Cana­dian peace­keep­ing plans ap­pear to sat­isfy UN of­fi­cials

Times Colonist - - News -

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.

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