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The Suez Crisis was one of the most controversial and convulsive episodes of the 20th century. It shattered the unity of the Western alliance, divided the Commonwealth, undermined the United Nations and threatened to engulf the Middle East in a wide scale war.

Although Canada had no direct economic, military or political stake in the crisis, Canadian Foreign Minister Lester Pearson became a front line player at the United Nations. Working intensely from the end of October into early November 1956, Pearson proposed the world’s first ever peacekeeping force at the UN General Assembly. Using his vast web of connections and decades of experience, he persuaded the world assembly to make the UN force a reality.

Arguably, he was the only diplomat who could have achieved this stunning result in such a short period. One year later in December 1957, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

This website explores Pearson’s incredible diplomacy during the crisis.