Thanks to the committee for inviting the North-South Institute to engage in this discussion regarding democracy. The institute, as you probably know, is the only independent research institute in Canada devoted to international development.
I'd like to focus on three of the questions that you put forward: the role of non-governmental organizations, the question of where is the need for support, and some approaches that Canada might consider.
You've cited an interest in a comparative approach. A couple of the examples I'm going to refer to that come out of my experience over the last seven or eight years are basically civil society initiatives. One of them is a government initiative.
The first element I'd like to speak to is the experience of the international Social Watch, which was created in 1995, an international NGO, first of all, dedicated to following up to the Beijing and Copenhagen world summits, and then more recently looking at governance and items like the UN Millennium Declaration and the millennium development goals. This is an association of 60 autonomous national coalitions, most of them in developing countries. It has a small secretariat in Montevideo, Uruguay, and the central office is supported by a government arm's-length agency, which is Oxfam Novib in the Netherlands.
I want to highlight the work of one of the national coalitions in order to provide a window on how these groups work on democratization. That in particular is the Social Watch coalition in India. This is an alliance of civil society organizations, not a separate organization. It works both at the national and state level and addresses national, regional, and local governance issues. In its objectives it states that it ensures that civil society organizations and citizens are critically engaged in the process of governance to make democracy more meaningful and participatory. Monitoring the institutions of governance will make them accountable and transparent. They've picked up on four key instances of governance: Parliament, the executive and its execution of public policy, the Supreme Court, and instances of local self-government. They do this through a perspective of social development and citizens' accountability. Their 2006 report was introduced by former Prime Minister I.K. Gujral.
On Parliament, they've been particularly critical of the functioning of the Indian Parliament. They state that it has shown a marked decline in the number of sittings per year, while it is progressively devoting lesser time to issues of real concern. The dismal picture is further accentuated by MPs who exhibit a disinterest toward critical issues like drought, insufficient food and water, and the plight of farmers. They also challenge the Parliament with regard not only to shortened time for debate of key issues, but absenteeism and the significant number of members of Parliament who have criminal records, which in India is 16%.
With regard to the Supreme Court and the judiciary, they are concerned both with the functioning of the system and issues like judicial vacancies and long pending case lists, but also with the role of the courts in ensuring that equity-ensuring laws, for instance, about the provision of cooked noon meals in all government and government supported schools are in fact implemented by lower-level governments. This is a purely activist approach to the courts.
With regard to local government, Social Watch India is a particularly salient example of how civil society is essential to the construction of democracy from the ground up. The key element there is the panchayats, the local village councils, and the regional village councils. They audited those in 2006 from the lens of right to food, right to work, right to health, and right to education. They also looked specifically at the extent to which nationally mandated extension of governance to tribal interests and marginalized groups have been addressed.
Among the specific issues they lifted up were gender and gender participation; ineffective fiscal decentralization; management of education--generally good; engagement with public health--generally ineffective; and ambiguities in the mandates for management of local water resources. In conclusion, their assessment of the operation of these groups, of which there are a couple of hundred thousand councils in India, was that on the one hand, they were the most definitive step toward re-energizing democracy in the history of independent India, but that this laudable initiative for the decentralization of governance has been circumvented by the alliance of elite political interests, change-resistant bureaucracy, and the rent-seeking class, which had well-entrenched interests in the continuation of a colonially centralized state structure.
However, in spite of the odds, they generate some hope in a deeply troubled system of democracy. They also present many micro-examples of effective governance.
Indian Social Watch is one of the most advanced of the 60 national-level coalitions. However, work on local democracy and accountability as well as national-level accountability is going on in such diverse locales as the Philippines, Benin, and Brazil. Of particular interest in the current international context is the work of the Social Watch member organization, the Arab NGO Network for Development, based in Beirut, but with member organizations in countries stretching from Yemen through Sudan to Morocco.
This experience demonstrates what other witnesses to this committee have argued: that democracy is best expressed in a human rights framework, and that those rights include social, economic, and cultural rights as well as civil and political rights. It also illustrates the importance of donor support to effective southern, non-governmental organizations.
The second experiment that I'd like to lift up for you is the Helsinki process. This was an initiative of the Government of Finland, together with the Government of Tanzania. I took part as a rapporteur for the panel on new approaches to global problem-solving, chaired by Nitin Desai, former Under-Secretary-General of the UN. We published a report entitled Governing Globalization-Globalizing Governance, which is available on the website of the Finnish foreign ministry.
