Lieutenant General and senator, Roméo A. Dallaire, has had a distinguished career in the Canadian military, achieving the rank of Lieutenant General and becoming Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources) in the Department of National Defence in 1998. In 1994, General Dallaire commanded the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). His book on his experiences in Rwanda, entitled Shake Hands with the Devil: the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004. It has garnered numerous international literary awards, and inspired a full-length film which was released in 2007.
He will undoubtedly carry on his approach to inform the general public, the elected officials and the media on the related questions to the human rights and genocide prevention. He encourages people like you, residents of a very advanced country, to get involved with non-profit organizations and humane organizations who take actions in favour of people in difficult situations, to support communication and to make known his alarming questions.
Since his retirement of the military, Lieutenant General Dallaire strives to increase the general public, the elected officials and the media awareness to the questions relating on human rights, genocide prevention and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has also been a visiting lecturer at several Canadian and American universities and has written several articles and chapters in publications on conflict resolution, humanitarian assistance and human rights. As a Fellow of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, pursuing research on conflict resolution and the use of child soldiers.
Senator Dallaire has received numerous honours and awards, including Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002, Grand Officer of the National Order of Québec in 2005, and the Aegis Award for Genocide Prevention from the Aegis Trust (United Kingdom). He has also been named a Fellow of the Ryerson Polytechnic University and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and has received honorary doctorates from a large number of Canadian and American universities. Canada’s Governor General presented him with the United Nations Association of Canada’s Pearson Peace Medal in 2005.
Lieutenant General Dallaire was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2005 and sits in the Senate as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada. He is also member of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights and the Inter-Parliamentary Group of Canada-Netherlands and attends the war veterans Sub-Committee meetings for the Senate Standing Committee on national security and defence.
As a former soldier, a senator or a human rights defender, General Dallaire:
On the international level:
- public speaking on issues relating to human rights, including children’s rights and genocide prevention;
- membership in the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention, whose mandate is to support and direct the special adviser;
- leadership in a project to develop a conceptual base for the elimination of the use of child soldiers;
On the national and local level,he:
- presides over the Roméo Dallaire Foundation, which comes to the aid of underprivileged children of Quebec and Rwanda;
- founding president for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and Other Crimes against Humanity. The group consists of deputies and senators of all the parties and works with a better comprehension of the importance of a long-term approach for genocide prevention;
- a senior representative for research at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University, which aims at establishing the method by which Western leaders makes decisions where there is an obvious violation of Human Rights. Results of this research should be published in September 2009;
- presides over the committee against sexual exploitation of infants and youths for commercial purposes in order of preventing violence to them through the sex trade;
- presides over the Valcartier Family Centre Foundation;
- honorary owner of Canada Biathlon. This international scale event combining cross-country skiing and shooting which will take place in Valcartier next March;
- is the 6th Field Artillery Regiment’s honorary LCol;
- leadership in activities aimed at the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Senator Dallaire is currently researching and writing a book on the subject of child soldiers.