future. When Lester Pearson won his Nobel Peace Prize in 1957, largely for designing the UN Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal crisis, military might was almost the…

Dignitas, Gravitas, Veritas

Posted on November 26, 2012

General Romeo Dallaire was in town last week to deliver the Claude and Elaine Pensa Lecture on Human Rights at Western University’s Faculty of Law – an annual event. We hadn’t seen one another for 18 months and we both missed the days of working together on international issues in both the House of Commons and the Senate. He spoke to a packed lecture room filled with students, faculty, lawyers and just interested citizens.  Looking around the venue, I spotted Conservatives, Liberals, NDP, and one former Green Party candidate – an eclectic mix. It was all sponsored by Harrison Pensa – a well-known legal firm that crosses the political spectrum in practical ways that cooperate in order to better the local community – kind…

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