I want to mention three things here. They all address the issue of democracy at a global level. The first is democratizing oversight of the global economy. The second is a strengthened role for parliamentarians, and the third deals with one specific sectoral model of governance reform.
The Helsinki process stated that members of democratically elected national and regional parliaments have a constitutional responsibility to represent people, but at present the direct involvement of parliamentarians in international negotiating forums and multilateral organizations of cooperation is marginal, so that processes, policies, and decisions that affect people's lives are perceived as increasingly taking place behind closed doors. Basically, we were addressing the challenge of how to connect nationally developed democratic institutions with global decision-making and to reduce the distance between the two, and also to increase elements of accountability that connect back down to citizens and the electoral base.
We were particularly concerned with the oversight of the global economy, and in the brief we describe a bit of the approach there. In summary, it consisted of two key elements. One was that global multilateral organizations--the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO, and related bodies--should produce, in a sense, a global accountability report annually, which would be subject to public scrutiny, submitted to the members of the Economic and Social Council of the UN, to G-8 leaders, and reviewed in participatory public hearings in different regions of the globe. That report should address key issues, like sustainable development and poverty reduction.
Then we suggested that a parliamentary accountability mechanism should be created, and we supported the recommendation of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, sponsored by the ILO, which calls for integrated parliamentary oversight of the multilateral system at a global level and the creation of a global parliamentary group concerned with coherence and consistency.
We also picked up on another suggestion that was made by the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations-Civil Society Relations, chaired by former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso at the UN. This was the idea of the formation of global public policy committees recommending that they convene one or more experimental global public policy committees to discuss emerging priorities on a global agenda. These committees would be comprised of parliamentarians from the most relevant functional committee in a globally representative range of countries, whether that was environment, health, education, or whatever.
I want to mention one other element in the work of the Helsinki process, which did address issues like the strengthening of international labour standards and compliance with ILO conventions, but in particular that of environmental governance, which was quite an urgent issue before us. There, we picked up the example of the Aarhus convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making, and access to justice in environmental matters, which was concluded on a European base in October 2001 and which has been described by Secretary-General Kofi Annan as “the most ambitious venture in the area of environmental democracy so far undertaken under the auspices of the United Nations.” This was negotiated under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe but now has 39 countries adhering to it, as well as the European community.
Why is this important? Because it connects ordinary citizens and their rights to issues of access to information, access to regular reporting on the state of the environment, and access to justice for citizens in environmental matters, including an independent and impartial review body. Our body suggested that this model already in existence in Europe be reproduced in appropriate ways in other regions of the world, including the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
Let me come to a conclusion by addressing the questions of political will and the Canadian contribution to democratization. As the Helsinki initiative points out, issues of global governance and democratization are urgent and they're not adequately addressed. We at the institute have worked quite closely with some of the international civil society networks that have specialized capacity in democratic reform globally. We have, for instance, a five-year partnership with the World Federation of United Nations Associations in informing and reporting on civil society engagement around the world with the millennium declaration and the millennium development goals. This effort involved extensive research, publication in eight languages, and presentation at the UN General Assembly's millennium plus five hearings. This is essentially an effort to inform and strengthen accountability mechanisms at a local and regional level, as well as reporting on activities internationally.
An offshore example of international non-governmental networks working in this field is based in Barcelona. It's called Ubuntu, which is not Spanish but Swahili, and is the World Forum of Civil Society Networks, which sponsors a campaign for an in-depth reform of the system of international institutions, and most recently celebrated a large international conference in Geneva. It is focused on developing specific proposals for reform and in campaigning to see them implemented. It is an example of a non-governmental body with an international advisory group, but which has support from the Catalan state government, as well as the Spanish national government, as well as other sources.
An example much closer to home is the Canadian-based organization the Montreal International Forum, FIM. This organization has sponsored significant international conferences on democracy and reform in 2001 and 2005 and a number of research papers and seminars. It has an international board, and a small secretariat in Montreal. Somewhat shockingly, in my view, most of its funding now comes from non-Canadian sources, including official sources as well as non-governmental funders and foundations. Now, this says something positive about the international reputation of a Canadian creation, but it's a serious commentary, I think, on Canadian official support for a homegrown international initiative.
