Canadian External Affairs Minister (and later Prime Minister) Lester Pearson proposed that the United Nations create a peacekeeping force to intercede between the United Kingdom, France, and Israel, on the one hand, and Egypt on the other in the disputer in which the former three countries were attempting by force to prevent Egypt from gaining control of the Suez Canal. The United Nations adopted Pearson's recommendation, and Canadian General E. L. M. Burns because the commander of the first United Nations Peacekeeping mission. General Burns moved to the peacekeeping mission from his role as head of the truce monitoring force in Palestine. The truce monitoring force was somewhat more than an observer mission but less than peacekeeping.

Since the first United Nations peacekeeping mission in 1956, there have been 49 more, and there have been many United Nations observer missions, as well as other activities associated with keeping the peace. While Canada did not participate in all 50 of those peacekeeping missions, it did participate in most of them, and Canada has participated in far more United Nations peacekeeping missions than has any other country.

Canada's Foreign Policy and United Nations Peacekeeping

Canada's decision to be the prime mover in the United Nations' peacekeeping effort is a part of the nation's foreign policy. A major underpinning of the nation's foreign policy is a commitment to human rights. Canada's peacekeeping role is fully co

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