The first United Nations peacekeeping operation was an attempt to confront and defeat the worst in Man with the best in Man, to counter violence with tolerance, might with moderation, and war with peace. Since then, day after day, year after year, UN peacekeepers have been meeting the threat and reality of conflict, without losing faith, without giving in, without giving up.
Kofi A. Annan,
United Nations Secretary-General
Inspired by the 1988 awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to United Nations Peacekeepers, the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal (CPSM) was created to acknowledge the efforts of Canadian Peacekeepers. This includes all serving and former members of the Canadian Forces, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other police services, and Canadian civilians who have upheld the fifty-year tradition of Canadian peacekeeping.
The medal's obverse features the three Canadian Peacekeeper figures that top the Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa. One is an unarmed United Nations Military Observer, holding a pair of binoculars. A second soldier, a woman, shoulders a radio, while the third stands guard with a rifle. Above them flies a dove, the international symbol of peace. This side of the medal also bears the inscriptions PEACEKEEPING and SERVICE DE LA PAIX, together with two maple leafs. The medal's reverse shows the cipher of Her Majesty the Queen on a maple leas surrounded by two sprigs of laurel and the word CANADA.
The medal's ribbon consists of four colours green, red, white, and United Nations blue. The green represents volunteerism; the red and white are the colours of the Canadian flag; while the white and blue represent the colour of the United Nations' since 1947. The red and white carry additional meaning. White is associated with purity, and peacekeeping is one of mankind's highest ideals. Red is symbolic of the blood shed by Canada's 114 peacekeepers who have fallen it service to their country while on peacekeeping and observer missions.
The CPSM will recognize service by Canadians deployed outside Canada for a minimum of 30 days (not necessarily consecutively; either on the strength of a unit of the Canadian Forces deployed on a peacekeeping or observe mission, or in direct support of any such mission This will include members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, other Canadian police officers and civilians who served with such forces or peacekeeping missions.
The information displayed here, as well as additional information, can be found on the Department of National Defence website under "Honours and Awards".
As members of the Canadian Forces, liable to the ultimate sacrifice, and as employees of the Department of National Defence having special obligations to Canada, we are dedicated to our duty and committed to:
- RESPECTING THE DIGNITY OF ALL PERSONS
- SERVING CANADA BEFORE SELF
- OBEYING AND SUPPORTING LAWFUL AUTHORITY
We respect these principles through the following obligations:
LOYALTY - We dedicate ourselves to Canada. We are loyal to our superiors and faithful to our subordinates and colleagues.
HONESTY - We honour the trust placed upon us. We value truth and candour, and act with integrity at all times.
COURAGE - We face challenges, whether physical or moral, with determination and strength of character.
DILIGENCE - We undertake all tasks with dedication and perseverance. We recognize our duty to perform with competence and to strive for excellence.
FAIRNESS - We are equitable in our dealings with others. We are just in our decisions and actions.
RESPONSIBILITY - We accept our responsibilities and the consequences of our actions.