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Peacekeeping and involvement in Decommissioning in NI

2019-05-12

Peacekeeping and involvement in Decommissioning in NI

A.J.G.D. (John) de Chastelain, twice Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, Ambassador to the US, head of the International Commission on Decommissioning in Northern Ireland.

As CDS, de Chastelain led the CANADIAN FORCES through the end of the COLD WAR, the Oka Crisis and the Gulf War. During the Oka Crisis of 1990, de Chastelain's negotiations were key to resolving the dispute. His handling of the crisis also increased the military's accountability to the public. De Chastelain initiated daily press conferences to report on the situation and answer media questions. By reporting directly to the citizenry, he increased the extent to which military action is held up for public scrutiny.

In 1995 de Chastelain retired from the Canadian Forces. His decorations include Commander of the Order of Military Merit, Officer of the ORDER OF CANADA, and Commander of the Order of St. John.

He was appointed to the International Body on the Decommissioning of Arms in Northern Ireland. In 1997 he was asked to chair the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, which oversees the disarmament of paramilitary forces in the troubled area. Negotiations with the combatants have been difficult. Although the IRA claims to be "committed to the search for a just and lasting peace" the group has cut off contact with the commission twice, in February 2000 and in October 2002.

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