We'll call this meeting to order. This is the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, meeting number 9.
Pursuant to Standing Orders 110 and 111, we are reviewing the order in council appointment of John McNee to the position of Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, referred to the committee on Wednesday, April 26, 2006.
We are pleased to welcome to our committee this afternoon John McNee, ambassador to the United Nations. Ambassador McNee brings a wealth of experience to his appointment. In Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs he has served as director of the personnel division and as director general of the Middle East, North Africa, and Gulf States Bureau. Mr. McNee also served on Prime Minister Trudeau's task force on international peace and security and at the Privy Council Office. Before taking up his current posting as Canada's ambassador to Belgium, with concurrent accreditation to Luxembourg, he had been assistant deputy minister, Africa and Middle East, at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa since 2001.
This is fairly timely, in that last fall a representative group from Foreign Affairs had the opportunity of visiting the United Nations and Ambassador Rock at the time. Certainly we recognized the job at the United Nations and the reforms that probably are in the works, and how important they are.
Ambassador, we welcome you to the foreign affairs and international development committee. I invite you to make your opening remarks, and we look forward to being able to exchange questions. We await your comments.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
First, let me say it is a very great honour to be named to represent Canada at the United Nations in New York. I am deeply appreciative to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs for their confidence and support.
There are many qualities needed for success as ambassador and permanent representative of Canada to the United Nations.
Four qualities are especially important, in my view: experience, knowledge, advocacy, and leadership. I would briefly like to outline for you my own qualifications.
First, experience: a 28-year career as a foreign service officer has given me wide experience in the conduct of Canada's international relations. Abroad, I've been a consul, a trade commissioner, a political officer, and a head of mission twice. I have served in the Middle East, in Tel Aviv and in Damascus; and in Europe, in Madrid and in Brussels. As you noted, Mr. Chair, I've been assistant deputy minister for Africa and Middle East at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Earlier, I was privileged to serve in the Privy Council Office under Prime Ministers Mulroney, Campbell, and Chrétien. In sum, I think I have the broad experience to equip me well for the wide range of issues that confront Canada at the UN.
A second quality is knowledge. My starting point is knowledge of Canadian values and interests. Half my work experience has been in Ottawa, working closely with ministers, parliamentarians, civil society, and the business community. The other half has been spent serving Canada abroad. This has given me, I think, a good sense of what really matters for Canada internationally and of Canadian's expectations that Canada will contribute to the solution of global problems.
By working with other countries for the common good, Canada advances our own security and prosperity.
In terms of the agenda of the UN, Kofi Annan has argued that the UN is really about three things: peace and security, international development and human rights. I have spent much of my career at the intersection of these fundamental goals. As ADM for Africa and the Middle East and from direct experience on the ground in postings in the Middle East, I have developed extensive knowledge of these two key regions, which dominate much of the UN agenda.
I also understand how to advance Canada's objectives at the UN, for example, in advising ministers on human rights and a plethora of other issues over many years.
A third key quality is the ability to advocate and communicate. Our permanent representative to the UN is the advocate for Canada on a multitude of global challenges. This entails public and quiet diplomacy, public speaking and discreet negotiation. I believe that whether in conveying tough messages to authoritarian regimes on human rights or winning the support of our partners and allies, I have demonstrated the ability to articulate the Canadian position clearly and convincingly.
The ambassador's job at the UN is also about building bridges and persuading other countries to work with Canada and support our goals. My track record is of someone who takes a collaborative approach and works cooperatively with others to advance Canadian objectives.
Finally, leadership. Filling positions of increasing responsibility in the public service has given me an understanding of the challenges and importance of leadership.
The ambassador to the UN must provide advice on opportunities for Canada in the multilateral world, the most effective means to pursue our objectives and the consequences. An incredible range of issues is dealt with at the UN: the challenge is also to give leadership in determining what really matters for Canada.
Our mission in New York is composed of a very strong, committed team. My goal is to work with them to deliver the excellence that has long been the hallmark of Canada at the United Nations.
