Just spotted this on an alternative news publication blog, the latest in the array of articles and statements out there calling for Canada to revert back to “peacekeeping” instead of “peacemaking”.
What’s interesting in this piece is the following from Joan Broughton, Public Information Officer at the United Nations Association of Canada, “a not-for-profit organization that focuses on informing and engaging the Canadian public in UN programs and missions” (emphasis mine):
“Broughton says the mission in Afghanistan does not ask troops to simply mediate but requires them to actively end a conflict. As a result, Canada has left its peacekeeping role behind for the much more contentious duties of a “peacemaker.”
“When you get involved in a situation like Afghanistan where there are significant political implications, you are clearly taking one side over the other,” said Broughton. “Peacekeepers by definition are neutral. They don’t take sides . . . and the fact that we have chosen to deploy most of our military forces into peacemaking instead of peacekeeping is a choice we’ve made as to where we will put our focus.” ”
That right? Then I guess the United Nations has “taken sides” by sanctioning the mission in Afghanistan, right? You would think the Public Information Officer for a group allegedly educating Canadians about the U.N. might have thrown in the fact that the mission is supported by the United Nations – the latest U.N. Security Council resolution backing the mission (23 Mar 09) available right here.
So, this means:
1) the organization isn’t entirely sharing ALL the information on the U.N.’s role in Afghanistan;
2) the Public Information Officer decided not to share this information;
3) the writer didn’t ask; or
4) the writer asked, the Public Information Officer shared, and the reporter decided not to include the information.
Problems, no matter what happened.