MAY 2, 2016 - Reclaiming the Blue Helmet

The Human Rights Research and Education Centre is pleased to present:

Reclaiming the Blue Helmet: Canada's Role in Peacekeeping and UN Accountability

In the half-century since Lester B. Pearson spearheaded the notion that soldiers could be used to keep the peace rather than to wage war, UN Peacekeepers have played an important role in promoting peace and security around the world. At the same time, as that role has expanded, so too have concerns that the Blue Helmets increasingly face an accountability crisis. The UN’s presence in Haiti is a prime example: peacekeepers stand accused of engaging in sexual exploitation of the population they are meant to protect, and of causing a devastating cholera epidemic that has killed over 9,000 people. The lack of accountability for these acts undermines the UN’s credibility as a promoter of human rights and the rule of law.

As Canada seeks to reassert its historical leadership role in UN peacekeeping, and as it contemplates taking over leadership of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), it must also be prepared to play a key role in addressing the challenge of returning UN peacekeeping to its founding principles.

Monday, May 2, 2016
5 to 7 p.m.
Fauteux Hall – FTX147
(57 Louis Pasteur, uOttawa)

The event will be bilingual.

This panel brings together experts in UN, Haitian and Canadian policy. Drawing on lessons from Haiti, the panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities, with a view to promoting public discussion and informing policy that should guide the government as it moves forward in re-asserting Canada’s traditional role as a leader in peacekeeping.

Welcome Remarks:

  • Allan ROCK | President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Ottawa; former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations


  • Mario JOSEPH | Managing Attorney, Bureau des avocats internationaux (BAI)
  • Beatrice LINDSTROM | Staff Attorney, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
  • Stephen LEWIS | Co-Director, AIDS-Free World (Code Blue Campaign)
  • Peggy MASON | President, Rideau Institute; former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament to the United Nations


  • John PACKER | Professor and Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre

Watch the presentations (Youtube).

*The Human Rights Research and Education Centre may take pictures at this event for use on the website.

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