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Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the Purpose of Deploying Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers to the Republic of Guinea

E104948

WHEREAS it is the shared intention of the Government of Canada and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (hereinafter referred to as "UNHCR") to assist the Government of Guinea in ensuring its primary responsibility for maintaining the security of refugees living in camps throughout its territory,

WHEREAS host countries bear primary responsibility for ensuring the safety and security of refugee camps on their territory while the international community can play an important role in helping them meet this responsibility,

WHEREAS the implementation of this Agreement has the full support of the Government of Guinea expressed through its ongoing partnership with UNHCR and reflected within the Protocole d'Accord between the Government of Guinea and UNHCR on the matter of refugee camp security,

WHEREAS the aforementioned partnership is further enhanced through the deployment of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, to UNHCR so as to support UNHCR's internal capacity on refugee security matters in Guinea, and to assist the Guinean Government in its efforts to maintain the civilian and humanitarian character of the refugee camps located throughout its territory,

WHEREAS the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers - as part of the UNHCR team - will work alongside with counterparts in the Guinean Mixed Brigade (composed of national officers of the police and gendarmerie) and will provide specialist advice and technical capacity development to assist the development of refugee camp security strategies in Guinea,

WHEREAS the deployment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers to Guinea is the result of a joint country-level assessment by representatives of UNHCR and the Government of Canada, and follows a series of consultations held with the Government of Guinea in the capital Conakry, and in Kissidougou and N'zerekore,

WHEREAS the deployment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers is consistent with UNHCR's goal of fostering "partnership" strategies in refugee protection and assistance, and is viewed as a "pilot project" that supports UNHCR's evolving approach to refugee security,

WHEREAS, it is imperative that close collaboration with the Government of Guinea's National Bureau for the Co-ordination of Refugees (BNCR) is maintained, as is the support of UNHCR at the country and at the Headquarters level,

NOW THEREFORE THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA (hereinafter referred to as "the Government") and UNHCR (hereinafter jointly referred to as "the Parties") agree as follows:

Article 1

Obligations of the Government

  1. The Government shall make available to UNHCR for the duration and purposes of the present agreement the services of two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers listed in Appendix I hereto (annexed to Appendix I are the Terms of Reference of a Refugee Security Liaison Officer and a Refugee Security Training Officer), to be based in Kissidougou, maintaining a countrywide role and responsibility entailing extensive in-country travel. Changes and modifications to the Appendices may be made with the agreement of the Parties.
  2. The Government shall pay all expenses in connection with the services of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers, including salaries, travel costs to and from Guinea (embarkation/disembarkation), Foreign Service Allowance, Hardship Allowance, Risk Allowance (corresponding to Hazard Pay in UNHCR), Mission Subsistence Allowance (corresponding to SOLAR in UNHCR and which the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, hereinafter referred to as "RCMP", has voluntarily forfeited through the Government), two Family Reunion Travel Allowances and other benefits to which they are entitled.
  3. The Government shall ensure that during the entire period of service under the present agreement, the RCMP officers continue to be eligible for all benefits such as medical and life insurance, service-incurred illness, disability or death including war risk.
  4. The Government, through the Commissioner of the RCMP, may at any time, when the interest of the RCMP so requires, withdraw a RCMP officer deployed under the present agreement. Before taking such action, the Government shall inform UNHCR.
  5. The Government, through the RCMP, shall credit the RCMP officers of 2.5 days annual leave for every calendar month. For the period of Mandatory Absence for the Relief of Stress (MARS) - which at the request of RCMP shall be considered compulsory after every three calendar months - the RCMP officers shall be afforded eight days off, plus two days for travel purposes.

