Some of the major powers then, such as France and Great Britain, which had been weakened by the consequences of the Second World War, were still in the stage of economic recovery.
This power vacuum allowed Canada, one of the few middle powers then, to leverage its considerable economic and diplomatic influence in order to resolve the conflict by peaceful means and in its own favour.
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In 1992, Canada, the pioneer and world leader in peacekeeping operations, initiated the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) which operated in the former Yugoslav republics of Bosnia and Croatia.
Since the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, Canada has been one of the staunchest supporters of the organisation, contributing to virtually every mission with both funds and troops.
During the Suez Crisis of 1956, for instance, Canada accomplished its greatest achievement in peacekeeping, when the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, Lester B.
Pearson, resolved the conflict by establishing the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), the first armed peacekeeping mission in the history of the United Nations.
This courageous act later granted Pearson a Nobel Peace Prize for the inspiration and the courage that he demonstrated.
The object of this paper is to demonstrate that the Canadian incapability to influence the performance of the UNPROFOR is due to foreign policy approach toward the UNPROFOR in Yugoslavia.
Brian Mulroney abandoned the traditional Canadian approach to peacekeeping and humanitarian missions and further replaced it with a more interventionist one—i.e. Jean Chrétien’s foreign policy, in contrast, comprised cautious and careful maneuvers, cuts in defence and foreign aid funding, as well as a general restriction of Canadian engagements in the international stage, all of which contributed to the decreased Canadian involvement in Yugoslavia.