Lester B. Pearson Contributions

Essay by chrissy123College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

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Lester B. Pearson was born on April 23, 1897 in a Toronto hospital and died on December 27, 1972 at the age of 75. Pearson was an important contributor to Canadian history because he demonstrated peace to the world, he contributed to the Suez Crisis of 1956, and he helped establish Canada's reputation as a great peacekeeper.

Peace was significantly demonstrated towards the world by Pearson's efforts. Pearson established the first modern peacekeeping operation, UNEFI (United Nations Emergency Force). This operation's goal was to resolve conflicts and establish lasting peace. For this, Pearson received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his innovative thinking and long-term commitment to peace. There is now a Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Center named after Pearson that was established to support and enhance Canadian contribution to international peace, security and stability.

Lester B. Pearson contributed to Canadian history with his work for the Suez Crisis of 1956. The Suez Canal is a fundamental waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea. The Egyptian president, Nasser, with the influence from the USSR, nationalized the canal in July of 1956. Immediately Britain and France planned an attack and helped Israel by sending troops down through the Suez Canal with them. Russia backed Nasser up with weapons and equipment and encouraged Nasser to protect the Suez. UN forces got involved in the conflict when threat of another World War was evident. Pearson called for an immediate ceasefire along the Suez and worked out a


compromise. He also designated Canadian troops to serve in such a collective force and proposed a United Nations Emergency Force to stabilize the danger zone. These actions prevented any kind of war at that time. If Pearson had not stepped in with his proposal, there could...