Such organizations focused on issues of global governance and democratization are a vital part of the picture. So also is the continuing work of Canadian-based non-governmental organizations with their development partners in developing countries. We're aware of the renewed interest at CIDA, expressed by the responsible minister during the recent international development days, in enhancing the place of civil society in Canadian aid strategies and in OECD approaches to official development assistance. This could be an important beginning.
Drawing these engagements to a few initial conclusions, the development of alternative approaches to global democratization and governance requires serious investigative research, and this is by and large under-resourced. Canadian research work in this field, essential to develop policy for the future, is also resource-challenged. This is additionally the case since the termination of the Law Commission of Canada, with its investigative work on globalization.
Civil society has strategic importance in democratization. North-south and south-south partnerships are a crucial element therein. Canadian aid policy needs to be enhanced with greater attention to and support for these partnerships. Civil society networks can play and have played a crucial role in campaigning activities that have led to significant changes in policy in such fields as landmines, access to medicines, and relief of the debt burden. There is an increasing interest in civil society networks in issues of democratization at all levels. Civil society networks focusing on global democratization and human rights are doing creative work, and several Canadian organizations have done pioneering work.
We have several remarkable institutions, including Rights and Democracy, the Parliamentary Centre, le Forum International de Montréal, as well as a number for first-rate development NGOs. But in a number of these cases they remain under-recognized and are often scrambling for resources.
So what do we recommend? Very simply, we recommend that as a priority dimension in promoting democracy and improving aid effectiveness, renewed priority and expanded resources be given by CIDA and other government agencies to the support of Canadian NGOs and their civil society development partners overseas, and within that general objective, that specific priority be given to enhance material support for Canadian and international NGOs working on democratic reform of global, regional, national, and subnational instances, particularly those using a comprehensive human rights framework.
We also recommend that with regard to issues of parliamentary engagement, consideration be given to the recommendations developed by the Helsinki process--and outlined above in our brief--and in particular, with regard to strengthening participation and accountability on a sectoral basis, that support be given to the creation of an Aarhus convention model agreement, for example, on a North American basis.
Finally, with regard to Canadian-based institutions devoted to the promotion of democracy and human rights, we recommend priority be given to enhancing the work of existing bodies, such as the proposal by Rights and Democracy to address political party engagement and the proposal for periodic forums among those Canadian-based bodies engaged in promotion of human rights and democracy.
Thank you. And thank you to the committee for having me.
I should just begin with a few words of background. I come to the question of democracy and democratization primarily from an international relations background. My main area of work over the last number of years has been in relation to international military operations, particularly concerning the United Nations and its involvement in conflict. So I come at the democracy question and the question of democratization in the same way the United Nations has, through the back door, in effect, as it has increasingly sought to deal with conflict within states, which is primarily but not exclusively a post-Cold War phenomenon.
The United Nations has increasingly had to come to grips with questions about what role democratization plays in these situations. Commensurate with an increased awareness, for example, that peace is more than the absence of war in these situations, there has been increased attention to how democracy affects the likelihood of long-term peace and stability in conflict situations and what relationship there is between democracy and other aspects of the post-conflict scenario. That's how I'm coming at the question, so my remarks reflect that.
I really just want to go over three points in that context. I'm focusing primarily on the role of democracy and democratization in post-conflict situations. The three points are essentially as follows. The first one is that the process of democracy in these situations is different from that in non-conflict scenarios. The second one relates to that, which is to say that there are situations in which democratization can be a conflict-producing syndrome. The third relates to that, which is to say that how and when we do things with respect to the democratization process matters. So I'll walk through those three points and talk about some of the issues that relate to each of them.
The first point is that democratization in post-conflict situations is different. The first reason for that difference is that in almost all cases, given the nature of the institutions, the idea that democratization should be part of the post-conflict scenario is built into the peace agreement that brings an end to these conflicts. That means a couple of things. It may mean that the nature of the process established and the nature of the institutions envisaged are not necessarily conducive to long-term stability or peace. It also means that the international community, both through organizations like the UN and also through individual states that might come to support the process, tends not to make a judgment about those assumptions. The peace agreement is treated as a product of negotiations that brought the warring groups together, and as such is left intact. So the fact that it may sow within it seeds for future problems is not something the international community engages with.
That relates to another point, which is that elections are important. In the peace agreements of post-conflict situations, the international community and other states as a group tend to attribute multiple goals to elections in post-conflict environments. They're seen as an exit strategy. There's a tendency to hold them earlier rather than later in the process, and in general there's an overemphasis on them. One outcome that early elections can generate is further instability. To the extent that they are seen as an exit strategy, they can also become symbolic of an end to a conflict that may not be there. They become a link to the exit for the international community as well.
