Canada Welcomes Renewal of UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti Mandate

(No. 306 – October 16, 2009 – 11:30 a.m. EDT) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today welcomed the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) for one year.

"Canada was pleased to co-sponsor the resolution to extend the mandate of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti, a priority mission for the international community that has enjoyed steady and significant progress," said Minister Cannon. "We reaffirm our commitment to the long-term success of this mission. Canada’s support to Haiti, which we deliver in partnership with key countries from the region, is an important part of our role in the Americas."

"We appreciate MINUSTAH’s efforts to help stabilize Haiti, allowing successful reconstruction and development initiatives to take place," said Minister Oda. "We are pleased to see its mandate extended, while our thoughts and condolences also go to the families of the fallen peacekeepers. Through its whole-of-government approach, Canada remains committed to supporting the government and the population of Haiti in their efforts to make their country safer and improve living conditions."

"With the support provided by Canadian civilian police and correctional officers, Canada is playing an important role in contributing to security and stability in Haiti," said Minister Van Loan. "We are helping to tackle drug trafficking from Haiti to Canada, thus reducing the impact of organized crime in our communities at home."

"The Canadian Forces are proud to have deployed staff officers to serve with the Mission since its inception in June, 2004," said Minister MacKay. "Our personnel hold strategically important positions, and their efforts will play a key role in maintaining a secure and stable environment for the development of Haiti."

MINUSTAH’s mandate was renewed until October 15, 2010, by UN Security Council Resolution 1892. The resolution recognizes MINUSTAH’s role in supporting authorities as they consolidate peace and underscores that primary responsibility for Haiti’s stabilization lies with the Government of Haiti and its people. The resolution also welcomed efforts undertaken by UN Special Envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton to spur job creation, improve the delivery of basic services and infrastructure, and attract private sector investment. The renewed mandate adjusts MINUSTAH’s force composition to reflect changing circumstances and priorities.

Canada is the second-largest bilateral donor in Haiti, with a commitment of $555 million between 2006 and 2011. This will support the Haitian government’s efforts to stimulate sustainable economic growth, secure the future of children and youth, promote democracy and advance security system reform. Canada contributes up to 100 civilian police officers to MINUSTAH, five military personnel serving in key positions in the Mission and up to 10 Canadian corrections experts to assist in the development of Haiti’s corrections system.

For more information about Canada’s role in Haiti, visit Canada-Haiti: Hand in Hand for a Better Future and Haiti.

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Natalie Sarafian
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