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Taking peace keeping to the next level

I think we should boldly declare that Canada establish itself as a nuclear weapons free zone and further challenge smaller emerging countries to follow us. This should be done through a speech in the UN General Assembly. We should actively pursue talks with China in having China follow suit. There have been indications that China wishes to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons in the world and we should renew that interest with vigor. As a result of this we would need to declare our disagreement with the NATO acknowledgement that nuclear weapons are necessary and endorsing their potential use.

I think we should take the Pearson concept of peace keeping to its next level with a UN sanctioned, funded, trained, international peace keeping force. Included with this an international treaty that allows private citizens to enlist in the UN armed force rather than their own domestic armed force. Canada and the Scandinavian countries should take the lead in training these soldiers. The requirements of these soldiers should be;

1) Speak at least three common world languages representing the regions of the world. I base this on the pathetic and dangerous situation I witness in Haiti where UN MINISTAH forces do not speak any common language spoken in Haiti. Brazilian and Lebanese troops do not speak or understand Haitian Kreyol, French nor English making it impossible to communicate with local citizens.

2)The commanders must be versed on the domestic constitution and laws of the target country(ies). Operations must take these basic laws into consideration when formulating security plans. Again I base this on my experiences in Haiti where UN troops carry out operations in violation of the Haitian constitution.

3)Training will be in urban warfare which takes into account the local citizen population including medical back up units who will immediately treat civilian casualties. Again this is based on the horrific results of UN military operations that carry out massive attacks in densely populated areas of Port au Prince with no medical assistance given to wounded civilians.

4) Trained media liasons who will communicate with media and Human Rights observers, allowing Human Rights observers and media immediate access to the aftermath of any operation.

5) No domestic government may use this force in a manner that violates international law or human rights. Again this has been a massive failure in Haiti where the UN MINISTAH forces were used by the Interim Government to carry out operations that violated the Haitian constitution, laws, and human rights.

6) Any area in a 'conflict zone' declared by the UN force to be an international protected safe area for civilians during peace keeping operations shall be declared international territory for this purpose. Any attack on civilians within the "safe" zone will be deemed an attack on the UN forces themselves resulting in the immediate sanction of self protection and return fire by UN forces troops.

7) This force will receive all necessary equipment, military and otherwise, to carry out its mission. This includes heavy equipment for reconstruction and development which will take place under protection of the UN forces under the right of self defense listed in #6 above. An attack on development projects will be deemed an attack on the UN force itself.

8) This force may enter a conflict based on the majority verdict of the Security Council with no veto governance. Should veto holding nations refuse, I propose a separation of a new Peace Keeping Council and the Security Council. The Security Council will maintain the right to rule on aggressive actions by the UN participating countries, such as the first Gulf War, but the Peace Keeping force will be activated by the separately formed Peace Keeping council where no nation has veto power. This council will rotate members with Canada and the other training forces having a permanent seat. It will further be made up of countries representing both developed and developing nations and representing all major regions of the world.

9) This force will also consist of engineers and reconstruction crews drawing expertise from NGOs and other organizations. Reconstruction and development projects will take place under the protection of the UN Force which will work in cooperation with the domestic governments. Its overall aim will be to incorporate the local community directly benefiting from the development project including hiring local people directly and paying them directly. This will be used as a safe guard against corrupt government activities. All taxes and levies will be paid to the domestic nation but individual worker payrolls will be paid directly to the workers on site.

10) All development projects approved will hold to the highest possible standards of labour practice. All domestic labour will be paid fair wages in accordance to the necessary living standards of the nation in question. The UN will derive these standards independently according to the reality of the domestic situation and not 'Free Trade' 'Free zones' standards regardless of the domestic nations minimum labour standard or wage level.

This force will be made up of 'contributed soldiers' from UN nations and also be granted the right to accept independent, volunteer, enlisters from domestic nations. In other words a young woman or man from France or South Africa may choose to enlist in the UN Armed Force rather than their own domestic armed forces.

Submitted by Stephen LaFrenie on 17 March 2007 - 9:39am.

Negotiated reductions in weapons also useful

Lambton Kent Middlesex EDA (SW Ontario)
Complete disarmament or complete nuclear disarmament may be a wonderful long term goal. But on the way there let us consider negotiating reductions in weapons around the world.

We should not insist that a country with 3 low yield nuclear bombs give them up while menaced by 300 big bombs, but getting one of those 3 off the table should be explored.

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