A map accompanying the June 11 front-page story on NATO's preparations for sending peace-keepers into Kosovo listed a number of countries, including those whose contributions number in the hundreds, but made no mention of Canada and the role its forces are playing. In fact, 1,300 Canadian Forces personnel have now been assigned to Kosovo peacekeeping forces. A Canadian engineering squadron was among the first contingents to enter Kosovo as Serb forces departed. Canada also will provide a reconnaissance squadron, a helicopter detachment and 500 infantry plus tanks.
In keeping with Canada's strong support for the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a Canadian forensic team will follow the initial NATO military contingents into Kosovo. This team will be assisting with the investigation of alleged war crimes before evidence is destroyed or disappears.
Canada contributed 18 CF-18s to the air campaign, flying more than 680 missions. Canadian aircraft participated in the first mission flown by Operation Allied Force and remain on stand-by in Aviano, Italy.
We also have responded generously to appeals from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees for temporary resettlement of refugees, welcoming more than 5,000 Kosovars to Canada. We have provided more than $35 million (U.S.) in humanitarian assistance to Kosovar refugees in the region and to their host countries for emergency support.
For a country with one-tenth the population of the United States, I think Canada's contribution measures up and merits notice.
Embassy of Canada