The organizers of TEDxVancouver is Honoured to Announce International Champion of Human Rights, Award-Winning Author and Leader, Lieutenant-General The Hon Roméo A. Dallaire O.C., C.M.M., G.O.Q., M.S.C., C.D. (Ret) Senator, will be speaking at TEDxVancouver 2011. Born to a Canadian soldier family in 1946 in the Netherlands, Dallaire joined the Canadian army cadets at 14, and attended le Collège militaire royal de St Jean and Royal Military College in Kingston.
A decorated Lieutenant General, Dallaire served 35 years with the Canadian Armed Forces. His best-selling book, Shake Hands With the Devil, is a stirring account of his experience as the Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission to Rwanda, which exposes the failures of the international community to stop the worst genocide in the 20th century. The book was released as a full-length feature film Shake Hands With the Devil – The Journey of Roméo Dallaire and won the Emmy Award for Best Documentary in 2007.
In 2010, he published his latest highly anticipated book, They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers in which Dallaire states: “The ultimate focus of the rest of my life is to eradicate the use of child soldiers and to eliminate even the thought of the use of children as instruments of war.”
Dallaire’s dedication to world peace, self-sacrifice and courage saved the lives of thousands of Rwandans in 1994, when he led the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR I). Against political pressure to take sides in the conflict, Dallaire remained impartial, and his courage, compassion and integrity earned him one of Canada’s most prestigious military honours, the Meritorious Service Cross. In January 2002 he received the inaugural AEGIS Award from the Beth Shalom Holocaust Centre in Great Britain.
General Dallaire was the first recipient of the Aegis Award on Genocide Prevention from the United Kingdom and was awarded the United Nations Association of Canada’s Pearson Peace Medal, the Arthur Kroeger College Award for Ethics in Public Affairs by Carlton University, the Harvard University Humanist Award for 2005 and the Laureate of Excellence from the Manitoba Health Sciences Centre. He has also received numerous honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities.
In 2002, General Dalliare was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada by the Governor General and invested as a Grand Officer of the National Order of Québec in June 2005. He is a Commander of the Order of Military Merit. General Dallaire was appointed to the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention in the spring of 2006. General Dallaire and his family live in Quebec City.