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Sept. 15, 2017
For Immediate Release

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Waterloo – Canada’s role in international peacekeeping efforts will be the focus of the Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada’s annual workshop, “Canadian Peacekeeping: Where have we been? Where should we go?” Held in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University, the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) and the Canadian International Council, the workshop features a public forum to foster greater awareness within the local community of key issues in the wider debate on Canadian peacekeeping. “Canada and peacekeeping: past, present, future?” will be held Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. in the CIGI Auditorium at the BSIA.

Peacekeeping, and the contexts in which peace operations are deployed, have changed in important ways since the days when Canada was known as the world’s pre-eminent peacekeeping nation. Peacekeeping missions are increasingly deployed in turbulent, unstable, and dangerous environments, and often mandated to use force in the name of peace. Within this wider context, the conference provides a timely opportunity for a broader reflection on Canada’s historical and current roles in international peacekeeping activities, as well as a critical look to the future.

“With Canada hosting a high-level peacekeeping forum in mid-November, it is important to reflect on the changing nature of United Nations peacekeeping and the potential contributions Canada could make to restoring peace and stability in some of the world’s most troubled countries,” said Timothy Donais, an associate professor of Global Studies at Laurier. “If Canada is to re-commit to peacekeeping as a key component of its foreign and defence policy, Canadians should understand what we are getting ourselves into. We hope this workshop will make a contribution to this larger discussion.”

The public panel discussion will feature Walter Dorn, from the Canadian Forces College and Royal Military College; Jane Boulden from the Royal Military College, and Mark Sedra from the Canadian International Council.

Panel discussions on Sept. 21 and 22 will bring together scholars and practitioners including Donais and Edmund Pries, Laurier assistant professor of Global Studies. Discussions will assess the evolving role of United Nations peacekeeping and Canada’s contributions and reflect on the legacy of past Canadian peacekeeping contributions, the domestic political implications of a return to peacekeeping, and the practical challenges of peacekeeping in environments where there is often little peace to keep. 

The Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada (PACS-Can) provides a forum for Canadian and Canadian-based scholars, educators, researchers, analysts, and practitioners in the fields of peace and conflict studies, conflict resolution, alternative dispute resolution, and restorative and transitional justice to share their research and most effective practices. Members of the association share a common commitment to the promotion of just and non-violent solutions to contemporary conflict, whether at the local, national, or global level. 

To register for the workshop or the public forum, please visit the PACS-Can website.

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Media Contacts:

Timothy Donais, Associate Professor

Global Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3295

Kevin Crowley, Director

Communications and Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070


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