Backgrounder:
Security and Vulnerabilities

Gatineau, Quebec, March 29, 2010

Global stability and security are affected by conflict, disasters, terrorism, crime, and trafficking in illicit drugs and people. Because of the interdependence of the international community, these problems affect us all. But many countries are not able to deal with such security vulnerabilities. They lack the effective institutions – police, corrections, courts, border controls – that are essential to democratic governance, rule of law and respect for human rights. Canada is working to bring a holistic approach to our programming to help countries to tackle their security vulnerabilities, by helping them strengthen the full range of security institutions that they need, consistent with the principles of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law.

Canada has a long history of helping countries build institutions needed to support security. In Kosovo, Canadian experts were among the first to start building a correctional service in the post-conflict environment. In Haiti, Canadian police have been engaged for decades to help train and mentor local police. And now, on March 31 in New York, we will be working with international partners to help Haiti’s recovery and reconstruction from the devastating earthquake of January 12. In Africa, we have helped to build a network of centres offering peacekeeping training to soldiers and police. We also have specific counter terrorism, and anti-crime programs, that are global in reach, as well as the Global Partnership program to address the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In Afghanistan, Canada’s extensive programming to train the Afghan army and police is complemented by projects that support correctional institutions and courts, particularly in the Province of Kandahar.

But now, we in Canada are doing something unique. Just recently, we brought all these programs into one group, which will allow us to take a more holistic approach, building bridges between our programs. Canada will share its experience with our G8 partners to see how we can all better align our programs to create more effective security systems in some countries.

Examples of Canadian security capacity-building programs managed by DFAIT:

Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program – $15M/year (2009-2014) to strengthen regional cooperation against criminal activity in the Americas. The program coordinates Canadian law enforcement and justice capacity building assistance.

Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program – $13M/year (2005-2014) to provide partners with training, equipment, technical and legal expertise to enable them to prevent and respond to terrorist activity in a manner consistent with their obligations under international law and conventions relating to counter-terrorism and human rights. An additional $6.1M (2009-11) has been allocated for Afghanistan.

The Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) – $169 M in FY2009/10. The objective of the GPSF is to provide financial and operational resources to facilitate timely, effective and accountable conflict prevention, crisis response, peace operations, civilian protection and stabilization activities. It is made up of three constituent programs:

The Global Partnership Program – $1 billion over 10 years. The Global Partnership Program is Canada’s contribution to a G8-led initiative, the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, which aims to prevent terrorist groups and countries of proliferation concern from accessing weapons and materials of mass destruction and related expertise. Focusing initially in Russia to address the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) legacy from the former Soviet Union, the Partnership was expanded by the G8 leaders in 2008 to address WMD proliferation risks worldwide. The Partnership has 23 members that have collectively pledged $20 billion to this initiative. Canada has pledged up to $1 billion to the Global Partnership from fiscal year 2002/03 to 2012/2013. The Partnership supports concrete WMD threat reduction projects in all priority areas: dismantlement of nuclear submarines, chemical weapons destruction, nuclear and radiological security, redirection of former weapons scientists, and biological non-proliferation.

Source: Muskoka 2010 G8 [Official website]