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The Significance of Canada's Contribution to the Resolution of the Suez Crisis.

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Introduction

The Significance of Canada's Contribution to the Resolution of the Suez Crisis By: Alex Day The Significance of Canada's Contribution to the Resolution of the Suez Crisis The 1956 Suez Crisis was an eye opener for many Canadians, showing them an unstable and troubled Middle East. Not only were the Arabs and the State of Israel fighting over land, but other disputes broke out, such as the ownership of the Suez Canal. The Canal was an extremely important waterway connecting the Mediterranean and Red Seas. Armed conflict soon broke out about its ownership. The Canadian efforts and Lester Pearson's conciliatory role during the Suez Crisis, lead many Canadians today to look upon peacekeeping with a proprietary air. To assess the significance of Canada's contribution to the resolution of the Suez Crisis it is necessary to look at both the background of the Suez Crisis and Lester Pearson's role. Both of these have continued to affect Canada and Canadian attitudes. With these topics in mind, the question of the significance of Canada's contribution to the resolution of the Suez Crisis will be successfully evaluated. ...read more.

Middle

The United Nations feared another world war, if it was not for Lester Pearson, who stepped up with a solution, another world war was exactly what might have happened. Lester Pearson, Canada's secretary of state for external affairs, now called a Foreign Minister2, devised a plan to maintain peace in the Middle East. He called for an emergency meeting of the UN General Assembly, demanding an end to all shooting. At the meeting he proposed that an "international force" be sent "to secure and supervise the cessation of hostilities".3 This international force came to be known as the UN Emergency Force, or UNEF. UNEF consisted of different soldiers from around the world. Canada, being led by the future Prime Minister Lester Pearson, made the largest contribution sending a total of 800 men.4 The complete UNEF force consisted of 6, 073 soldiers.5 Pearson's plan was successful and by late December 1956, Britain, France and Israel withdrew from Egypt. For over ten years, the Emergency Force remained visible in the Middle East. In 1967, Egypt finally ordered the withdrawal of the UN force. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Suez Crisis was a serious time in world affairs where, when any false move could have set off a chain reaction leading to war. Pearson played a crucial role during this period, saving many lives not only then, but today as well by bringing the idea of "peacekeeping" to Canada and the world. Today, Canada takes her role as a peacekeeping nation very seriously, and perhaps in the future we should be more selective, undertaking tasks that are clearly related to Canadian interests. As the world becomes more complicated, the role of peacekeeper brings with it a greater, more far reaching responsibility. 1 The United Nations and The Suez Crisis, (2001).<http://www.stratnet.ucalgary.ca/ outreach/module2/text/Readings/UN_Suez.html#Sources> [8 May 2002]. 2 The United Nations and The Suez Crisis, (2001).<http://www.stratnet.ucalgary.ca/ outreach/module2/text/Readings/UN_Suez.html#Sources> [8 May 2002]. 3 Ronald, Kirbyson, In Search Of Canada, Volume 2. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Ltd., 1977 4 Angelo Bolota et al, Canada: Face of a Nation. (Toronto: Gage Educational Publishing Company, 2000), 190. 5 The United Nations and The Suez Crisis, (2001).<http://www.stratnet.ucalgary.ca/ outreach/module2/text/Readings/UN_Suez.html#Sources> [8 May 2002]. 6 McFadden, Fred et al. Canada: The Twentieth Century. (Toronto: Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data, 1982). 484. ...read more.

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