WARSAW, Poland, July 9, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada is playing a strong and constructive role in the world by making concrete contributions to international peace and security – including at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
During the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Canada worked closely with our Allies to adjust NATO's strategy to address the evolving security concerns around the world – including Russia's interference in Ukraine, and the arc of instability across the Middle East and North Africa.
At the Summit, Canada and our Allies took steps to enhance NATO's forward presence in Central and Eastern Europe. The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada will join the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany as one of Four Framework Nations that will lead multinational NATO battlegroups in Eastern Europe.
The NATO leaders also agreed to bolster support for Iraq through defence capacity building, and will provide air surveillance capabilities to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. On Canada's behalf, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will contribute to NATO's counter-improvised explosive device (C-IED) capacity building efforts for Iraq.
The Prime Minister and his counterparts also discussed the future of Afghanistan and the important role that NATO must continue to play there. The Government of Canada announced a comprehensive package – worth $465 million – of security support and development assistance to Afghanistan. This funding will be used to sustain the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, to support women's and girls' rights and empowerment, and to help meet the basic needs of Afghans.
"Canada has been a committed member of NATO since the Alliance was founded almost 70 years ago, and all Canadians are safer for it. In Warsaw – together with our Allies and partners – we took important steps that will promote international peace and security, and help us to better respond to today's complex security challenges. Canada's key contributions to NATO, including our decision to establish an enhanced forward presence in Central and Eastern Europe, will reinforce our collective defence and support regional stability."
– Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- The Prime Minister also announced that Canada will periodically deploy air assets to NATO for operational tasks including air policing and bilateral exercises, and will continue to deploy a frigate as part of NATO's maritime task force under the framework of Operation REASSURANCE.
- Allies also met with representatives from Georgia and Ukraine, and affirmed NATO's continued support to these partners.
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CANADA RENEWS ITS SECURITY SUPPORT AND
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TO AFGHANISTAN
On July 9, 2016, the Government of Canada announced a comprehensive package of $465 million in security and development support to Afghanistan. While important progress has been made, Afghanistan remains one of the world's least developed, poorest and most fragile states, and continues to be characterized by pervasive human rights abuses, conflict and violence. This funding will be used to sustain the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF), to support women's and girls' rights and empowerment, and to help meet the basic needs of Afghans.
Security and political stability are key to Afghanistan's ability to meet its citizens' basic needs, strengthen sustainable economic growth, and reduce its aid dependency. Canada will provide $195 million over three years to sustain the ANDSF, and to fulfill the commitment made by NATO in Chicago (2012) of an enduring partnership with Afghanistan.
This funding will contribute to building the ANDSF's capacity, including the recruitment, training and retention of women in Afghanistan's security sector, ensuring respect for international humanitarian law, and the better protection of civilians. These activities are in line with commitments made by Canada and Afghanistan under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Canada has had an active development presence in Afghanistan for decades, and is committed to helping Afghanistan achieve its development goals. These goals include meeting the basic needs and reducing the vulnerability of the Afghan people, especially women and girls.
Building on this commitment, Canada will invest $270 million in development assistance for Afghanistan over the next three years. The funding will be critical to sustaining the progress already made in the country and contributing to a secure and stable Afghanistan.
Through a "Women's and Girls' Rights First" approach to its development assistance programming toward education, health, and human rights, Canada will:
- increase the self-reliance of the Afghan government to deliver basic services to its people;
- help empower women and girls through targeted activities to promote and protect their rights;
- increase access to economic opportunities for women and girls;
- reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to the impact of climate change;
- improve access to health services specifically for women, newborns and children;
- promote reproductive rights; and
- increase access to safe, quality basic education.
Canada, along with other donors, has supported the enrollment of 8.4 million children in Afghan schools. This new funding will help reach the remaining 4 to 5 million children who are not yet enrolled in school.
Canada's continued support to health will further contribute to decreasing the maternal mortality rate in Afghanistan. Canada will also continue to support the promotion and protection of human rights, especially by addressing violence against women and promoting their full participation in society.
SOURCE Prime Minister's Office
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