A passion for international policing
It is with profound sadness that we acknowledge the death of Chief Superintendant Douglas Coates in the recent earthquake in Haiti.
A contributor to Vanguard when he was head of the RCMP’s International Peace Operations Branch in 2007, C/Supt Coates was serving as the Acting Commissioner of Operations for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) when the quake caused the collapse of the UN headquarters in which he was stationed.
Over a 32-year career with the RCMP, Coates held a variety of positions across Canada, from providing policing services to rural and First Nations communities in Alberta, to specialized mountain search and rescue, to the Emergency Response Team, to heading the proceeds of crime unit in Quebec.
It is his passion for international policing, however, for which Coates is most remembered. He was first deployed to the UN mission to Haiti in 1993, but was soon evacuated along with the rest of the contingent due to security threats. He returned for a second mission the following year and succeeded in opening five police stations in the Grand Anse region, re-establishing police services for the estimated 800,000 citizens of that area.
That marked the beginning of a brilliant career in international policing and peace operations. In 1996, he assumed responsibility for the management of Canadian police deployments on behalf of the RCMP. He subsequently undertook secondments to the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in Ottawa and the Australian Federal Police. After heading up the International Peace Operations Branch in 2007, he returned once more to Haiti in June 2009.
Coates is the recipient of a Canadian peacekeeping service medal, a Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, a 30-year silver clasp and the police exemplary service medal. In 1995, he also received a medal for his work with the UN mission to Haiti.
In his eulogy, RCMP Commissioner William Elliott indicated his pride in the passion, courage and commitment demonstrated by Coates as he and his colleagues pursued Canada’s mission to help establish law and order and help the people of Haiti live better lives. “Doug was a good man doing important work in a dangerous place risking his life to improve the lives of others.”
Coates often closed his meetings and correspondence with the words: “Working together in the service of peace.” He will be missed.
The fate of UN peace building
When the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) was created in 2006, it was tasked with addressing the “special needs of countries emerging from conflict towards recovery, reintegration and reconstruction and to assist them in laying the foundation for sustainable development.”
Has it succeeded? It’s a question the UN will formally assess later this year when it conducts a performance review of the PBC.
But to stimulate “fresh thinking” and explore how the PBC might better do its job, the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs have partnered on a project in which leading academics and practitioners have been asked to identify “stretch targets” for the PBC over the next several years.
Among the distinguished contributors are former Canadian diplomat Carolyn McAskie, a past Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding at the UN and now a senior fellow with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, and Necla Tschirgi, a former senior policy advisor to the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and now a research associate with CIPS. McAskie provides a vision for future UN peacebuilding architecture while Tschirgi proposes a multi-tired approach for the UN’s peacbuilding commission.
All nine papers are available at: http://www.socialsciences.uottawa.ca/cepi-cips/eng/pbc.asp
After the Soviets are gone: What of continental defence?
In 1996, Joseph Jockel and Joel Sokolsky posited “an end [to] the cold war cooperation between Canada and the United States in the defence of the West.” It should have attracted a flurry of analysis, but to a large extent the post-Cold War defence relationship between Canada and the U.S. has flown under the radar.
While numerous changes have taken place in recent years, it’s not yet clear whether the relationship is undergoing a significant transformation, Dr. James Ferguson, deputy director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba, suggests in a recent paper for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute.
In “Beneath the Radar: Change and Transformation in the Canada-U.S. North American Defence Relationship,” he finds two schools of thought: an optimistic status quo and a pessimistic revisionist one. While both schools agree the Cold War relationship was a product of threats posed by the Soviet Union, “they fundamentally disagree on the implications of changes which have occurred in the wake of the demise of the Soviet threat.” The optimists suggest the changes are a basic evolution in an evolving environment, and “have had little effect on fundamentals and Canadian strategic interests.” The pessimists, however, argue “these changes reflect a significant divergence” in how the two countries perceive continental defence, and “are transforming the relationship through the process of re-nationalization with negative effects on Canadian strategic interests.”
The paper is available at: www.cdfai.org.
ON THE MOVE
BGen Anthony Stack assumed command of Land Force Atlantic Area during a ceremony in January, taking over from BGen David Neasmith. Stack had been serving as deputy commander of LFAA, which is responsible for approximately 7,000 Regular and Reserve Force and civilian personnel in 34 locations across the four Atlantic provinces, augmented by 40 Ranger patrols in Newfoundland and Labrador…
Peter Cory, a former Justice of the Supreme Court, was appointed commissioner of the Office of the Communications Security Establishment Commissioner. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, he served as Chancellor of York University until 2008…
Senator Raynell Andreychuk led a Canadian team of over 200 observers for the second round of Ukraine’s presidential election. The mission was organized by CANADEM with funding from CIDA…
Carol Anne Lee was named to the board of directors of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, a not-for-profit think tank focused on Canada’s relations with Asia…
Denis Desautels was appointed to a second term as a member of the Board of Governors of the International Development Research Centre…
Donald W. Young resigned as a board member of OSI Geospatial and as chair of the audit committee. Steve M. Barnett, president of CDC and a current board member, will step in as chair of the committee…
The Honourable Joseph Comuzzi was appointed Canadian commissioner of the International Joint Commission. A six-term member of Parliament, he chaired the Standing Committee on Transport, the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group, and the Cabinet Committee on Canada-U.S. relations…
Rémy M. Beauregard, president of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Rights & Democracy), died in January. A former senior official in the Ontario public service, he was appointed president in July 2008.