OTTAWA— A new report, entitled Unprepared for Peace? The Decline of Canadian Peacekeeping Training (and what to do about it), has just been released by the Rideau Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The study, co-authored by Royal Military College Professor Walter Dorn and University of Ottawa doctoral candidate Joshua Libben, recommends a major overhaul and upgrading of peacekeeping education, training and exercises in order to restore the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) readiness to participate in UN peace operations.
Detailing the present and past activities at over half a dozen CAF institutions, the study finds military personnel are provided with less than a quarter of the training activities for UN peace operations than they were a decade ago.
“The complexities of modern peace operations require in-depth training and education,” says Dorn. “With UN peace operations at an all-time high, and Canada’s contribution at an all-time low, Canada is currently lagging far behind other nations in its readiness to support the United Nations and train for modern peacekeeping.”
The study recommends the reinstatement and update of the many training programmes and exercises cut over the last decade. It also calls for the introduction of new training activities to reflect the fact that modern peacekeepers face significantly more dangerous environments and challenging mandates than was true for traditional peacekeeping. Particularly important is the requirement to work effectively with a variety of non-military partners in modern peace operations.
“The closure of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre was a devastating setback to Canadian preparedness,” says Dorn. “If the Liberal government is serious about renewing its leadership role in international peacekeeping, then it must re-establish a facility dedicated to the training of civilians, military and the police for UN peace operations.”
The report also recommends that preparation for peace operations be integrated into the “institutional culture” of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Unprepared for Peace? The Decline of Canadian Peacekeeping Training (and what to do about it) is available on the CCPA website at http://policyalternatives.ca and the Rideau Institute website at http://www.rideauinstitute.ca/.
For more information contact:
Peggy Mason, President of the Rideau Institute, 613-565-9449 ext. 24, or Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Director of Communications, at 613-563-1341 x306.