November 22nd, 2017

Canada, UN still hammering out details for peacekeeping mission as summit looms

By The Canadian Press on November 13, 2017.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, speaks during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. Lacroix says the Trudeau government still has not made a decision on where it will send Canadian peacekeepers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP

OTTAWA – A senior United Nations official says UN staff are in talks with Canadian counterparts about when, where and how Canadian military personnel and equipment will be employed on peacekeeping missions.

But Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the undersecretary general of UN peacekeeping operations, tells The Canadian Press that no final decisions have been made.

The comments come as the government is gearing up to host a major peacekeeping summit in Vancouver this week, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau scheduled to drop in on Wednesday.

It was widely expected that the Liberals would announce their plans to deploy peacekeepers either before or at the summit, with options including sending helicopters to Mali and a transport plane to Uganda.

But Lacroix’s comments indicate that more than a year after the government promised up to 600 troops and 150 police officers for peacekeeping, Canada’s contribution appears to be very much a work in progress.

That is sure to disappoint many foreign dignitaries who are scheduled to attend the conference starting Tuesday, though Lacroix says he is encouraged that Canada is preparing to help the UN.

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