Putting to­gether a peace plan

UN SAYS IT’S OK WITH TRUDEAU GOV’T’S PIECE­MEAL PEACE­KEEP­ING PLANS

Lethbridge Herald - - NEWS - Lee Berthi­aume THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — 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.

The Trudeau govern­ment is poised to fi­nally open the cur­tains — at least partly — to­day on what sort of mil­i­tary per­son­nel and equip­ment it is will­ing to of­fer to help with the UN’s peace­keep­ing ef­forts.

The long-awaited de­ci­sion comes more than a year af­ter the Lib­er­als first promised to make up to 600 Cana­dian troops and 150 po­lice of­fi­cers avail­able to the UN, and as Canada plays host to a ma­jor peace­keep­ing sum­mit in Van­cou­ver.

Sources have said that rather than fo­cus­ing on one mis­sion, Canada is of­fer­ing the UN a ver­i­ta­ble grab bag of good­ies in the form of he­li­copters, train­ers and other as­sets for a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent mis­sions.

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.

That’s be­cause many mis­sions are short on the type of high-end equip­ment and per­son­nel that Canada can of­fer, said Atul Khare, who over­sees the day-to-day op­er­a­tions of peace­keep­ing mis­sions in the field.

“It is pre­cisely in these high-tech­nol­ogy ar­eas — en­gi­neers, hos­pi­tals and doc­tors, strate­gic air­lift and tac­ti­cal air­lift — that de­vel­oped coun­tries have the largest con­tri­bu­tion to make sim­ply be­cause they have the ca­pac­ity,” Khare said.

“And I do see a great ad­van­tage of dis­tribut­ing that ca­pac­ity be­cause through dis­tri­bu­tion of that ca­pac­ity, the gaps are bet­ter filled glob­ally.

“Rather than only mak­ing one mis­sion 100 per cent, you im­prove many mis­sions from, say, 70 per cent to 80 per cent, which is a bet­ter way of im­prov­ing the sit­u­a­tion glob­ally.”

Speak­ing in the Philip­pines, Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau said Tues­day that Canada’s con­tri­bu­tion would en­sure “max­i­mum pos­i­tive im­pact, not just for Cana­dian con­tri­bu­tions but for all peace­keep­ers.”

Sources say the govern­ment has put sev­eral of­fers on the ta­ble for the UN’s con­sid­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing the de­ploy­ment of he­li­copters to help in Mali, and a trans­port plane in Uganda to as­sist dif­fer­ent mis­sions in Africa.

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