Peacekeeping Force, Kato Pyrgos, Cyprus, 15 April 1964.
United Nations (UN 84573).

Peacekeeping Force, Kato Pyrgos, Cyprus, 15 April 1964.

The United Nations Security Council established the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus to help prevent a recurrence of hostilities between Turk and Greek Cypriots. The force was comprised of contingents from Canada, Finland, Ireland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The United Nations pursued two main forms of peacekeeping. In one form, military observers were sent to observe and report the status of a truce. In the other, combat units were deployed in a ceasefire zone between two conflicting forces where the presence of such troops was intended to give additional stability to a ceasefire. Canadian troops have served in both of these contexts as well as providing arms control verification, communications and technical support, and humanitarian assistance in a variety of trouble spots. Canada has also participated in peacekeeping missions not sponsored by the United Nations.

Canada's Role

Canada's role as mediator and peacemaker was perfectly suited to the national temperament and the nation's middle-power status.

Suez Crisis

"Suez Crisis" examines Canada's part in its first major peacekeeping mission and the development of the concept of a United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF).


Canada's longest peacekeeping mission - Starting with the Cypriot civil war in 1963, Canada kept an infantry battalion of varying size in Cyprus until the mid-1990s and still maintains a small group of observers there.


Perhaps even more than in Egypt or Cyprus, Canadian soldiers faced arduous and perilous conditions in Yugoslavia and witnessed unspeakable acts of barbarism as a result of the ethnic cleansing.


Canada's military has been entering war zones in the name of peacekeeping since 1953 and has suffered the consequences of taking the risks involved.


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