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Canada’s contribution to world peace over the last two decades
Thesis: Canada has made a huge contribution to world peace over the last two decades and there are several reasons why.
- Canadian physicians changed the face of medicine by due to countless number of discoveries.
- In 1999, first Islet cell transplantation was carried out
- Gene mutation responsible for severe hypoglycemia in infants was identified in 2000
- In 2004, vaccine for E. coli was developed
- Nine risk factors responsible for 90% of heart disease identified
- Canada was one of the single biggest contributor to United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions.
- High ranking of Canada in terms of contribution toward world peace
- Huge number of Canadians involved in the peacekeeping missions
- Large number of troops sent to peacekeeping missions
- Canadian civilians have also contributed to world peace.
- Politicians and diplomats have been active in negotiating peace in several countries.
- Contribution of the Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other Canadian police forces.
- Canadian police have also provided training for police forces.
- Encouraged respect for human rights in the administration of justice
- Closer ties between the officers and the community.
World peace is something most countries around the world is trying to achieve. We cannot deny the fact that some countries have contributed more than others. One of them includes Canada. Over the past 50 years, the world has witnessed Canada’s significant contribution to world peace. Canada has had some downfalls regarding its contribution over the past two decades. However, that does not mean it has not made any contribution. The positive changes that Canada has brought about in the world outweigh the negative because of three primary reasons. Canada is responsible for a countless number of medical breakthroughs, and it is one of the single most significant contributors to the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions. Also, Canadian civilians and police helped contribute toward world peace.
During the early 19th century, Canadian physicians changed the face of medicine. Creation of Pablum, the world’s first ready-to-use vitamin, treatment of Type 1 Diabetes using insulin, discovery of the cystic fibrosis gene and transplantable stem cells, along with the discovery of T- cell receptors are some of the few contributions made by the devoted doctors and researchers. There have been a countless number of discoveries and innovations in the medical field since then. The list is endless. People say any contribution is appreciated, however big or small. However, some contributions had a tremendous impact on people’s lives, and it helped the advancement of the medical field, not only in Canada but across the globe. In 1999, the first Islet cell transplantation was carried out by Drs. Ray Rajotte and James Shapiro. In the following year, a doctor named Jacques Drouin discovered the gene that had undergone mutation which resulted in hypoglycemia in infants (“Milestones in Canadian health research”, n.d.). Then, in 2004, a vaccine used to treat E. coli in cattle was created by Drs. Brett Finlay and Andy Potter and followed by the development of the E. coli vaccine, Dr. Salim Yusuf studied 30,000 people in 52 countries and determined that around the world the same nine risk factors are responsible for 90% of heart disease (“Milestones in Canadian health research”, n.d.). As we all might be aware, HIV is on the rise and scientists all around the world are trying to come up with a cure. Or at least, a successful treatment. Dr. Stephen Moses has contributed largely to this by proving that male circumcision will help prevent the spread of HIV (Milestones in Canadian health research, n.d.). In fact, this medical breakthrough is ranked number one by Time Magazine in the year 2007. If we look at the more recent discoveries, (Bailey, Miller & Morris, 2011) feels that “Many of the discoveries of medical research, such as those that have recently offered new abilities to manipulate genes, to perform in vitro fertilization and embryo experimentation, and to transplant organs, will continue to require excellent research by scientists.” Nonetheless, I feel we should acknowledge the discoveries which have led to the improvement of health across the globe. Lissa Foster, executive director of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, told Global News, “I feel very confident in saying that Canadians have contributed significantly, not just to health here in Canada, but health in the world. We get caught up on the international scene but forget about the incredible contributions Canadians have made.” (Chai, 2017)
Secondly, Canada has been one of the single largest, if not the most significant contributor to the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions. It was during the ’50s when Canada’s ambassador to the UN, Lester Pearson, suggested that the organization might create a peacekeeping force. (Peacekeeping- Canada History, 2013) It is not surprising to know that Canada has participated in more missions than any other country in the world. More of the recent contributions include UNAMET—United Nations Mission in East Timor in 1999, MONUC- United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo and UNMEE—United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea in the year 2002 (Peacekeeping- Canada History, 2013). Also in the year 2002, a mandate was created by the UN Security Council to help highlight the importance and significance of women’s roles in peace and security. (“Promoting Women, Peace and Security”, n.d.) The last significant commitment made by the troops of Canada to a UN peacekeeping mission initiated in 2004 when a total of 530 soldiers and police were sent to Haiti, known as the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere, to help bring political and civil stability (J.I. Granatstein, 2006). This, in my eyes, was a giant step in the right direction. Simply because countries like Haiti are not well-known and for Canada to send numerous soldiers in order to restore peace in that country, shows a great deal of bravery. In 2005, Canada contributed 31 troops, police and military observers to UNMIS-United Nations Mission in Sudan (Peacekeeping- Canada History, 2013). Then in 2006, Canada ranked 55th (out of 108) as a UN peacekeeping nation. As a matter of fact, Canada has contributed over 120,000 troops to UN peacekeeping missions (Peacekeeping- Canada History, 2013). Not only that, it has a total of 114 fatalities, placing Canada in the second position of peacekeeping fatality (The Canadian Contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping, 2000). It is true that Canada has gone down in the ranks as a UN peacekeeping nation in the past few years. Nonetheless, the government as well the civilians are powering through to rise in the ranks and contribute as much as they can.
