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Friday, October 14, 2016

Sajjan meets with United Nations officials in New York


Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today completed a successful visit to United Nations headquarters in New York, NY, where he met with UN, US, and African officials, and reiterated Canada’s commitment to United Nations peace operations as part of Canada’s broader efforts to re-energize Canadian diplomacy and leadership on the world’s stage.

During his visit to the UN, Minister Sajjan met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN Secretary General designate Antonio Guterres, as well as other key UN officials, including Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations HervĂ© Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, and United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Topics of discussion included Canada’s recently-announced support to UN peace support operations, and the planning and objectives of the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial, which, as announced in September, will be hosted by Canada.

“I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with partners at the UN and look forward to working together as we host the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Canada,” said Minister Sajjan. “Our government is re-engaging with our allies and partners on global peace and security issues. We have committed to help lead peace support operations and will do our part, in collaboration with our allies and partners, to build a more secure and peaceful world.”

Minister Sajjan hosted a luncheon with African Ambassadors, including representatives from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. The Minister highlighted Canada’s efforts to re-engage with African countries and discussed global peace and security priorities, particularly in the context of the security challenges facing Africa.

In August 2016, the Government of Canada announced a commitment of up to 600 Canadian Armed Forces members for deployment on UN peace support operations.

The exact size and composition of any future CAF deployment to a UN mission will be based on discussions with the UN and Canada’s partner nations, as well as an assessment of where Canada can best make a meaningful impact.

On August 26, 2016, the Honourable StĂ©phane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced the launch of Global Affairs Canada’s new Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs). Canada is devoting $450 million to PSOPs. The new funding will help better protect civilians, including the most vulnerable groups, such as displaced persons, refugees, women and children.

In September 2016, the Government of Canada announced its intent to host the 2017 United Nations peacekeeping conference, which is expected to bring together representatives from more than 30 countries.