Article 2

Obligations of UNHCR

  1. UNHCR shall provide within existing resources the RCMP officers with appropriate office space, equipment, support staff, IT and telecommunications equipment, transportation and other support necessary to carry out the tasks assigned to them in Guinea.
  2. UNHCR shall cover:
    1. Costs incurred by the RCMP officers undertaking official travel in the discharge of their functions on the same basis as costs incurred by staff members;
    2. Costs incurred by the RCMP officers with respect to their Residential Security Arrangements (as per existing UN rules & regulations);
    3. Operational project expenditures within the limits of existing allocated country-level budgets;
    4. One-time Vacation Travel Allowance up to a maximum sum of $3,901.4l (Canadian dollars) as already established by the Government of Canada's Military Foreign Service AirFare schedule.
  3. UNHCR shall provide the RCMP officers with pre-deployment operational briefings and general orientation in Geneva and in Ottawa.
  4. UNHCR shall not accept any liability for claims for compensation in respect of illness, injury or death of the RCMP officers arising out of or related to the provision of services under the present agreement; except where such illness, injury or death results directly from the gross negligence of the officials or the staff of UNHCR. Any amounts payable by UNHCR shall be reduced by the amounts of any coverage under the insurance referred to in article 1, paragraph 3, of the present agreement.
  5. UNHCR shall make available to the Government of Canada operational reporting related to the function of the RCMP officers and the issue of refugee security within Guinea and the region, during the period of the present agreement.

Article 3

Obligations of the RCMP Officers

  1. The Government agrees to the terms and obligations specified below and shall, as appropriate, ensure that the deployed RCMP officers performing the services under the present agreement comply with those obligations:
    1. The RCMP officers shall perform their functions under the authority, and in full compliance with the instructions of the UNHCR Representative in Conakry, and any person acting on his or her behalf;
    2. The RCMP officers shall undertake to respect the impartiality and independence of UNHCR and shall neither seek nor accept instructions regarding the services performed under the present agreement from any Government or from any authority external to UNHCR or the United Nations;
    3. The RCMP officers shall refrain from any conduct that would adversely reflect on UNHCR and the United Nations and shall not engage in any activity that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of UNHCR;
    4. The RCMP officers shall comply with all relevant rules, regulations, instructions, procedures or directives issued by the United Nations and UNHCR;
    5. The RCMP officers shall exercise the utmost discretion in all matters relating to their functions and shall not communicate, at any time, without the authorisation of the UNHCR Representative, to the media or to any institution, person, any Government or other authority external to UNHCR, any information that has not been made public, and which has become known to them by reason of their association with UNHCR. These obligations do not lapse upon expiration of the present agreement;
    6. The RCMP officers shall sign an undertaking in the form attached to the present agreement as Appendix II.
  2. UNHCR may require the RCMP officers deployed under the present agreement to work beyond their normal eight-hour shift and also work during the weekend, which are normally off, without any compensation from either the RCMP or UNHCR.

Article 4

Legal Status of the RCMP Officers

  1. UNHCR shall not consider in any way and in any respect the RCMP officers as being UNHCR officials or part of its staff.
  2. UNHCR shall consider the RCMP officers, while they perform functions for UNHCR, as "experts on mission" within the meaning of Article VI, Sections 22 and 23, of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

Article 5

Accountability

  1. UNHCR may repatriate the RCMP officers who unsatisfactory perform or fail to conform to the standards of conduct set out above. One-month notice shall be given to the RCMP officers and the Government in such cases.
  2. Any serious breach of the duties and obligations that, in the view of UNHCR, would justify separation before the end of the notice period shall be immediately reported to the Government, with the view to obtaining an immediate cessation of service. UNHCR may decide to limit or bar access to UNHCR premises by the individual involved when the circumstances so warrant.
  3. The Government shall reimburse UNHCR for financial loss or for damage to UNHCR owned equipment or property caused by the RCMP officers if such loss or damage (a) occurred outside the performance of services with UNHCR, or (b) arose or resulted from gross negligence or wilful misconduct or violation or reckless disregard of the applicable rules and policies by the RCMP officers.

Article 6

Third-Party Claims

UNHCR shall be responsible for dealing with claims by third parties where the loss or damage to their property, or death or personal injury, was caused by the actions or omissions of the RCMP officer in the performance of services to UNHCR under the present agreement. However, if the loss, damage, death or injury arose from gross negligence or wilful misconduct of the RCMP Officer, the Government shall be liable to UNHCR for all amounts paid by UNHCR to the claimants and all cost incurred by UNHCR in settling such claims.

Article 7

Consultation and Project Evaluation

  1. UNHCR and the Government shall consult with each other in respect of any matter that may arise in connection with the present agreement.
  2. The goals and specific objectives of the RCMP officers' deployment to Guinea under the present agreement shall be the subject of a mid-term review and an end of project evaluation to be conducted jointly by the Parties.