We cannot deny the fact that the Canadian Forces have made countless contributions, but at the same time, many Canadian civilians have done so too. I believe the common civilians have had as equally important role to play as the government and police forces to help bring peace to the world. Canadian civilians have played an essential role in extending democracy around the world by preparing and monitoring elections in countries such as Namibia and Timor-Leste (The Canadian Contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping, 2000). Let us now look at the contributions made by the Canadian Police. (The Canadian Contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping, 2000) tells us that the Canadian Police forces and the members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have used their power to improve the stability in countries such as Yugoslavia and Haiti. Furthermore, (The Canadian Contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping, 2000) states that the “Canadian police have also managed to encourage respect for human rights in the administration of justice by providing training for police forces. They have also created closer ties between the officers and the community.” Not only have the Canadian police helped improve the relationship between officers and the community, but “They have been at the forefront of a UN initiative since 2014 to provide training to female UN police peacekeeping candidates.” (Canadian police support for international peace operations and missions, 2017). Furthermore, CANADEM, a not-for-profit NGO dedicated to advancing international peace and security through the rostering, rapid mobilization, and mission management of experts committed to International Service with the UN, other IGOs, and governments was established in 1996. (CANADEM-International Civilian Response Corps, n.d.). All the above contributions mentioned indicate that Canada is undoubtedly one of the most generous contributors to world peace.
In conclusion, despite not being able to provide as many troops to UN peacekeeping missions during the recent years, Canada has managed to bring peace to the world by other means. It has undoubtedly contributed to peacekeeping missions but not to the extent they would have liked. That is why the civilians came into the picture, and they managed to bring some peace to the world. We can agree that Canada has been a great participant in maintaining world peace. How will Canada continue to contribute towards it and will it be successful in doing so? Only time will tell. However, as of now, we can safely say Canada has contributed well enough for a better world.
- Bailey, P., & Miller, J., & Morris, N., Medical Research (2015). In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/medical-research
- Canadian police support for international peace operations and missions. (2017, November 15). Retrieved from https://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2017/11/15/canadian-police-support-international-peace-operations-and-missions
- CANADEM-International Civilian Response Corps. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://canadem.ca/
- Chai, C. (2017, June 05). 8 medical breakthroughs Canadians should be proud of. Retrieved from https://globalnews.ca/news/3496099/8-medical-breakthroughs-canadians-should-be-proud-of/
- Milestones in Canadian health research. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/35216.html
- Peacekeeping- Canada History (2013). Retrieved from http://www.canadahistory.com/sections/war/Peace%20Keepers/peacekeeping.html
- “Promoting Women, Peace and Security”, (n.d.). Retrieved from https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/promoting-women-peace-and-security
- The Canadian Contribution to United Nations Peacekeeping [PDF]. (2000)
- Recent discoveries made by Canadian physicians include, first Islet cell transplantation in 1999, in 2000, Dr. Jacques Drouin identified a gene mutation responsible for severe hypoglycemia in infants. Then in 2004, vaccine for E. coli in cattle was developed by Drs. Brett Finlay and Andy Potter. Later, a doctor named Salim Yusuf studied 30,000 people and discovered that the same nine risk factors are responsible for 90% of heart disease. Few years later, Dr. Stephen Moses found out that male circumcision can reduce the spread of HIV in men.
- Canada has participated in the greatest number of missions for peacekeeping than any other country in the world. Few of the recent contributions are: in 1999, Canada sent a contingent to assist in East Timor’s democratic independence from Indonesia. It also participated in MONUC, contributing 9 military observers. Then in 2000, it participated in UNMEE – United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. In the same year, UN Security Council created a mandate to help highlight the importance of women’s roles in peace and security. Greatest contribution was made in 2004 where it sent 530 soldiers and police to Haiti to bring political and civil stability. In 2006, Canada ranked 55th out of 108 as a UN peacekeeping nation. Over the years, it has contributed over 120,000 troops.
- Canadian civilians have also contributed significantly. Politicians and diplomats have been active in negotiating peace in many countries. Canadian police officers have used to power to improve stability in Yugoslavia and Haiti. They have also managed to create closer ties between the officers and the community. They have been training female UN police peacekeeping candidates since 2014. Civilians have played a significant part in peacekeeping along with police officers. They have tried to extend democracy around the world.
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