Canada extends commitment to United Nations mission in Haiti

OTTAWA – Today, the Hon­ourable Peter MacK­ay, Min­is­ter of Nation­al Defence announced the Gov­ern­ment of Cana­da has extend­ed until March 2011 its com­mit­ment to pro­vide an addi­tion­al 5 Cana­di­an Forces staff offi­cers to the Mis­sion des Nations Unies pour la sta­bil­i­sa­tion en Haïti (MINUSTAH), the Unit­ed Nations sta­bi­liza­tion mis­sion in Haiti.

After the earth­quake that dev­as­tat­ed Haiti on Jan­u­ary 12, 2010, the CF con­tin­gent known as Task Force Port-au-Prince tem­porar­i­ly dou­bled in strength from five to ten mem­bers. The addi­tion­al 5 CF per­son­nel were deployed to the region after a request from the Unit­ed Nations for more per­son­nel and are cur­rent­ly employed as staff offi­cers at the Unit­ed Nations mission’s mil­i­tary head­quar­ters. Canada’s sup­port to MINUSTAH also includes approx­i­mate­ly 150 police officers. 

“The efforts of our per­son­nel help to main­tain a secure and sta­ble envi­ron­ment for the devel­op­ment of Haiti,” said Min­is­ter MacK­ay. “Cana­da con­tin­ues to play an impor­tant role as the mis­sion in Haiti tran­si­tions from dis­as­ter assis­tance to human­i­tar­i­an relief.” 

The mem­bers of Task Force Port-au-Prince bring exper­tise in logis­tics, plan­ning, admin­is­tra­tion, and com­mu­ni­ca­tions sup­port to the MINUSTAH Head­quar­ters. These addi­tion­al five posi­tions will con­tin­ue to be deployed in sup­port of MINUSTAH through­out the recov­ery peri­od of the human­i­tar­i­an response to the earth­quake. After March 31, 2011, MINUSTAH Head­quar­ters plans to return to its pre-quake con­fig­u­ra­tion, and the Cana­di­an Forces Task Force Port-au-Prince will return to its orig­i­nal strength of five staff officers. 

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, sup­port Haiti’s con­sti­tu­tion­al and polit­i­cal process, and pro­tect human rights. Its ini­tial term of six months has been repeat­ed­ly extend­ed, most recent­ly to Octo­ber 15, 2010, by Unit­ed Nations Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 1892 of Octo­ber 13, 2009. 

Depart­ment of Nation­al Defence, Canada 

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