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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