Haiti

Elections Canada to oversee election observer mission to Haïti

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Ottawa - International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll and Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew today announced that Elections Canada has been selected to put in place an international mission to oversee the electoral process in Haïti. The Canadian International Development Agency is contributing up to $3.5 million to this initiative.

The Ministers made the announcement at the beginning of the two-day International Montreal Conference on Haïti, hosted by the Canadian Government. The Conference brings together representatives of the Transitional Government of Haïti, donor countries, financial institutions, and international and regional organizations and is co-chaired by the governments of Canada and Haïti.

"Democracy is a fundamental right and Canada is committed to promoting democratic values in Haïti," Minister Carroll said. "The international committee will bring credibility to the democratic process during the upcoming elections in Haïti, which will be a turning point in the country's history."

"Today, Haïti again finds itself at a crossroads," stated Minister Pettigrew. "The elections will provide an opportunity for a new start. The international assessment mission for the elections will enable Haitians to have full confidence in the democratic process. Canada stands ready to help the Haitian people meet this important challenge."

Previous to the International Montreal Conference on Haiti, Elections Canada hosted a technical Forum where participants from a number of countries were able to discuss the guidelines for the election observation mission.

Members of the mission include representatives from Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Panama, the United States, Jamaica and Canada.

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 Federal Budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

Information

Andrew Graham, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of International Cooperation, Telephone: (819) 953-6238

Media Relations Office, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Telephone: (819) 953-6534, E-mail: info@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Sébastien Théberge, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Telephone: (613) 995-1851

Media Relations Office, Foreign Affairs Canada, Telephone: (613) 995-1874