CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

March 15, 2005 18:15 ET

CIDA: Canada Announces Appointment of Michael Bell as Chair of International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq Donor Committee


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

MARCH 15, 2005 - 18:15 ET

CIDA: Canada Announces Appointment of Michael Bell as
Chair of International Reconstruction Fund Facility
for Iraq Donor Committee

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 15, 2005) - International
Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll and Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre
Pettigrew today announced the appointment of Michael D. Bell as the
Chair of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility For Iraq (IRFFI)
Donor Committee. A former Ambassador to Egypt, Israel and Jordan, Mr.
Bell is currently Senior Scholar on Diplomacy at the Munk Centre for
International Studies at the University of Toronto.

The IRFFI, established at the Madrid Conference in October 2003, is an
umbrella mechanism which consists of two trust funds managed
respectively by the UN and the World Bank. The role of the Chair is to
work with the Iraqi government, particularly the Minister of Planning,
and focus on its priorities. The Chair will be an interlocutor between
the Iraqis, the UN, the World Bank and donors.

"I am pleased to appoint Mr. Bell, who has had considerable experience
in the fields of conflict management, peace-building, peace-keeping,
governance, human rights, civil society and economic and social
development, as Chair of the IRFFI," said Minister Carroll. "Canada has
taken a multilateral approach to reconstruction in Iraq, and chairing
the Donor Committee of the Trust Funds demonstrates this strong
commitment."

As Chair, Mr. Bell will attend Donor Committee meetings, including the
one in Jordan later this spring. The Donor Committee meets on a
semi-annual basis to endorse overall priorities, to review progress, to
coordinate among donors, and to ensure coherence with Iraqi authorities.
Canada will play a role in encouraging donor harmonization and further
support to the IRFFI.

Michael Bell spent 36 years in the Canadian Department of Foreign
Affairs, mostly focused on the Middle East. Mr. Bell was Canada's
Ambassador to Jordan (1987-90), Egypt (1994-98) and Israel (1990-92 and
1999-2003). He was Executive Assistant for Middle East Affairs to the
Honourable Robert Stanfield (1978-79), Director of the Middle East
Relations Division (1983-87) and Director General for Central and
Eastern Europe (1992-94).

"Mr. Bell has distinguished himself in many capacities, and has the
ability to provide strong Canadian leadership among donors, reflecting
the importance of our contribution to Iraq's reconstruction and our
traditional attachment to multilateral institutions," said Minister
Pettigrew. "This new role will reinforce Canada's ability to mobilize
increased support from the international community to ensure the success
of the reconstruction and democratic transition of Iraq."

Canada has contributed $100 million to the IRFFI within our total $300
million contribution to Iraq. This makes Canada the fourth largest donor
to the trust funds behind Japan, the EU and the UK. For further details
on Canada's contributions to the reconstruction effort in Iraq, please
consult the CIDA Web site: www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/iraq.

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Contact Information

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    or
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
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    info@acdi-cida.gc.ca
    www.cida.gc.ca (electronic version of document)
    or
    Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Sebastien Theberge
    Director of Communications
    (613) 995-1851
    or
    Foreign Affairs Canada
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    www.international.gc.ca