A message I would like to leave with you today is that the United Nations and the multilateral system matter to Canadians. As a nation reliant on trade for its economic well-being, Canada depends on an open, rules-based, international trading system. The safety and security of Canadians is assured by an effective non-proliferation regime, a program of action to control the availability of small arms and light weapons, measures to deal with terrorism, and peace-building programs aimed at failed and failing states. In our world of extensive travel, Canadians are increasingly exposed to new and fast-spreading forms of disease.
These are all challenges that only the coordinated efforts of the international community can tackle, yet the multilateral system—the United Nations in particular—has been under considerable strain in the last two years. The inability of the Security Council to agree on a course of action in Iraq, the lack of control of the oil-for-food program, and the abuse perpetrated by some UN peacekeepers, all have raised legitimate questions. The comprehensive reform effort launched by Kofi Annan resulted in commitments at the 2005 world summit last September, but they only go part way in meeting the challenges inherent in reforming the UN.
A number of steps have already been agreed to, for example on internal oversight, but a lot of work remains. There was success in getting a peace-building commission launched, which will aim to shore up good governance and democracy in countries threatened by or emerging from conflict. Fifty percent of countries recovering from conflict fall back into violence within five years--East Timor is a sad example--so we have to try to do better.
Nations also agreed to establish a Human Rights Council, to which Canada has just been elected. Requirements for membership in the council have been raised. The agenda and method of work of the council are being defined, and we will be working hard to make the council an effective body that contributes to the implementation of human rights around the world.
A panel recently set up by the Secretary-General, and to which the president of CIDA, Robert Greenhill, has been appointed, will present recommendations in the fall for enhancing coherence in the delivery of development, humanitarian, and environmental programs across the UN system. This will be key in ensuring both the effectiveness of UN efforts in the technical cooperation and emergency assistance areas, as well as in guaranteeing value for taxpayers' dollars.
Management reform--that is, reform of the way in which the organization itself is run--is a priority on which my predecessor has spent considerable time, energy, and demonstrated leadership. I intend to pick up energetically where he leaves off. Good management and effective control and oversight are essential to the credibility of the UN. It is therefore essential that errors be corrected and controls strengthened. Important measures have already been taken to enhance transparency, oversight, and control.
While a reform process has been launched, progress will be slow. A pervasive north-south divide permeates the UN, with industrialized countries concerned first and foremost about the peace and security dimension of the UN mandate and with value for money, and developing countries more focused on the social and economic dimensions and on development. Diverging interests and objectives will thus have to be reconciled, but I will work hard to advance Canada's values and priorities in that discussion.
Let me now turn briefly to two of the most difficult political issues facing Canada and the United Nations. The serious humanitarian crisis in Darfur has moved Canadians and engaged the government. The peace agreement recently concluded under African Union auspices in Abuja gives hope that the conflict can finally be extinguished and the needs of affected populations effectively addressed, but the situation remains extremely difficult. The Darfur peace agreement opens the way to the dispatch of the United Nations mission to take over from the current African Union mission, for which Canada has provided much support.
On Iran, Canada has been working at the IAEA and in other fora to convince Iran to resume its suspension of all uranium enrichment and other proliferation-sensitive activities, to cooperate fully with the IAEA, and to return to the negotiations with the European trio towards a diplomatic solution. We welcomed the offer last week of a package of benefits to Iran as the basis for renewed discussions for a diplomatic solution, and we are very encouraged by the willingness of the United States to enter into direct negotiations with Iran as part of the European Union's process, providing that Iran first agrees to resume the suspension of uranium enrichment. The ball is now in Iran's court. We hope Iran will respond positively to these significant developments.
This brings me back to the premise I started with: the United Nations matters to Canada. The UN in New York, its organizations, and notably the Security Council, provide legal authority and hence moral legitimacy to decisions and actions aimed to address geostrategic challenges.
This is why I am honoured by the government's appointment and will work very hard to justify its confidence.
