(No. 146 - May 27, 2011 - 4:50 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today issued the following statement in advance of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers, which is on Sunday, May 29, 2011:
"In Canada and around the world, Sunday will be a day to acknowledge the men and women who serve in United Nations peacekeeping operations. We will also honour the memory of those who have lost their lives in the cause of peace. This year, we will honour 45 more brave souls than last year.
"UN peacekeeping operations have become more multi-dimensional since first introduced in 1948. Today, they incorporate military, police and civilian expertise. More than 120,000 people, from countries around the world, are currently serving in 15 UN peacekeeping operations. Canada has military, police and civilian personnel currently deployed to eight of those operations. All of these people are making a real difference through their service.
"UN peacekeepers continually rise to meet new challenges with professionalism and dedication amid difficult and often dangerous conditions. We were reminded of these dangers again today in southern Lebanon, where a roadside bomb injured six Italian peacekeepers.
"Canada will continue to work with the UN Secretariat, the Security Council and our fellow member states to further the progress made in recent years in supporting our peacekeepers and their vital work."
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