CANADEM's Deployments to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine


Since early 2014, Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity have been challenged by Russian-supported armed rebel groups in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as the Russian de facto annexation of Crimea. The non-government controlled areas of Donetsk and Luhansk have self-proclaimed themselves as Republics, holding illegitimate referendums in May 2014 and elections in November 2018. Tensions between Ukraine and the Russian Federation remain high but chances at a negotiated settlement to the conflict have increased in 2019 and 2020 due to the renewed Normandy format peace negotiations under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The conflict has displaced more than 1.5 million people, two-thirds of them being women and children. There are currently 800,000 civilians living near the Line of Contact in Eastern Ukraine, 600,000 of which reside in an area not under the control of the Ukrainian government. Many of these are elderly.

On 22 March 2014, following a request by the Government of Ukraine, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) deployed a Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine mandated to reduce tensions and help foster peace, stability and security. The mission monitors the progress of the Minsk Protocol (5 September 2014) and the Minsk Memorandum (19 September 2014), including the ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the Donbas and other agenda items.


The Government of Canada has made commitments to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity and democratic development, and to support the SMM in restoring peace and security in Eastern Ukraine. As part of its commitments to the OSCE, Global Affairs Canada has been supporting the secondment and deployment of Canadian experts to the SMM through CANADEM.

CANADEM’s role is to:

  • Act as the Seconding Authority to the OSCE SMM on behalf of Canada

  • Screen and support the selection of Canadian experts to the OSCE SMM

  • Provide pre-deployment briefing to the selected Canadian experts

  • Deploy the selected Canadian experts to Ukraine, including all logistics and travel arrangements

  • Provide on-going support to the Canadian experts throughout their mission, including field visits and other duty of care activities

There are currently 41 Canadian experts seconded to the SMM. The Canadian experts play a crucial role in making the SMM a success and providing much needed assistance to the people of Eastern Ukraine.

For more information on the OSCE

For more information on the OSCE SMM in Ukraine, visit the Mission’s website:

OSCE SMM Mandate:

OSCE SMM Flickr:

Apply to an OSCE seconded positon: