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Peacekeeping in the Suez: The Canadian Connection

After the invasion by the English, French, and Israeli forces to regain control of the Suez Canal in October 1956, Canada’s secretary of state for external affairs, Lester Pearson, was successful in negotiating a resolution. Pearson developed a plan as a part of the solution that created the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), which was a multinational military peacekeeping force that would hold a position between the opposing sides in the conflict. This force would maintain the peace.

Canadian military personnel took responsibilities for supply, transport, and air movement as they participated in this first peacekeeping mission. In 1957, Canadian troops participated in reconnaissance missions as well.

The peacekeepers played an important role in stopping the fighting and bring about conditions that allowed a ceasefire to be attained. As a result, Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize.

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