BEIJING, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Canada and China should devise ways to combine efforts and make "smart contributions" to meet the fast changing needs of United Nations peacekeeping missions, said a Canadian scholar.
Brian L. Job, a professor of political science with the Institute of Asian Research in University of British Columbia (UBC), made the remarks when addressing a seminar co-hosted by the UBC and the China Institute of International Studies here on Thursday.
Noting that the UN peacekeeping is at a crossroads with increasing challenges such as the 68 million refugees worldwide, Job warned that changes in conflicts are outpacing the ability of UN peace operations.
"Conflict environment like South Sudan and Mali, peacekeepers are deployed where there is no peace to keep, where they lack political support and lack human and financial resources, especially concerning the protection of civilians when they find themselves under attack," Job said.
The scholar urged China and Canada to join hands and enhance their role of "enablers," as they provide "logistics, medical and engineering units, the transport, technical equipment and so on."
"It's essential for us to devise ways to combine our respective comparative advantages to work with the UN, regional organizations, particularly the African Union and other states," Job said.
UN peacekeeping operations have continued to expand over the last decade, with about 40 missions and 128,000 personnel in place. The largest of these operations are in Africa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Darfur, Mali and Central African Republic.
Job also noted that China is moving to the forefront in international peacekeeping.
By 2017, China had registered an 8,000-strong standby peacekeeping force at the UN. A total of 2,506 UN peacekeepers from China are currently on missions at eight locations.
As one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has dispatched the most troops on UN peacekeeping missions, and provided major funding for operations.
Since joining UN peacekeeping operations in 1990, Chinese troops have been deployed 24 times, with over 36,000 personnel dispatched.