Canadian Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.
65 years ago, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lester B. Pearson, received the Nobel Peace Prize. It was the first time a Canadian had won this honour.
“The Nobel Prize, in addition to the prestige it gives to our country, is one of those realities that is not accessible only a few people. »
— Journalist Lucien Côté, October 14, 1957
October 14, 1957 proved to be an eventful day in Canada.
On this day, Elizabeth II, as part of her first official visit as Queen of Canada, inaugurated a new session of Parliament in Ottawa.
However, another piece of news from Norway practically steals the show from the monarch.
Lester B. Pearson received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.
As reported by journalist Lucien Côté during the program broadcast La revue de l'actualité of October 14, 1957, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awards the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize to Canadian Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson.
This award lends enormous prestige to the Minister and to Canadian diplomacy.
On October 20, 1957, as shown on The News broadcast of that day, Lester B. Pearson responded to his appointment with an official statement.
Official statement by Canadian Foreign Minister Lester B. Pearson following the announcement that he was awarded the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize.
The man makes himself modest and emphasizes that its action is only a reflection of Canadian policy and the will of the Canadian people as a whole.
The award will be presented to him a few weeks later, on December 10, 1957, in Stockholm, Sweden.
As this excerpt from the program A diplomat in power, broadcast on December 5, 1971, it was Lester B. Pearson's approach to resolving the Suez Canal crisis that motivated the decision of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
An account of the events leading up to Lester B. Pearson's 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. Jean Ducharme is the narrator.
The proposal to resolve this crisis by the Canadian led to what are commonly called today the blue helmets.
Let's go back to the events.
At the end of October 1956, the United Kingdom and France, in response to the nationalization of the Suez Canal by President Gamal Abdel Nasser, attacked Egypt .
This crisis occurs during the Cold War between the Western and Soviet blocs, greatly increasing the chances of full-scale conflict.
Quickly, the conflict in Suez escalates when Israel joins the Franco-British aggression.
The Soviet Union, whose Egypt of Nasser is the ally, threatens the United Kingdom and France from nuclear bombings.
The United States exerts pressure on the United Kingdom, France, Israel and the Soviet Union to reduce the tension.
The whole planet fears a third world war.
It was then that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Lester B. Pearson, embarked on a process of conciliation to find a diplomatic solution.
On November 2, 1956, Canada , to everyone's surprise, abstains on a resolution of the United States at the United Nations, which calls for a truce and the withdrawal of the troops of the aggressors from the Suez Canal.
The next day, Lester B. Pearson explains that the Canadian gesture was only a tactic.
The head of Canadian diplomacy then submitted a very innovative additional idea.
A ceasefire is not enough.
To the latter must be added an emergency force which will eventually make it possible to lay the foundations for a political settlement of the crisis.
This proposal by Lester B. Pearson was unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF I), established to oversee the cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of British, French and Israeli troops from Suez, set a precedent.
It subsequently became a model to be reproduced if necessary.
This model is that of the Blue Helmet, this soldier who has been deployed in dozens of United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world since 1956.
Start of widget . Skip widget? End of widget . Back to top of widget?