Canada expected to finally announce peacekeeping contribution

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 15, 2017

But the pledge, expected to be made Wednesday at an worldwide gathering of defence ministers in Vancouver, does not involve a long-awaited commitment to a specific mission, nor will it see large-scale boots on the ground, say the sources. "But we're waiting for the Canadian government to come up with a final decision", said Lacroix, who is responsible for managing all peacekeeping operations.

VANCOUVER-The UN is sending early signals that it approves of Canada's forthcoming plans for peacekeeping, which are expected to involve several smaller contributions rather than a single specific mission that gets all of the government's available resources.

While such an approach might seem scattershot, it's actually preferable when it comes to developed countries like Canada, the UN's undersecretary general for field support told The Canadian Press in an interview.

"Make no mistake", Trudeau carried on, "Canadians count on Canada to possess a powerful and favorable participation that creates a genuine distinction, the world is expecting Canada to keep producing major contributions which make a positive change".

The UN has pitched Canada on a number of specific missions, including the risky deployment in Mali and several smaller ventures in the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

Despite not having a pin on a map, Lacroix said he was "encouraged" there is finally some movement after more than a year of delays and silence from Canada.

"Things will be moving, and it's not necessarily aggravating, it's instead motivating", he was quoted saying. "Now, given the needs, I would be quite happy if the delays are rather short than long".

Lacroix would not comment on the government's offers, but did say discussions on "when and how and where these potential contributions would be used and where they would make a difference, that's where we are".

A two-day 80-country summit on United Nations peacekeeping began in Vancouver British Columbia today.

Trudeau is scheduled to appear on the last day with Lacroix as well as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

For example, after the government refused to commit to providing desperately needed helicopters to Mali, Jordan and Belgium are now stepping up, meaning any Canadian contribution might be delayed to 2019.

Much of the focus of this week's meeting in Vancouver will be on pledges that different countries make to peacekeeping missions, as well as taking stock of previous commitments.

On top of the peacekeeping pledge, the United Nations summit will also focus on increasing the role of women in missions and tackling the problem of child soldiers.

"So how do we improve the protection of civilians in our environment? And we have more hard and risky security environments".

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