As I said, I'm very honoured by the government's appointment and will do my very best to work hard to justify it. And I look forward to welcoming all of you to the Canadian mission in New York.
Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Sorenson.
Ambassador McNee, thank you very much for being here, and congratulations on your appointment. You've been a stalwart in Foreign Affairs for a long time and one of our best ambassadors, so congratulations.
I have a couple of questions, but first I have a short preamble. I personally hope that we'll see Canada push at the UN more effective preventative measures, particularly in conflicts. I hope we'll be able to move along what is taking place in the Ivory Coast. I also hope that while we're consumed rightly by Darfur, situations such as the Congo and northern Uganda are not forgotten about. And I hope that we're also able to advance some innovations in the issue of food security, where the numbers of people, as you know better than any of us, who are affected make all other conflicts pale in comparison.
My question, Ambassador McNee, concerns a couple of things. One is the millennium development goals, and if you have any ideas on how the United Nations can better address that benchmark upon which we all agreed.
And secondly, there are the UN reforms. If you had to list something you are going to be confronted with, as you articulated in your comments, what specific measures do you think we could champion in terms of accountability and management changes that will reduce overlap among UN agencies and, as you said, get better bang for the buck for the Canadian dollar and indeed all donors to the UN agencies?
Mr. Chair, thank you very much.
By way of preamble, I should say that I'm between my assignment as ambassador to Belgium and my new job in New York, which I should start on July 5. I'm not there yet, and don't pretend to be the expert.
On the first point Dr. Martin raised, I think we have to be very aware of the so-called CNN effect, which focuses on one crisis where the international media can get in and get access, to the detriment of attention to other areas—the Ivory Coast is a good example—which somehow slide off the headlines. It doesn't mean that they're any less important or compelling. I think the job of a professional foreign service is to bring those other dimensions to the attention of the government.
The Ivory Coast is still in enormous difficulty, in fact in a sort of civil war. There is a United Nations mission there, but it's certainly one that shouldn't be forgotten.
The Congo is an enormous country of huge strategic importance on the continent, where literally millions of people have died in the last 10 to 15 years, and where there is hope, if we can find ways to support the electoral process and the country going ahead.
In northern Uganda, I think my predecessor and the government played an excellent role in bringing this humanitarian problem to the attention of the Security Council and getting them to focus on it—and in being very active diplomatically. Mr. MacKay has directed us to be even more energetic in trying to work out a solution.
So this is a long way of saying I'm very much in agreement with your preamble that we have to find better ways to prevent conflict. The peace-building commission should be a good first step, but it shouldn't be the only one. Canada has to come up with its own ideas as well.
On the UN millennium development goals, this is a big challenge. The world summit last year, which was five years after the adoption of the goals, was designed to focus attention and say to the world community, how are we doing? If we don't step up our efforts, we're not going to make it. Of course, if you don't make those goals—in Africa in particular, nothing's static—it means a sliding away.
I confess I don't think there's an easy answer to that, or I don't have it, but I think it's important. They are a very important benchmark that we need to keep in mind as more than a goal. Regarding CIDA programming, as you know, the CIDA thinking is very much oriented towards those goals and trying to make sure that our ODA effort serves and advances them.
On UN reform, Kofi Annan has presented the detailed reports on internal administration, which, as a kind of layman, I would say make eminent good sense. They are what I would term the modern management principles, which we would apply in Canada. I think we have to keep arguing for the effectiveness of administration and modern methods.
A big challenge at the UN is that its internal rules and regulations, as I understand them, were designed for another era, when the UN was primarily that building in New York and organized and gave support to conferences. In the last 15 years there's been an explosion of UN operational activities in peacekeeping missions and international humanitarian assistance. The nature of the organization has changed; its own internal processes have to change.
The last question Dr. Martin put concerns overlap.
That one could take a while, Mr. Chair, but I'll give it a quick stab.
