The Global Peace and Security Fund
Canada is committing to renew its Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF) support in Colombia, at $5 million annually, for another year. The contributions announced today build on $25 million already invested in Colombia’s peace and security sectors since 2006. The following new and ongoing projects will benefit from the renewed funding:
Mission to Support the Peace Process (MAPP)
The MAPP was created by the Organization of American States (OAS) at the request of the Colombian government and it is the key entity that ensures the credibility, impartiality and effectiveness of Colombia’s demobilization, disarmament and reintegration (DDR) program, and the Justice and Peace Law process. It has 14 field offices that monitor and document programs for demobilized combatants and victims, as well as assist ex-combatants and victims in accessing reintegration and justice activities at the local level. Since President Santos declared land restitution a priority for his government in August 2010, the program has the new role of independently documenting this process and ensuring its effectiveness. Canada is contributing $1 million, as part of a $2-million project over the next two years.
Programme for the Strengthening of the Justice System
This is a coordinated, multi-donor program, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), that provides financial and policy support to Colombian government institutions responsible for implementing the Justice and Peace Law (JPL). It funds initiatives such as: integrated victim attention centres; training and specialists in the Attorney General’s Office and Public Defender’s Office; providing protection and security for victims and witnesses facing threats; and facilitating victims’ participation in judicial processes for ex-combatants, such as the public confessions of paramilitary commanders. Canada is contributing $538,000 this year, as part of a $1-million project.
Implementation of the National Land Restitution Policy
This project supports the International Organization for Migration and the Colombian Ministry of Agriculture to implement Colombia’s new Land Restitution Policy in seven pilot municipalities in the Montes de María region in the province of Sucre. Through this project, about 750 families that were forcibly displaced by armed groups will receive legal land titles and will be allowed to return to their land. Canada is providing $488,000 this year.
Access to Justice for Indigenous Communities and other Victims of Conflict
The Canadian non-governmental organization, Avocats Sans Frontières (Lawyers Without Borders), works with several human rights lawyers’ groups in Colombia to provide legal representation to victims of armed groups and human rights violations, build coordinated legal strategies nationally and internationally, and provide volunteer Canadian lawyers to accompany Colombian lawyers facing threats due to their work. Canada is contributing $620,000 this year, as part of a three-year project of $1.9 million.
Legal Aid and Counselling for Women Victims of Sexual Violence in Colombia’s Conflict
Implemented by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), this project focuses on women who are forcibly displaced and suffer stigma attached to sexual violence. It brings together five women’s and legal aid organizations to coordinate their documentation, prosecution strategies, and victim support work. The project funds lawyers to represent the female victims, psychologists to provide trauma counselling to the victims, and researchers to document and analyse the nature and extent of sexual violence by armed groups in Colombia. Canada has contributed $728,000 to this project over the past 1.5 years.
Resolving Cases of Missing Persons in Colombia’s Conflict
This project funds EQUITAS (Colombian Interdisciplinary Team for Forensic Work and Psychosocial Services), a specialized civil society organization to investigate and document cases of missing people, mostly victims of forced disappearance by armed groups. It provides training and coordination with government forensic and justice agencies, builds minimum standards for investigations, and provides counselling and support to victims’ families. Canada has contributed $473,000 to this project over the past 1.5 years.
Advancing Justice through use of Ex-Combatant Voluntary Confessions
This project funds a specialized report that compiles the evidence released through the voluntary confessions of demobilized combatants, documents and analyzes the nature, extent, and patterns of the actions of armed groups. This report will be used by prosecutors and judges working on these cases, and will increase media and public understanding of these crimes. The project is being implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the National Commission for Reparations and Reconciliation. Canada has contributed $300,000 to this project over the past two years.
Legal Assistance to Victims
This project funds lawyers of the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ) as well as lawyers to represent victims of conflict – notably, rural Colombians, indigenous people, Afro-Colombians, and women – in legal cases within the national and international justice systems. Canada has contributed $500,000 to this project over the past two years.
