March 20, 2018
Letter to the Editor
Re: Canada’s new UN Peacekeeping Deployment
As commentators point out, there are fearsome challenges in Mali from corruption and criminality, fueling on-going insecurity and conflict that are challenges as Canada deploys an Aviation Task Force to the UN’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Indeed the enormous investments of treasure and blood already made there by Canada and others may seem, at times, futile. As Canadians understand, if there was no corruption, resilient infrastructure and support for the Truth and Reconciliation Mechanism, UN Peacekeeping and a broad development investment from the international community would not be needed. What Mali has is a population of innocent civilians confronting a youth explosion (in 2017 fully 67% of the population was under 25) and the erosion of the state’s ability to deliver security, basic health care, education, all heightening risks of more radicalization.
There’s a potential vital return on investment in this new PK deployment – as arguably, there has been in Canada’s investment in the Malian justice sector and in anti-corruption. Canada has been a leader in deploying the assets of development, diplomacy and defence/security as the triumvirate to lift the most vulnerable and marginalized communities as they build a better future for themselves.
Canadians understand the value and urgency of confronting instability and conflict around the world. It is a cost of the successful and open society to which we aspire. In support of this, UNA-Canada recently commissioned a poll where 88% of respondents, across gender, age and political party affiliation, support, strongly support or do not oppose deploying soldiers and police to UN peacekeeping. In spite of risks, Canadians remain committed to active engagement in working toward a better world.
President & CEO
United Nations Association in Canada
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