One of the things that have been learned since the end of the Cold War in particular is that elections do not mean that democracy is in place or even that a democratization process is ongoing. We have a tendency to judge elections, when they happen, on the basis of whether they're free and fair, rather than a tendency to judge whether or not they are playing a positive role in the post-conflict environment.
One of the related issues on the election question is this question of inclusion. Who gets included in the political process in a post-conflict environment, and how? A key question here is what we do with groups that in international relations terms are often called “spoilers”--spoilers meaning a group that will seek to undermine the peace process or the post-conflict process.
Extremists groups can be spoilers or separate actors. How do we incorporate them into the process, and is it a correct assumption that doing so is a positive attribute to the process? Is the inclusion of extremist groups, potential spoilers, based on the assumption that doing so will ultimately lead to moderate their goals, their aims, their methods? It's not clear yet whether or not that is a fair assumption.
The other way in which inclusion matters is that it relates to the idea that democratization is not just about process and institutions, but about the development of a political culture that supports the idea of democracy and democratization. And in post-conflict situations that is a particularly difficult thing to achieve and it takes a long time. It's another factor that we tend not to build into the equation because we tend to take more of a functional approach to these things.
Still under this heading of democratization being different in post-conflict situations is the question of timing. My last point related to the fact that democratization is a long-term process. In post-conflict situations it has a lot of key requirements in the very short term. One of the things we've learned about post-conflict internal conflict situations since the end of the Cold War is that what we do or don't do in the immediate aftermath of a peace agreement matters a great deal. If there's a delay in terms of international community support or outside support coming to the peace agreement, it paves the way for a number of things to happen.
It opens the way for groups to rearm, for groups to read the situation as one that is continuing to be unstable and therefore start to shift their own priorities and their own basis of support in anticipation of things going downhill. All of those factors together contribute to ongoing instability that sends messages to all of the parties to the conflict. In addition, it also sends the message of a less than full political commitment on the part of the international community and outside states, which is also built into the assumptions and perceptions of the warring groups.
More broadly, the question of timing goes to the question of what in the literature is often called “sequencing”. This is the broader question of when we emphasize which institutions as part of the process. At what point is it correct or is it useful to have elections? When should those elections occur with respect to what we do with respect to rights? And this goes to some of the issues that John was raising. Is it possible to engage in democratization in a situation that is less than fully secure, or does democratization contribute to making the situation more secure over time? Again, these are questions that we now understand are important, but we still don't have a lot of answers about what matters and when.
The second broad point is democratization can be conflict-inducing. One way in which this happens relates to the question of how minorities or other groups in society are treated. We need to build in greater recognition that democratization can both empower and disempower. It can disempower our groups that are used to having exclusive access to power before the conflict or the post-conflict situation, and it can empower groups that have longstanding grievances with other groups in society and that will then use the process as a way to deal with those grievances.
A related point is the question of how citizenship is defined. This goes to the question of who gets included, on what basis they get included in the process, how power-sharing arrangements might work. So the question of citizenship, especially in post-conflict situations that are ethnic or at least divisive in terms of minority groups, matters a great deal. We can see that in some of the conflicts that are ongoing today.
The second way it can be conducive to creating conflict, either in the immediate or longer-term, is the extent to which democracy is seen as a foreign policy product. What I mean by this is that democracy and the idea of democratization is often seen as a product of western societies, western interests, as opposed to a value in and of itself. A related question here is also the extent to which the democratization process, the delivery of democracy, if you like, is now increasingly associated with militarization, or military operations.
We can now talk about the militarization of delivery of democracy. Iraq is the obvious example here, but there are a number of others, such as Afghanistan and any number of other post-conflict situations in which there has been a UN operation where force has been part of the picture. For those on the ground, the perception is a correlation between the use of force and the arrival of democracy. We need to understand that connection better.
The question of whether democracy is a western construct or western value or a universal one is key for the UN. As the UN has increasingly become involved in post-conflict situations within states, it has had, as I said in the beginning, to face these questions about where democracy plays a role and how it plays a role. As a result, the UN has often been in a situation where it has been an advocate of democracy.
