Mr. Speaker, I thank the hon. member for Rosedale for his interest in this issue.
Indeed Canada can be proud of its key contribution to the technical organization to the elections that were held in Bosnia on September 14. Voting took place in a positive, non-violent fashion, free of systematic obstruction. The elections constituted an essential and reasonably democratic first step toward institution building and democratization in Bosnia.
Twenty-two Canadian electoral experts were seconded to the OSCE mission in Bosnia, many in senior positions. Canada also contributed to the larger international effort to supervise and observe the elections in Bosnia. We provided to the OSCE 15
election supervisors and 30 election observers. Another 32 Canadians engaged with the UN also helped supervise the elections.
Mr. Izatbegovic has been confirmed as the chair of the new three-person presidency of Bosnia. We congratulate all three members of the new presidency and encourage them to move quickly once the other election results are confirmed to put in place the common institutions established by the Dayton peace agreement and to implement all aspects of the agreement.
Canada is committed to helping the parties face the enormous challenge of this post-election consolidation period. We will do so through our engagement in the peace implementation process, our IFOR contribution and through our reconstruction program in the former Yugoslavia.
Canada participates fully in international efforts to ensure a lasting peace to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and to provide relief to its victims. Since the signing of the peace agreement for Bosnia and Hercegovina and the agreement on the peaceful reintegration of Serb controlled territory in Croatia, Canada has focused its efforts on promoting security as well as social and economic rehabilitation.
Since January 1996 Canada has maintained about 1,000 troops in Bosnia and Hercegovina as part of the NATO led peace implementation force, IFOR.
Canada's humanitarian assistance to the victims of the conflicts amounted to over $65 million between 1991 and 1995. These funds purchased and delivered food, medical supplies, clothing and shelter. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister for International Co-operation announced in April 1996 that Canadian reconstruction assistance would total up to $40 million this year.
Finally, on the issue of war crimes, Canada has consistently led and supported efforts to investigate and prosecute cases involving war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.