Regional Independent Policy and Advocacy on Peace and Security
The International Crisis Group provides independent policy-oriented conflict analysis on the changing balance of power and politics in Colombia’s ongoing conflict as well as analysis on implications for peace, and links between security and human rights policy in the resolution of Colombia’s conflict. It also provides an early warning function on emerging conflict situations and advocates for key actions and policy responses by the international community. Canada is contributing $638,000 to this project over two years.
Security in Colombia and the Region
The following projects will benefit from a contribution of over $5.5 million through Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity-Building Program (ACCBP) and the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP):
Combating Trafficking of Persons in Colombia
This project seeks to strengthen Colombia's capacity to develop and implement sustainable and coordinated actions such as enhanced prosecutions and law reform in order to prevent and combat human trafficking. Activities include: training legal professionals and law enforcement; technical legal assistance; and meetings on local sustainability plans. Canada’s contribution to this initiative, which is implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), totals $194,700 from the ACCBP.
Improving Border Management and Law Enforcement
This project aims to enhance the capacities of law enforcement and migration officers in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia to fight transnational crime. Specifically, activities include: training to prevent human trafficking and migrant smuggling; development of learning materials for future training; qualitative border studies; regional cooperation on border management; and, the development of an information campaign to raise awareness about transnational crimes among the population. Canada’s contribution to this initiative, through the ACCBP, is over $397,000 and is currently being implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Protecting Major Events
This project aims to enforce the permanent mechanism of cooperation among all OAS Member States for security planning and protection of major events. The main objective is to boost new mechanisms, tools, and activities, for the protection of major events that could be the target of criminal activities or other security threats. Canada has committed over $2.29 million from the ACCBP to the OAS for the implementation of this initiative.
Legal Regime against Terrorism in Colombia
The goal of this project is to support Colombia in reviewing its judicial system and providing assistance in drafting legislation for international initiatives against terrorism. By assisting Colombia in further implementing the UN conventions and protocols against terrorism (including activities, incidents and financing), these instruments will become more universal and create a more effective international environment for combating terrorism. Canada is contributing over $694,000 for this project from the CTCBP to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for its implementation.
Cyber Security Program
This project, implemented by the OAS, is focused on assisting states in the Americas to prevent, monitor and respond to cyber threats by enhancing national-level planning and coordination, as well as regional cooperation. Through this project, states are encouraged to join the OAS Secure Hemispheric Network of Cyber Security Incident-Response Teams (CSIRTs). Canada is contributing over $1.2 million from the CTCBP.
Response to Emerging Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Threats
This second phase of the OAS project on Emerging CBRN threats focuses on designing and simulating realistic exercises to examine contingency planning and mitigation strategies in Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago. These exercises are intended to prepare and improve contingency plans, and promote interagency coordination. They also focus on bioterrorism, an area identified as an emerging threat by OAS members. The exercises will target senior policymakers and technical experts from OAS Member States. Canada has committed over $938,000 from the CTCBP to the OAS for this initiative.
Military Training and Cooperation Program
The Department of National Defence’s (DND) Military Assistance Steering Committee Working Group has admitted Colombia as a member of Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) for its 2011-2014 cycle.
There is significant potential to develop defence ties between Colombia and Canada in areas such as military training and education, domestic and international operations, human rights, military justice, and defence governance. The Program will help support Colombia’s achievements in the areas of governance and security and its leadership role in the region.
The Military Training and Cooperation Program (MTCP) is one of Canada’s primary instruments of military diplomacy designed to support Canada’s contribution to international peace and security through training programs. Training is provided to approximately 1,000 students annually from more than 62 member states.
The MTCP key objectives are to:
With an annual budget of approximately $17 million, the program runs courses in Canada and abroad.
The MTCP is managed by an interdepartmental working group, composed of stakeholders from Department of National Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Public Safety Canada, and the Canadian International Development Agency.