Canada Contributes to Improving Security in the Americas

(No. 175 - June 22, 2011 - 8:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today announced that the Government of Canada is contributing over $5.2 million to help address security challenges and implement institutional reforms in Central America. Canada’s contribution will support the implementation of the regional security strategy of the Central American Integration System (SICA).

"With this contribution, Canada is once again demonstrating its strong commitment to enhancing stability and security in Central America, in cooperation with regional partners, as part of our government’s strategy for engagement in the Americas," said Minister of State Ablonczy.

"Governments in the Americas acknowledge that they must bridge their efforts across borders. SICA has played a key role in this process, and should be commended for its efforts."

Canada’s contribution is funded by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP), which provides up to $15 million a year to enhance the capacity of beneficiary states, international organizations and non-governmental entities to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational criminal activity throughout the Americas. In Central America and the Caribbean, the ACCBP focuses on the prevention of crime—including illicit drug trafficking—and security sector reform.

Additionally, Canada is helping to strengthen SICA’s capacity to deal with issues related to weapons of mass destruction by establishing a regional coordinator within the organization to promote full and effective implementation of the legally binding obligations contained in UN Security Council Resolution 1540. This resolution calls on all UN member states to ensure that non-state actors cannot manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery. Canada’s contribution is being made through its Global Partnership Program Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

Minister of State Ablonczy made the announcement from Guatemala City, where she is attending the International Conference in Support of the Central America Security Strategy.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

John Babcock
Senior Communications Adviser
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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Backgrounder - Funding for Security Projects in Americas

The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), announced the following projects to be funded by the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program and Global Partnership Program. The projects support the implementation of the regional security strategy of the Central American Integration System (SICA).

1. SICA UNSCR 1540 Coordinator

UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1540 establishes legally binding obligations for all member states to ensure that non-state actors cannot manufacture, acquire, possess, develop, transport, transfer or use weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery. The UNSCR 1540 Coordinator will provide a single point of contact for SICA member states and the UN 1540 Committee as the member states implement the resolution. Canada is contributing $85,000.

2. Interpol Mobile Police Training Program

This program will train officers responsible for international police cooperation. The goal is to improve the performance of and international cooperation of the national central bureaus and law enforcement agencies in Central and South America. Canada is contributing over $2 million.

3. Santo Domingo Pact and Managua Mechanism

This project, being implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will fight drug trafficking and transnational organized crime and help prevent crime by establishing an information-gathering mechanism and by providing technical assistance and training to beneficiary states. Canada is contributing $743,000.

4. Promoting Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Reform

This UNODC project supports crime prevention and criminal justice reform efforts made by countries of the Americas by providing technical expertise, conducting needs assessments and developing and disseminating knowledge tools in support of technical assistance. Canada is contributing over $542,000.

5. Combatting Proceeds of Crime by Strengthening Asset Recovery Systems in Latin America

UNODC is promoting and supporting the establishment of two asset recovery networks: one in Central and the other in South America. The networks are modelled on the Camden Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network, in which Canada takes part. These networks of investigators and prosecutors make real the threat of conviction and confiscation in cross-border criminal cases, including those involving Canada. Canada is contributing over $530,000.

6. Fighting Human Trafficking and Smuggling in Central America

This project will combat human trafficking through training and awareness-raising activities followed by the creation and strengthening of local expertise to better investigate and prosecute trafficking and smuggling cases. UNODC is supporting the recently established Inter-secretariat Commission to Prevent and Prosecute Trafficking in Persons in developing awareness-raising activities. Canada is contributing over $253,000.

7. Central American Network of Anti-Organized Crime and Narcotic Prosecution Units

The UNOCD will create a network of Central American anti-organized crime and drug units in order to strengthen the capacity of the region’s investigators and prosecutors to handle complex, transnational cases involving organized crime. The networks, among other things, will provide a safe forum for sharing information and intelligence on trends, organizations, routes and methods with counterparts throughout the region and in North America and Europe. Canada is contributing $430,000.

8. Strengthening the Capacity to Combat Trafficking in Persons in Latin America

UNODC will disseminate tools, publications and manuals to stakeholders in Latin America as part of its Global Programme Against Trafficking in Persons. Canada is contributing over $98,000.

9. Management Course for Senior Officials Responsible for Public Security in the Americas

This project, implemented by the Organization of American States’ (OAS’s) Secretariat for Multidimensional Security (SMS), in partnership with Canada, provides senior police officers and government officials responsible for public security management with a course that addresses human rights, leadership, crisis management, public security policies, women in policing, intelligence-based policing and community-based policing. Canada is contributing over $263,000.

10. Police Training for the Prevention of Violence against Women

This SMS project is improving women’s security by reinforcing police prevention of violence against women, and by facilitating victims’ access to justice. Canada is contributing close to $40,000.

11. Monitoring and Evaluating Rehabilitation and Social Reinsertion

This SMS project supports the development of a standardized methodology for monitoring and evaluating projects and programs related to rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders into society, with the goal of decreasing criminal recidivism. Canada is contributing $77,000.

12. Improving Detection of False Travel Documents to Prevent Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling

The International Organization for Migration is strengthening border controls in Central America by increasing the ability of officials to detect false and altered travel and identity documents and prevent and combat human trafficking and migrant smuggling. Canada is contributing $64,000.

13. Caribbean Financial Action Task Force Strategic Planning Workshops

The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force will provide two regional training workshops to officials from up to 13 priority countries. The workshops will address the requirements of the Task Force’s 40 recommendations on combatting money laundering and nine special recommendations on combatting terrorist financing. Canada is contributing $151,000.