Article 8

Settlement of Disputes

Any disputes, controversy or claim arising out of, or relating to, the present agreement shall be settled by negotiation or by other mutually agreed mode of settlement.

Article 9

Entry into Force, Duration and Termination

The present agreement shall enter into force upon signature by both Parties, and shall remain in force for the period of one calendar year, unless terminated earlier by either Party upon one month's written notice to the other Party. The present agreement may be extended with the consent of the Parties for a further agreed period.

Article 10

Amendment

The present agreement may be amended by written consent of the Parties. Each Party shall give full consideration to any proposal for an amendment made by another Party.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized, have signed the present agreement.

DONE in Geneva, this 7th day of January 2003, in duplicate, in the English and French languages, each version being equally authentic.

Christopher Westdal
FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

Janet Lim
FOR THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES


Appendix I

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

SECONDED OFFICERS OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE

(Royal Canadian Mounted Police "expert on mission")

Sgt. Bernard Lettre

Sgt. Jacques Marcheterre

Appendix I - Annex I

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (hereinafter referred to as UNHCR)

Terms of Reference

Refugee Security Liaison Officer (RSLO)

(Royal Canadian Mounted Police "expert on mission")

Following consultation with the UNHCR Representative and senior staff in Guinea (including Field Staff Safety Advisors), the Terms of Reference for the RSLO were presented by the Emergency and Security Service of UNHCR's Headquarters in Geneva. The TOR's incorporate technical components as presented by the Guinean Bureau for Refugee Coordination, hereinafter referred to as BCR, and the mixed Brigade for refugee camp security. To achieve operational goals and effectively implement refugee security strategies pertinent to the Guinean situation, the TOR's remain under operational review and subject to adjustment.

With the aim of maintaining the humanitarian and civilian character of the refugee camps, the RSLO has the focal point role in refugee security management and liaison activities. The overall direction of the operational strategy will be in delivering capacity building activities and timely advice to the Government in its primary responsibility for refugee security, and to UNHCR as the mandated United Nations agency for refugee protection.

The planning, application, management and monitoring of international policing standards appropriate to a complex refugee environment will allow UNHCR to directly influence and effectively support the Government in day-to-day engagement in refugee security matters. The over-riding theme of the RSLO's role and time-bound deployment will be in applying capacity-building measures and ensuring effective hand-over of task to a senior Guinean counterpart. Therefore, in order to best advise and assist both the Government and UNHCR in refugee security strategies and its component systems, the RSLO will perform the following functions:

  • Ensure effective liaison between UNHCR, BCR and the Brigade on issues pertaining to refugee security within Guinea;
  • Provide overall refugee security management, oversight and technical assistance to BCR and Brigade counterparts;
  • Analyze existing and planned refugee security arrangements in Guinea and advise on their application and refinement;
  • Provide technical advisory services to the Commanding Officers of the Brigade on refugee security management, adherence to the civilian nature of the refugee population and the preservation of law and order systems within the camps;
  • Develop operational response matrices that will guide both UNHCR and the Government in effectively assessing the refugees' security situation and promote timely and credible responses to threats made on the humanitarian and civilian character of the refugee camps;
  • In close support of the Refugee Security Training Officer, hereinafter referred to as RSTO, assist in the development and implementation of a structured program of training for the Brigade officers and the Refugee Security Volunteers;
  • Consult with UNHCR's implementing partners (the NGO community) on the development of refugee security strategies and relevant issues;
  • Consult on the development and management of a specific and adequate refugee security operational budget for Guinea;
  • Together with the RSTO, develop standard instructions and a 'Code of Conduct' for the Brigade and Refugee Security Volunteers and promote its consistent application throughout all the camps;
  • Introduce and develop incident reporting systems consistent in application throughout all the camps and a centralized security incident database as a tool for monitoring, analyzing and improving refugee security. The system(s) and institutionalized structure should consider
    • the nature and sources of threats to the humanitarian and civilian character of the camps as well as the threat of general lawlessness;
    • the capacity and intent of local law enforcement authorities and agencies;
    • the involvement of the refugee population in the maintenance of acceptable standards of law and order in camps in a manner that conforms with the principles of community policing.
  • Ensure collaborative planning, complementary strategies and joint activities with UNHCR's Field Safety Advisors in Guinea;
  • Initiate a mid-term evaluation of the application and effectiveness of the joint Royal Canadian Mounted Police/UNHCR refugee security strategy in Guinea;
  • Report directly to UNHCR's Country Representative (albeit, through the Head of Sub- Office) and provide timely analytical advice and professional opinion on refugee camp security matters in Guinea.

