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Cablegate: Canada and the Burma Conference

VZCZCXRO2424
OO RUEHDT RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHPB RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHOT #0701/01 1441953
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231953Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7907
INFO RUCNCAN/ALL CANADIAN POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2244
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1350
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0061
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0418
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 2367
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 0452
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1519
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 3354
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0252
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0425
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 OTTAWA 000701

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

EAP/MLS (COPE)

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID PGOV PHUM CA BM
SUBJECT: CANADA AND THE BURMA CONFERENCE

REF: A. SECSTATE 55244

B. OTTAWA 646
C. OTTAWA 621

1. (SBU) Canada will highlight its current Cyclone Nargis aid
pledges (see paragraph 2 and ref b) at the May 25 UN-ASEAN
Conference in Rangoon and will stress the need for increasing
access for international relief efforts in Burma, Foreign
Affairs and International Trade's (DFAIT) Director of
Humanitarian Affairs and Disasters Response Group Leslie
Norton told Econcouns in response to ref A points on May 23.
Norton said Canada will be represented in Rangoon by the
Director General of DFAIT's Stabilization and Reconstruction
Task Force (START) Secretariat, Robert Derouin. Derouin is
one of three START members who have been granted seven-day
visas by the Burmese regime and who are currently in country,
Norton said. She also commented that Canada believes that
needs assessment work would naturally follow once
humanitarian access is achieved. Norton said Canada wants to
keep political concerns separate from humanitarian relief
efforts, and has no plans to issue a statement regarding the
next round of Burma's constitutional referendum or the
expected renewal of Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest.

2. (U) Earlier on May 23, Minister for International
Cooperation Beverley Oda announced additional Canadian
humanitarian support for "the people of Burma."

Begin announcement text:

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International
Cooperation, today announced that the Government of Canada is
partnering with the United Nations and Canadian and
international organizations to provide much-needed additional
humanitarian assistance to the people of Burma affected by
the cyclone that devastated the country.

"Our government remains deeply concerned about the growing
impact of the cyclone on the people of Burma and we are
pleased to see Canadian aid entering the country," said
Minister Oda. "We are working with the United Nations and
other trusted Canadian and international organizations to
provide supplementary relief efforts such as food
distribution and critical shelter, health and nutrition, and
water and sanitation initiatives."

This additional support will be going to trusted Canadian and
international partners with direct access to the affected
population. Although Canadian aid is getting through to the
people of Burma, Canada will continue to urge Burmese
authorities to provide full and unhindered access to
humanitarian organizations to allow them to assist with
relief efforts.

Minister Oda made this announcement alongside David Morley,
Chief Executive Officer for Save the Children Canada - one of
the Canadian non-governmental organizations that the
Government is partnering with to help the people of Burma.

"Save the Children's partnership with the Government of
Canada will mean that we can extend our existing relief
efforts to provide mobile health services to 90,000 people in
the Irawaddy Delta," stated David Morley, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Save the Children Canada. "Save the
Children has been operational in Burma for 13 years and has
hundreds of local staff providing food, water, plastic
Qhundreds of local staff providing food, water, plastic
sheeting, malaria nets, temporary safe play areas, and school
tents to over 160,000 cyclone survivors."

The additional support today means that up to $12 million
will be added to Canada's initial $2 million contribution for
immediate relief efforts made on May 8, 2008 and to funds
that will be raised through the Burma Cyclone Relief Fund
announced last week.

End announcement text.


OTTAWA 00000701 002 OF 002


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