Senator's Statements:
Recognition of Peacekeeping Efforts Abroad

By Senator Douglas Roche, O.C.

Debates of the Senate (Hansard)
2nd Session, 36th Parliament,
Volume 138, Issue 4
Tuesday, November 2, 1999
The Honourable Gildas L. Molgat, Speaker

Hon. Douglas Roche: Honourable senators, I found it strange that on hisfirst official visit to Canada, Lord George Robertson, the newSecretary-General of NATO, criticized Canada's military spending whileapparently ignoring the fact that Canada now has more troops serving theinterests of peace across the world than at any other time since the KoreanWar.

Canadian peacekeeping is one of the world's most pre-eminent and effectiveconflict management agencies. With less than 1 per cent of the world'spopulation, Canada does over 10 per cent of its peacekeeping. Canadians aregrateful to the 4,410 men and women now deployed overseas in 22 separatemissions for peace.

In this month of November, let us especially honour the dedication andachievements of the 108 Canadian peacekeepers who have lost their lives inthe service of international peace and security over the past four decades.They have made a priceless contribution to the alleviation of humansuffering.

Canadians understand that peacekeeping upholds who and what we are as anation. We must appreciate the role of our forces in advancing our interestsabroad, however we choose to define them. Stretched beyond belief, away fromtheir families for prolonged periods of time, Canada's peacekeeping forcesare deployed in order to effect real change and to ensure the promotion andmaintenance of real human security.

Canadians have fought and died in defence of human security and freedom. Ourongoing pursuit of human security honours their sacrifice and isconfirmation of a noble tradition. Our peacekeepers deserve nothing less. Honourable senators, in spending money for reconstruction in the war-tornBalkans, and for other world efforts to rebuild societies from theconsequences of war, Canada takes a back seat to no one. In combatoperations, it is not that Canada is spending too little; it is that othercountries, including NATO leaders, are spending too much.