Canada’s role in the development of and participation in peacekeeping during the 20th century led to the establishment of Canada as a prominent world power. Canada's commitment to multilateralism has been closely related to peacekeeping efforts. Canadian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lester B. Pearson is considered to be the father of modern United Nations Peacekeeping. Prior to Canada’s role in the Suez Canal Crisis, Canada was viewed by many as insignificant in issues of the world’s traditional powers. Canada’s successful role in the conflict gave Canada credibility and established it as a nation fighting for the common good of all the world’s nations and not just their allies. Since 1995, however, Canadian direct participation in United Nations peacekeeping efforts has greatly declined. That number decreased largely because Canada began to direct its participation to UN-sanctioned military operations through NATO, rather than directly to the UN. In July 2006, for instance, Canada ranked 51st on the list of UN peacekeepers, contributing 130 peacekeepers out of a total UN deployment of over 70,000; where in November 1990 Canada had 1,002 troops out of a total UN deployment of 10,304.
Below is a list of major peacekeeping missions undertaken by Canada from 1956 to present.