The Peace and Stabilization Operations Program
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Canada is a determined peacebuilder. We have a long history as a contributor to international peace, security and stability. Taking concrete actions to prevent and respond to conflicts abroad and to support UN peace operations in building a more peaceful and prosperous world, the Government of Canada announced on August 26, 2016, the launch of Global Affairs Canada’s new Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs). The new PSOPs will have a budget of $450 million over three years. Through PSOPs Canada works with allies and partners to help:
- stop violence
- provide security
- create space for dialogue and conflict resolution
Communities can then work towards recovering their livelihoods and rebuild.
Conflict in an inter-connected world
Violent conflict is complex and evolves quickly. The world is more inter-connected, so conflict in one location has impacts elsewhere.
Around 1.5 billion people around the world live in fragile or conflict-affected states. The world has learned at great cost the risks posed by conflict and fragility, if left unaddressed.
Working together for conflict prevention
Promoting peace, security and stability is complex and carries high risk. It requires flexible and integrated approaches. Partnerships are necessary to tackle such global security challenges that threaten Canada as well as international peace and stability. Political solutions are at the heart of conflict resolution. They must come from local societies themselves.
PSOPs enables Canada to work with the international community to help local societies to forge pathways out of conflict and fragility towards peace and stability. This way they can start to rebuild their lives through:
- better support to conflict prevention
- dialogue, mediation and reconciliation
- capable, accountable and inclusive institutions
Canada’s toolkit for promoting international peace and stability
PSOPs is part of Canada’s toolkit for promoting international peace, security and stability. It complements life-saving humanitarian assistance by helping to address the factors that created the conflict or violence in the first place. It also helps local governments to address the needs of their own people.
PSOPs can lay the groundwork for longer-term development cooperation. By helping to resolve conflicts, PSOPs helps to safeguard the benefits of development. In addition, PSOPs supports the efforts of the newly-established Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion (OHRFI). The promotion of human rights, freedoms and inclusion is a core objective of Canada’s foreign policy.
PSOPs complements the work of other security programs delivered by Global Affairs Canada, namely the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program and the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program.
PSOPs coordinates the government’s implementation of Canada's National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, and actively promotes the role of women in conflict resolution.
Making peace operations more effective
PSOPs serves as a platform for delivering on Canada’s commitment to strengthening the capabilities of United Nations and partner peace operations. Canada’s approach to peace operations has four core elements:
- Provides Canadian personnel and training for UN peace operations;
- Strengthens Canadian support to for conflict prevention, mediation, and peacebuilding efforts;
- Advances the roles of women and youth in the promotion of peace and security;
- And supports UN reform efforts to make peace operations more effective, with a particular focus on the prevention of and accountability for sexual exploitation and abuse.
PSOPs prioritizes early warning and conflict prevention, and has the protection of civilians as a unifying theme.
Leading on stabilization and fragile states policy
PSOPs supports a strong Canadian voice on the world stage to influence and shape dialogue and collective action among allies and partners, particularly at the United Nations.
To this effect, Canada aims to enhance its advocacy efforts in global policy forums and initiatives, such as:
- UN reforms on sustaining peace, particularly peace operations
- the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- the 2011 New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States
We also advocate for improved compliance with international humanitarian law to:
- enhance the protection of civilians from armed conflict, particularly of women and girls from sexual and gender-based violence
We work to help prevent mass atrocities, notably by working with allies and partners, and this includes improving early warning and conflict analysis. Promoting the role of women in conflict resolution will be an important part of our support to peacebuilding efforts.
Responding to conflicts and crises abroad
PSOPs coordinates government responses to catastrophic natural disasters and complex political crises abroad. Its leadership of fast inter-departmental emergency assessments of disaster areas is an important part of this responsibility.
For political crises in particular, PSOPs supports information sharing, joint analysis, and the coordination of diplomatic, military, security, and development efforts to ensure that they are mutually reinforcing. It also ensures they are coherent with the efforts of the international community.
PSOPs retains sufficient flexibility in order to be able to address unforeseen events and needs.
Designing and delivering stabilization initiatives
PSOPs provides visible and concrete assistance in the form of quick and flexible funding to undertake stabilization activities.
Programming - $118 million per year in grants and contributions to advance key international peace and stability priorities, such as:
- reinforcing police reform efforts in Ukraine
- reducing tensions among communities in Lebanon hosting Syrian refugees
- supporting the implementation of the Colombian peace plan
- facilitating the return of civilians to their homes in newly liberated areas of Iraq through stabilization activities, including clearing of landmines and other explosives
- supporting stabilization operations in Mali
- providing assistance to the Afghanistan National Security and Defence Forces
- strengthening accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide
- supporting United Nations peace operations and Peacebuilding efforts
- championing the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
Priorities are determined on the basis of consultations and analysis.
PSOPs manages the deployment of Canadian police and civilian experts to areas in need.
Deployments – $17 million per year has been allocated for expert deployments. This includes:
- the deployment of Canadian police officers, managed in conjunction with Public Safety and the RCMP through the International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program
- the deployment of civilian experts for technical support to international organizations or for rapid response to crises and natural disasters
Building on experience
PSOPs builds on more than a decade of experience and achievements by its predecessor, the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START). It draws on lessons learned by Canada and the wider international community on how best to promote peace, security and stability.
To fulfil its responsibilities and commitments, PSOPs will work closely with partners in these areas, both inside and outside of government. More details on the Peace and Stabilization Operations Program, including its geographic and thematic priorities, working methods, and structures will be available shortly.
- New deal – building peaceful states
- United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations
- OECD DAC – Conflict and Fragility
- International Police Peacekeeping and Peace Operations Program
- International Dialogue for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding
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