Since the end of the Cold War, the two secretary-generals themselves, first Boutros-Ghali and then Kofi Annan, have increasingly been acting, in their own positions, as advocates of democracy. This has particularly been the case under Kofi Annan. This is, as I'm sure you can imagine, quite controversial. There are a number of member states that are not happy about the fact that the UN should play a role in advocating democracy, even when it comes to post-conflict situations where parties have agreed to democracy as part of the peace agreement.
This relates partly to the ongoing questions about sovereignty. With the responsibility to protect, for example, there's been an increasing acceptance that sovereignty is not sacrosanct, and for those who are resistant to these ideas, the idea that democratization or democracy is an important universal value is seen as yet another hook that western states can use as a criterion for intervention in states.
If democracy is to be put forward as a universal value, we need to be able to make that case more effectively than we are now. That's a factor the United Nations is grappling with, but I think it goes across the board for states as well. On this point, the questions of perceptions relate as well to the image or the perception in a number of states that the UN engages in a number of double standards. Why do we, through the United Nations, react to some conflicts and by extension then deal with some post-conflict scenarios with resources and commitment, and not others? When we feed that into the broader question about whether democracy is a western value or not, you can see how the whole package becomes an issue.
Finally, that sort of sequence that I've touched on in a very broad-brush way leads to the third point, which is that how and when we do things matters. We have a much greater requirement, I think, to understand the importance of context specificity. One of the things that's happened in the post-Cold War environment is there's been a wave, if you like, or an explosion of the number of states in the world that call themselves democratic, or who we consider to be democratic. That means, 15, 17, or 18 years on, that our data base, if you like, has grown significantly. But we have not yet engaged in either the academic literature or at the policy level in an indepth lessons-learned process that looks at all of this experience in an effort to determine how the nature of certain contexts affects the democratization and post-conflict peace process.
With respect to Canada, for example, one of the arguments you can make on this basis is that it's not just enough to have democracy or democratization as one of the three Ds, or part of the joined-up approach, whatever title we're going to give it. As a leader on these issues Canada could work towards developing greater awareness of the nuances and complexities involved in this process, and lead or commission a study that would undertake that long, in-depth examination of the importance of context specificity, and what works when. A certain model of democracy and democratization might work in one instance, but in a second instance, which is not necessarily dramatically different, only somewhat different, have a completely different impact, including, as I mentioned, in fact sowing the seeds for long-term instability and even a return to conflict.
All of these questions do relate in fact to our understanding of political violence, not just conflict in the sense of within states or external to states, but civil war, ethnic conflict, terrorism--the idea of political violence being on a spectrum, if you like. And in the academic world that's increasingly becoming an issue of study--what situation leads to what kind of political violence? So what I'm suggesting is that it's useful to think of democracy in the same way and link that back to our understanding.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, honoured members.
Monsieur le président, membres du comité, good afternoon, and thank you for inviting me and my colleague here today to discuss Canadian civilian police peacekeepers and the role they play in democratic development around the globe.
I am joined today by Chief Superintendent Dave Beer, who obviously is not a stranger to this committee. Dave is the director general of international policing within Federal and International Operations and, as I'm sure you know, has a great deal of experience in international peace operations. With his help I'm sure and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to answer most of your questions.
As you know, stability and the rule of law are essential if democracy is to thrive.
For the past 17 years, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has been assisting the forces of law and order in countries throughout the world. It has done this in partnership with other Canadian police services since 1996.
Through much of that time, Canadian police operations abroad have received little attention. Public knowledge of these contributions continues to be low. With new permanent funding for the program and increasing requests from international organizations for more Canadian police, that may soon change. While studies indicate that the number of conflicts in the world has decreased over the last decade, the security gap resulting from conflicts in failing and failed states has created an environment in which organized crime and terrorist organizations have become deeply entrenched. This has a direct impact on the democratization process.
We now know the creation and maintenance of a secure and stable environment requires more than just the end of armed conflict. It requires the development of competent security sector institutions, such as police, the judiciary and corrections.
Through the new Canadian police arrangement, which is the policy framework for the Government of Canada to deploy police officers in support of Canadian foreign policy objectives, Canada will have the capacity to deploy up to 200 police officers to international peace operations by the end of fiscal year 2007-08. While this is an important contribution to international peace and security, it does not meet the growing demand for police on international peace operations.
Globalization, trans-national crime and environmental challenges have placed significant pressure on the RCMP to develop and improved capacity to work beyond the country's boundaries. This has required to RCMP to develop and maintain the capacity to select, prepare, deploy, support and re-integrate specialized personnel around the world in response to emergencies and international criminal investigations.
