Canada and the United Nations

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Flag of the United Nations.svg Flag of Canada.svg
United Nations membership
Membership Founding member
Since 9 November 1945 (9 November 1945)
Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski

Canada has been a member of the United Nations since it was established, and has served six separate terms on the UN Security Council. Canada has also participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions.[specify]


The Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, May 1945.

In the initial set-up of the UN, McGill University law professor John Peters Humphrey established the Division for Human Rights in the UN Secretariat, and remained in charge of the division for twenty years. The initial work of the Division for Human Rights was the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Humphrey created the first draft and remained a champion of until its adoption by approval of the UN General Assembly in 1948. Canada has been part of every UN mission since 1957.

Secretary of State for External Affairs Lester B. Pearson, while he was President of the UN General Assembly in 1957, proposed the concept of UN peacekeeping forces as a means of dealing with the aftermath of the Suez Crisis. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts and the establishment of the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF). Canada has played an important part in the United Nations' peacekeeping programme since the organisation's establishment in 1945, after World War II.[specify]

Canada and the Security Council[edit]

Canada has served in the UNSC for 12 years, thus ranking in the top ten of non-permanent members. As of 2013, it shares the seventh place in the list of countries serving on the Council by length with Italy. This places Canada behind Brazil and Japan (first place), Argentina (third place), and Colombia, India, and Pakistan (fourth place). Canada was elected for the following six terms: 1948-49, 1958–59, 1967–68, 1977–78, 1989–90, and 1999-2000 - once every decade. In 2010, it lost its bid for a seat in the 2010 Security Council elections to Germany and Portugal, marking the country's first failure to win a seat in the UNSC.

National Film Board of Canada[edit]

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Canada's state film producer, has produced several works about or on behalf of the U.N., beginning with the 1945 short documentary, Now — The Peace, about the formation of the U.N. at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference. The film was produced by the NFB at the suggestion of Archibald MacLeish, then-Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for the U.S. government.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chapnick, Adam (2005-09-21). The Middle Power Project: Canada and the Founding of the United Nations. UBC Press. p. 116. ISBN 9780774812474. 
  2. ^ "Now - The Peace". Documentary film. National Film Board of Canada. 1945. Retrieved 28 August 2014.