Canadian peacekeeping plans appear to satisfy UN officials
VANCOUVER — The United Nations is sending early signals that it approves of Canada’s 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 federal government is poised to 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 decision comes more than a year after the government vowed to make up to 600 troops and 150 police officers available to the UN, and as Canada is playing host to a major peacekeeping summit in Vancouver.
Sources have said that rather than focusing on one mission, Canada is offering the UN helicopters, trainers and other assets for a variety of missions.
The approach suits developed countries such as 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-today operations of peacekeeping missions in the field.
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 said 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.
Canada is also reportedly ready to provide a rapid-reaction force in the Golan Heights between Israel and Syria, contribute to the UN’s new police mission in Haiti and send trainers to help other countries become better at peacekeeping.
But today’s announcement could be light on details, since UN and Canadian officials are said to still be working them out.
A woman walks past the flags of participants at the UN peacekeeping conference in Vancouver.