Working abroad on Canadian investigations requires foreign police partner organizations that can conduct investigations in a manner consistent with international standards. This will necessitate substantial investment in the development of international police partner capacity. Until the signing of the new CPA this past spring, funding for Canadian police participation in peace operations was provided on a cost-recovery basis, with no added human resource capacity. Things have now changed.
Canada now has the ability to become proactive in its approach to international police operations, working with other government agencies in a whole-of-government approach through the identification of areas of strategic interests and the development of personnel with the competencies necessary to respond to the challenges of working in these environments. What this means for the RCMP and our police partners is that we are now in a position to develop a cadre of police experts ready for international deployments. Our roster of skill sets can match specialists with particular missions that call for their talents. The result will be that these men and women will be available for more rapid deployments than in the past, and perhaps best of all, deployments will reduce the burden on the domestic policing capability of our agency and its partners.
Of course, Canada cannot be all things to all people. It is important that resources be aligned with foreign policy objectives and, through a whole-of-government approach, strategies must be developed that adequately respond to the long-term nature of democratization and post-conflict development.
Over the years, Canada has helped many countries become safer and more secure, laying the groundwork for democratic development. Some examples include the following.
In Kosovo, Canadian police made an important contribution to the development of the new Kosovo police service.
In Jordan, Canadian police have helped to train more than 34,700 Iraqi police cadets, far more than the original target of 32,000.
In Kabul, Afghanistan, they have helped increase parliamentary security. In the south of that country, in Kandahar, they have distributed equipment, provided weapons training, as well as motor vehicle and checkpoint training. They've helped repair broken-down police vehicles and helped construct a new substation.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina , they've helped prepare and prosecute cases that have resulted in indictments, arrests, and convictions in high-profile cases involving politicians and criminal organizations.
In the Ivory Coast, they have contributed to a reduction in racketeering activities in market areas where police have increased patrols.
In Haiti, they have worked to improve professional standards for police and have increased the effectiveness of the Haitian National Police's Anti-Kidnapping Unit.
And in Sierra Leone, their work with a special court for that country has helped with the prosecution of numerous individuals from the three main combatant groups in the civil war. They have also developed a witness protection program and increased the capacity of the financial investigations unit to prepare complex cases such as that against former president Charles Taylor.
These are just a few of the results that have been achieved.
Experience has demonstrated that police play an important role in the maintenance of a secure and stable environment, which, as I suggested before, is a precursor to economic, political, and social development. Through their efforts abroad, Canadian police export Canadian culture, values, and an established model of democratic policing.
Lessons from past experiences demonstrate that sustained development requires a long-term commitment. Failure to plan for this and to ensure the resources necessary to maintain a long-term engagement risks causing more harm than good to the recipients of the services provided.
Experience has also shown that successful security sector reform requires strategies that target the equal development of judicial, police, and corrections capacity. To put it another way, police aren't much good in the absence of courts that can fairly weigh the evidence against the accused and modern correctional institutions that can receive those found guilty.
It's important to ensure that each of these elements has the tools necessary to do their jobs and that people are paid an appropriate salary on a regular basis. I should note that while other countries are beginning to recognize the value of police capacity-building in Africa, Canada is clearly in the lead, positioning itself to have continental reach.
Consistent with Canada's G8 commitments to develop African capacity, the RCMP has been working in partnership with the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, a private, non-government organization, to develop the capacity of African organizations to provide leadership on peace operations.
Significant progress has been made in the development of African capacity to deploy police personnel with the competencies necessary to function effectively on peace operations.
The continued support of this type of capacity-building initiative in Africa and expanded to other areas of the Canadian strategic interest is essential if we are to ensure safe Canadian homes and communities.
In terms of overseas public order capacity, while most Canadian police organizations have developed a public order capacity, it is generally insufficient to deploy entire units abroad. Any contribution to the required public order capacity in international peace operations should be of a capacity-building or instructional nature.
Another important lesson is that Canadian police require adequate training prior to being deployed abroad. An increased investment in pre-deployment and other specialized training, especially within an integrated environment--and when I say integrated, I'm talking about the military and civilian police--would significantly enhance the ability of Canadians to contribute to the accomplishment of established goals and objectives.
With this, I thank you for the opportunity to be here and to address you. Along with Chief Superintendent Beer, I would be pleased to take your questions.