Mr. Van Loan points out some “failures”. If we take Iraq and Yugoslavia, they're failures on the part of the UN Security Council to agree on a course of action, and that has had serious consequences, I think. If you step back and take a look at the broader picture, since the creation of the United Nations 60 years ago, you've had a huge expansion of the number of states. There are now 191 members, I think, of the UN, so 140 new states have been created, but the number of state-to-state conflicts has gone way down.
In the last 15 years, the University of British Columbia--and I can't remember which department--did a study, not of state-to-state conflicts, but of armed conflicts, including civil wars and other sorts of wars, and the numbers have gone way down. I think it's partly because the United Nations has been more active recently. It has found ways to head off interstate conflicts and has been addressing the failed and failing states. So there have been some dramatic examples, and Iraq is the one that has shaken the whole United Nations framework. I think we have to be honest about that.
That isn't to say that the United Nations isn't still central in fulfilling its mandate given it by the international community--its first mandate, which is on international peace and security. I don't think that precludes.... Even in the United Nations charter, it foresees sometimes acting with, through, or in concert with regional organizations, when they make more sense. I think the case of Sudan is a good one, where the first recourse, the African Union, makes eminent good sense.
I would be a little more inclined to think that the first resort should be the universal body to which Canada subscribes, the United Nations, and if, for whatever reason, that doesn't work, there may be situations that cry out for other sorts of action.
Thank you, Mr. McNee, for coming.
I was in the UN with Peter MacKay, the foreign minister, and with Alan Rock, and we had the opportunity to sit in your future office. We talked with Kofi Annan and we talked with the assistant secretary general.
Many of the questions that are coming from this must be on government policy issues like 0.7% and the treaty signing and everything, which we'll debate in the House, but the main job that will occupy you when you're there will be UN reform, which is going to become the crucial thing in the coming years. Kofi Annan's reforms come in here, but Mr. Annan will be leaving at the end of this year. I do not find an appetite in the UN for the implementation of Mr. Annan's so-called reforms during his tenure.
We in Canada are a little concerned about how the selection for the Secretary General is going to be done. I noticed that it will be by the Security Council, leaving it again up to the five members in the United Nations with their extraordinary powers that curtail many of the decisions that come from the United Nations because of the politics being played.
In order to make this thing effective, the first area would be--and I want to know your opinion on this--the transition to the new Secretary General. Depending on his own agenda and on how much you and we push for the reform, I believe the new Secretary General will be the guy who does the reform. I'm sorry to say that for Kofi Annan time is running out. I did meet with the Secretary General and the other guys, and although they are working, I don't see the effort.
Do you agree that there is going to be no appetite now and that we should concentrate on seeing who is going to be the next Secretary General and push for the reforms at that time?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Ambassador, at the end of World War II Canada was the only state to in fact be on all of the committees of the United Nations. At one point it was even suggested that we become a member of the Security Council. Now we have a government that.... Mr. Van Loan's comments underline some of our concerns as to how committed this government is to the United Nations. Clearly there is a view that this government is not as committed to the UN as previous governments. So I would ask you a number of things.
In terms of the mandate that you have as ambassador to the United Nations, are you able to tell us what it is, and do you feel comfortable in terms of having the necessary ability to carry out Canada's national interests at the UN?
Secondly, what is your view of the ICC, the International Criminal Court?
An area of concern that certainly I believe we need to be highlighting at the United Nations Human Rights Council is the issue of Burma and human rights in Burma. And in terms of how effective this new council will be—and I realize you're not there yet—what role do you see Canada, or certainly yourself, articulating in light of the Havel-Tutu report from the United Nations?
Fourth, in terms of the whole issue of bringing the UN into the modern age, Japan is clearly paying more than its fair share and it's not getting fair treatment, in their view. Clearly they're now proposing another approach in terms of getting assistance. The Americans are giving lip service, it seems, to that proposal. Can you make any comments of a general nature, at least, on that type of issue? It clearly is going to be on the agenda come the fall.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chair, I think the first question is really, with great respect, a political one, and is a question to put to the minister, if I might suggest. I would simply note that the government has made very clear the importance of our bilateral relations and our multilateral engagement. I think that's in a long Canadian tradition of the conduct of our international affairs.