Appendix I - Annex II

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Terms of Reference Refugee Security Training Officer

(Royal Canadian Mounted Police "expert on mission")

The Terms of Reference of the Refugee Security Training Officer reflect a core objective of the proposed Royal Canadian Mounted Police secondment to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, hereinafter referred to as UNHCR, and deployment to the Republic of Guinea. With the aim of assisting the host Government - specifically the mixed Brigade (officers of the police and gendarmerie) - in refugee camp security mechanisms, the Refugee Security Training Officer, hereinafter referred to as the RSTO, function is supportive of and complementary to the role and responsibilities of the Refugee Security Liaison Officer, hereinafter referred to as RSLO.

Advising the Government of the Republic of Guinea in ensuring its primary responsibility for refugee security, the operational strategy will be in capacity building measures and specific training activities. In close consultation with the RSLO and the Brigade Liaison Officer (the national counterpart of the RSLO), the RSTO will perform the following functions:

  • In collaboration with UNHCR staff, the RSTO will plan, develop and assist in the implementation of a structured program entailing specific training modules for the Brigade officers and the Refugee Security Volunteers. In doing so, the RSTO must ensure that key refugee protection issues are incorporated within the curriculum. Topics would include the fundamentals of international protection and human rights, sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) and gender awareness, conflict resolution, security-management systems, policing techniques and community-policing strategies;
  • Assist the RSLO in developing standard instructions and a 'Code of Conduct' for the Brigade officers and the Refugee Security Volunteers and ensure a consistent application throughout all the camps;
  • Assist the RSLO in the development of a standardized incident reporting system and a centralized database as a tool for monitoring, analyzing and improving refugee security within the camps;
  • Provide appropriate technical assistance to the mixed Brigade;
  • Ensure collaborative planning with the UNHCR Field Safety Advisors (FSA) in the context of refugee security training and management activities;
  • Participate in a mid-term evaluation of the application and effectiveness of the joint RCMP/UNHCR refugee security program in Guinea;
  • Report through the RSLO to the UNHCR Country Representative and provide technical advice and professional opinion on refugee security matters in Guinea.

Appendix II

I, the undersigned, as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, hereinafter referred to as the RCMP, personnel made available by the Government of Canada to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, hereinafter referred to as UNHCR, pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of Canada and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the Purpose of Deploying Two Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officers to the Republic of Guinea, hereby undertake to abide by the following:

  1. I understand that, as a member of the personnel of the RCMP, I shall not be considered in any respect as being an official or a staff member of the UNHCR;
  2. I further understand that, while performing functions for the UNHCR, I will be considered as an "expert on mission" within the meaning of article VI, sections 22 and 23, of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations;
  3. I shall perform my functions under the authority of, and in full compliance with the instructions of, the UNHCR Representative in Conakry, or any person acting on his or her behalf;
  4. I shall respect the impartiality and independence of the UNHCR and shall not seek nor accept instructions regarding my functions as a RCMP personnel made available to UNHCR from any Government or from any authority external to the United Nations;
  5. I shall refrain from any conduct that would adversely reflect on the UNHCR and shall not engage in any activity that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the UNHCR or the exercise of my functions;
  6. I shall exercise the utmost discretion in all matters relating to my functions and shall not communicate, at any time, without the authorization of the UNHCR Representative in Conakry to the media or to any other institution, person, Government or other authority external to the UNHCR, any information that has not been made public, and which has become known to me by reason of my functions. I shall not use any such information without the authorization of the UNHCR Representative in Conakry, and, in any event, such information shall not be used for personal gain. These obligations do not lapse upon termination of my assignment;
  7. I shall comply with all rules, regulations, procedures, instructions or directives issued by the UNHCR and the UNHCR Representative in Conakry.

______________________
Name printed in block letters

______________________
Signature

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Date