Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced Canadian support for new and ongoing projects that will enhance peace, security and justice in Colombia and the region. Areas of focus include preventing conflict, combating transnational criminal activity, facilitating access to justice, responding to the global threat of terrorism, ensuring security at major events and land restitution. The announcement was made during an official visit with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
“In recent years, Colombia has made significant progress in its fight against crime and violence,” said the Prime Minister. “Canada supports for the efforts of the Colombian government to provide peace, security and justice for its citizens.”
Canada’s contribution will support several new and ongoing projects led by Canadian and international organizations.Funding for projects will be provided through programs such as:
- The Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF): Managed by the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START), the GPSF provides financial and operational resources that contribute to conflict prevention and peace building, including justice and security system reform initiatives in acutely fragile and crisis-affected countries. The contributions announced today build on $25 million already invested in Colombia’s peace and security sectors since 2006.
- The Anti-Crime Capacity-Building Program (ACCBP): Launched by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2009, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s ACCBP provides up to $15 million a year to enhance the capacity of countries to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational criminal activity throughout the Americas.
- The Counter-Terrorism Capacity-Building Program (CTCBP): Created in 2005, the CTCBP has a $13 million annual allocation to provide other states with training, equipment and technological and legal assistance to help them prevent and respond to global terrorist activity. The principal focus of the program includes law enforcement, military and intelligence cooperation; border and transportation security; and legislative assistance.
The peace and security measures announced today aim to enhance regional stability and security and are consistent with the Government’s Engagement in the Americas strategy. The strategy is focused on three objectives: reinforcing democratic governance, increasing economic prosperity and advancing our common security.
While in Bogotá, the Prime Minister also announced that Colombia has been admitted as a member of Canada’s Military Training and Cooperation Program for its 2011-2014 cycle.
“Canada welcomes the opportunity to increase our cooperation and exchanges with Colombia in the defence field,” said Prime Minister Harper. “Colombia is a very significant addition to this program, which will assist in building its military’s capabilities of supporting international peace and security operations.”