The International Criminal Court I would put down as one of the innovations achieved in the UN system in the post-Cold War period, and one that I think has tremendous promise to ensure that there isn't impunity from crimes committed. I noted that Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army, is the first one to be indicted. This court will cast a very long shadow, I think, and my personal view is that it's an important step forward.
As for the new Human Rights Council, I should note that it's just getting going. We have hopes that it will find ways to be more constructive than the Human Rights Commission, though one has to remember that a lot of criticism of the commission is partly because over the last 20 years its drawing attention to human rights abuses started to sting, and countries didn't like the stigma that attached to it. They wanted to get on the commission, those who misbehaved, so they could blunt that.
I think that Canada will work hard to try to find ways that make this council an effective one. Burma certainly is an area of concern. Whether or not the council will function in the same way of highlighting country situations, I honestly don't know yet, Mr. Chair, and it remains to be defined.
On the question of Japan, I assume that Mr. Wilfert alludes to its desire to join the Security Council. There was a sustained effort, as you know, not only by Japan but by Brazil, Germany, and India, to gain permanent seats. There was not consensus on that. My anticipation is that the issue will come back again, because the composition of the council reflects the kind of anti-fascist alliance that emerged from 1945, and doesn't really represent the current realities. On the other hand, the effective functioning of the Security Council, its accountability to the general membership, and transparency, to my mind, are almost more urgent problems and things we should work on as Canadians.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ambassador McNee, once again, congratulations.
Ambassador, in your remarks today, you mentioned a peace-building commission that had been launched. From what we have seen in some of the countries, Haiti in particular, about real concerns about the effectiveness that the direction of the United Nations, either in its peacekeeping or its military presence there.... You had mentioned “threatened by or emerging from conflict”. I dare say that I think the country is really both.
In the discussions there, when we visited, there was some concern about whether they had a mandate, whether they had strong rules of engagement. In other words, by not clearly defining the mandates and the rules of engagement for the peacekeeping operations, there's a sense that perhaps there is still something missing in the direction. Of course that would lead toward your peace-building commission, which I would imagine would be a follow-up to it.
Will you be directing attention to that, to try to bring resolve to the concern so that when we are engaged in particular areas, such as Haiti and other parts of the world, there will be the troops, the area direction will have a strong mandate, and they will have strong rules of engagent?
I've mentioned an article that just came from the paper about a Canadian RCMP officer who was with United Nations troops. It clearly indicates, once again, that there was a lack of direction on what to do under the circumstance. I wonder if you could respond to that and the concerns.
Mr. Chairman, committee members, thank you for your invitation to appear here today and speak about Haiti.
My name is Colonel Denis Thompson and I am the director of peacekeeping policy at the Department of National Defence. With me here today is Major Michel Lavigne, who has just left our operational section that deals with Haiti.
I intend to speak to the role of the Department of National Defence as part of Canada's overall effort in Haiti. I am sure you are already aware that Canada is a leader in the current international efforts to reconstruct Haiti. I know you will hear or have heard from other witnesses who will be able to outline for you the considerable investments Canada is making in the areas of humanitarian and development aid through active and constant diplomatic efforts to support the newly elected democratic Haitian government.
As is the case in other fragile and failed state contexts, the key enabler for the success of these efforts is a secure and stable environment. As part of the overall Canadian effort in Haiti, the Canadian Forces have made an important contribution to the establishment of an environment in which reconstruction efforts can begin, along with our counterparts in the RCMP and in other police departments.
