OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 19, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) and General Tom Lawson, the Chief of the Defence Staff, today announced the upcoming deployment of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel as part of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
A CAF platoon from Quebec will depart on Friday, June 21st, 2013 to operate within a Brazilian battalion in Haiti until December. Their efforts will contribute to one of the CAF's core roles - supporting international peace and security for greater stability in our hemisphere. This mission also demonstrates the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment engaging in the Americas and deepening partnerships throughout the region.
"Canadians have been part of MINUSTAH since its inception in 2004 and their ongoing efforts will continue to benefit Haitians and improve Canada's relations with our partners in the Western Hemisphere," said Minister MacKay. "As part of this mission, our Canadian Armed Forces members will work alongside Brazilian troops to maintain a secure and stable environment in Haiti."
"Both Brazil and Haiti are important neighbours for Canada. This new deployment is an excellent opportunity to deepen our partnerships and further strengthen the connection between our peoples," said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs). "I am very pleased that our armed forces will be working together in this new capacity, as we support Haiti in building a brighter future for the Haitian people, and in turn a more prosperous, secure and democratic hemisphere."
The 34 CAF members come from 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier, Quebec, and have completed language and peace-support training in Brazil to prepare them for this new mission. This platoon will complement Canada's military contribution to MINUSTAH that currently includes five military staff officers deployed on Operation Hamlet. Additionally, there are approximately 90 Canadian police officers serving with the United Nations in Haiti.
"Our increased contribution to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti serves to highlight Canada's on-going commitment to the region, as well as our commitment to supporting international peace and security," said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff. "This deployment will also further develop our relationship and enhance our military-military cooperation with Brazil. I have every confidence that our personnel will serve with honour and distinction in Haiti; facts in which all Canadians can take great pride."
MINUSTAH has been critical in stabilizing the security situation in Haiti and has made important contributions by assisting with the conduct of elections, building up institutional capacity and helping to develop a more effective police force, legal system and correctional services.
MINUSTAH was established under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1542 of April 30, 2004, with a mandate to maintain a secure and stable environment, to support Haiti's constitutional and political process, and to protect human rights. Its initial term of six months has been repeatedly extended annually, most recently to October 15, 2013, by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2070 of October 12, 2012.
Notes to editor / news director:
For more information on Operation Hamlet, Canada's contribution to the United Nations' Stabilization Mission in Haiti, please visit: http://www.cjoc.forces.gc.ca/exp/hamlet/index-eng.asp
For more information on Canada-Brazil Relations, visit: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/brazil-bresil/bilateral_relations_bilaterales/index.aspx
For more information on Canada-Haiti Relations, visit: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/haiti/bilateral_relations_bilaterales/canada_haiti.aspx