News Release Article from
RCMP Commissioner Visits Haiti
OTTAWA – February 14, 2008 – Commissioner William J.S. Elliott was in Haiti today to attend the United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Medal ceremony. The medals are given out to Canadian police officers contributing to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
This was the Commissioner’s first visit to an international peace operation, allowing him to see first hand how Canadian police are making a difference in Haiti. Officials from the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) and the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) were also part of the delegation for the visit.
In total, 48 police officers representing Canada received medals, which were presented at the Canadian embassy in Port-au-Prince. In addition to the medal ceremony, the Commissioner visited various MINUSTAH projects and met with representatives from the mission and partner agencies.
“I was very impressed with the level of professionalism and the leadership exhibited by Canadian police in Haiti,” said Commissioner Elliott. “By assisting countries like Haiti to build a stronger and more professional police service, Canadian police are helping to create a more stable and secure world. This positively impacts on communities here at home.”
The first deployment of Canadian police to MINUSTAH took place in July 2004. Since then, over 350 police from the RCMP and municipal and provincial police forces have been deployed.
“I would like to congratulate the Canadian police officers who were honoured with UN medals today for their work as part of the UN mission in Haiti,” said Minister Day. “I have witnessed first-hand the good work these officers are doing under very difficult circumstances. All Canadians should be deeply proud of the dedication and commitment Canadian police have made internationally to help make this world a better and safer place.”
Currently, there are 77 Canadian police serving with MINUSTAH, representing the SQ, SPVM, RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, Durham Regional Police, St‑Jérôme, Saguenay and Rivière-du-Loup Police Services.
Their primary role is to help reform the Haitian National Police (HNP) and to restore rule of law and public security. Some of the ways they are doing this is by investigating human rights abuses, reforming the judiciary and correctional systems, and strengthening the HNP’s capacity to address the illicit trafficking of drugs, arms, and other illegal activity.
Since 1989, the RCMP has managed the deployment of Canadian police to countries around the world that have experienced conflict. To date, more than 2,300 Canadian police officers have served in some 35 missions. In addition to Haiti, Canadian police are currently serving in Afghanistan, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Bosnia, Timor-Leste, Ivory Coast and Kyrgyzstan.
The decision to deploy Canadian police is made within the framework of the Canadian Police Arrangement (CPA), a partnership between the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Public Safety Canada, the Canadian International Development Agency and the RCMP.
For more information, visit http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/peacekeeping/index_e.htm
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RCMP Media Relations