The main Canadian Forces contribution as part of Canada's whole-of-government approach came at the early stages of the current international engagement in Haiti. Following the resignation of Jean-Bertrand Aristide as President of Haiti on February 29, 2004, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1529, authorizing the creation of the U.S.-led Multinational Interim Force (MIF) with a 90-day mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to assist in establishing a safe and secure environment. More than 500 Canadian Forces members rapidly deployed to Haiti with this force. The CF contribution was based in Port-au-Prince and comprised an infantry Company Group from 2 RCR from CFB Gagetown, six CH-124 Griffon helicopters from 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron of CFB Valcartier, and National Command and Support Elements. This multinational mission quickly stabilized the country, and it allowed time for the creation and deployment of a follow-on United Nations-led mission.
On April 30, 2004, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 1542, creating the United Nations stabilization mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, under a chapter VII mandate. To assist with the establishment of the UN mission, the Government of Canada authorized the extension of the Canadian Forces presence in Haiti until August 2004 to help bridge and ensure a seamless transition from the multinational interim force to MINUSTAH.
MINUSTAH is an integrated mission, meaning that all of the functions to be performed by the United Nations in the theatre of operations fall under one leadership structure, from the security aspects provided by the military and civilian police to the humanitarian reconstruction and human rights functions performed by a variety of United Nations agencies. Thus, the mandate of MINUSTAH encompasses more than the tasks of the military. The main task assigned to the military component of MINUSTAH is ensuring a secure and stable environment in support of the government.
In addition, forces are tasked with the protection of the United Nations personnel, facilities, installations, and equipment, as well as with the protection of civilians under imminent threat of violence.
MINUSTAH's current authorized strength is 7,500 military force members and 1,800 civilian police officers. MINUSTAH has symbolic and political importance for several countries. This is the first time Brazil is heading a peacekeeping mission as Force Commander, and Brazil currently contributes more than 1,200 troops to MINUSTAH. This is the first time there has been such a large Latin American participation in a peace support operation in our hemisphere. Uruguay is contributing 981 troops; Argentina 560; Chili 543; Peru 209; and Ecuador, El Salvador and Paraguay are all participating. It is also the first time China has participated in the peacekeeping mission, providing 127 civilian police.
Canada currently provides five senior Canadian Forces officers to the MINUSTAH headquarters.
While this contribution is modest in terms of numbers, in fact these are high-value contributions, providing the United Nations with key enablers in the form of experienced professional staff whom the United Nations needs for its forces. They also give Canada considerable influence over MINUSTAH's military operations and the coordination of humanitarian assistance and law enforcement.
The Canadian Forces contribution includes the military chief of staff, a colonel; this is a key position in any military mission. In addition, there are three other staff officers in important positions in logistics, operations, and planning. And since November 2005, a Canadian Forces colonel has acted as the manager of MINUSTAH's elections assistance task force, an important body responsible for coordinating the United Nations' role in supporting the electoral process in Haiti. While this position is not strictly speaking a military one, the United Nations made a specific request that it be filled by a Canadian staff officer.
I'm sure committee members are aware that the UN has been in Haiti more than a few times throughout the 1990s. It seems the international community has drawn a lesson from past interventions in all sectors regarding the need for sustained commitment. This requires a credible partner on the Haitian side, and most actors seem to believe that at this time there is room for optimism.
With respect to MINUSTAH, in February 2006 the Security Council renewed its mandate until August 15, 2006. At the same time, the Security Council expressed its intention to renew for further periods. This next renewal will take place with Haiti now under an elected and legitimate government, and in preparation a United Nations assessment team will produce a report that will identify new security requirements in the post-electoral phase, in consultation with the new government.
On the Haitian side, President Préval has publicly expressed his desire that MINUSTAH remain in Haiti. Political leaders of the Latin American contributors, such as Brazil and Chile, have made public statements expressing their solidarity with the Haitian government, and their intentions to remain committed to MINUSTAH.
For the part of the Canadian Forces, in full expectation that MINUSTAH's mandate will be renewed in August we are preparing to replace the four permanent positions we now have in MINUSTAH. The chief of staff position will change around in July of 2006, with the new candidate set to stay in Port-au-Prince for one year. The other positions will rotate at various times in the autumn.
In conclusion, while we continue to see localized and serious pockets of violence, the general security situation throughout Haiti has improved since February 2004. The remaining security problems in Haiti tend to be criminal in nature rather than to involve opposing groups engaged in armed conflict. It can be argued, therefore, that civilian police officers, both international and Haitian, are better suited for the task than soldiers are. Translating this analysis into gradual and eventual change in the composition of the response in Haiti will be a challenge for the international community, and one we will explore with the experts from the RCMP and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to the committee members' questions on this subject.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Colonel and Major, for being here today.
Colonel, you mentioned that much of the violence at the present time is of a criminal nature. At the same time, particularly in terms of what you're seeing on the ground, there's a report that will be presented, I believe, sometime towards the end of August, on what the role of MINUSTAH will be in terms of this new phase.
Given that there are these localized incidents, what role do you see MINUSTAH playing in the post-August period? And secondly, what are we doing to empower Haitians to take care of their own security needs?
I realize that you're probably not able to comment directly on the issue of policing, which of course is extremely important, but can you comment in a general nature on security? Because security without a stable environment can't lead to the kinds of economic, political, and social reforms that are absolutely, desperately needed.
Again, the answer is simple; it's the implementation that's difficult. The role of MINUSTAH remains exactly the same: to create and maintain a safe and secure environment in which people can go about their daily lives, as you point out.
The way that's done, tactically, on the ground, is largely the same, regardless of what the peacekeeping mission is. So there's a lot of presence, patrolling, a lot of boots on the ground, as we say, people out and about doing their thing. In some cases, we will team up with the local police, the Haitian national police, and do joint MINUSTAH and Haitian national police patrols. All of that will continue. There's a recognition, though, that from a Haitian standpoint, if you're going to hand over human security, or just security in general, to the Haitians, you have to develop this police force. And as you point out, that's the remit of our friends in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
I'm pretty sure that Chief Superintendent Dave Beer, an extremely knowledgeable fellow, was here and no doubt gave you chapter and verse on how that's going to occur. I don't want to speak for him, but I know that one of his hobby horses is to talk about justice reform at the same time as police reform. There's no point having an effective police force if you have nowhere to send it for justice to be administered.
These things take time, so while that's happening, MINUSTAH, the military element, has to remain on the ground. Now, what it looks like, in terms of size and organization, is the subject and the reason there's an assessment mission there right now. I think Mr. McNee mentioned this in the last meeting.
So over the coming weeks the assessment mission will look at a variety of elements of MINUSTAH and report back to the Security Council. The Security Council will consider what's been done. There will be a detailed plan drawn up in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which will be folded into the new mandate, and when the new mandate comes out it will say what the force structure will be--you know, it will have this many military and this many police.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you for appearing here today, gentlemen.
Colonel, we won't discuss the particular instance of the former police officer, but the entire case seems to substantiate previous comments we've heard about a disconnect—threat versus threat reduction, remediation, and a disconnect of authority to act under certain circumstances. This seemed to be a common comment from various places when we visited Haiti. In other words, there's a tying of the hands of the various authorities there, preventing them from acting under certain circumstances.
One of the most obvious examples is of their police officers, who are on the streets but are not allowed to arrest and don't have the charging authority other jurisdictions would normally have. Then, of course, we see the red zone area that Jordanians, I understand, are attending to. The comments were that they don't speak English or French, and that might very well be a difficulty too.
You commented towards the end of your remarks that it would be better to have civilian police officers than to have soldiers. But here clearly you have an area and a zone that requires heavily armoured vehicles if you are to go into it and where the criminals and thugs have far heavier firepower than normal police officers would utilize in their normal street patrolling.
Has there been an authority problem? Has there been a lack of direction, a lack of coordination to explain why that area hasn't at least been cleaned out and mopped up by a military action to set the stage for policing with light-duty weapons or whatever normal tools police officers have, and to provide some authority to begin the actions of a justice system with authority to arrest? Is there a reason why this hasn't been done? Or what stage has the planning for it reached? Obviously you can't just put police officers on the street under a scenario like that.