Roméo Dallaire is a retired lieutenant-general, Senator, and celebrated humanitarian. In 1993, LGen Dallaire was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans.
Since his retirement, he has become an outspoken advocate for human rights, genocide prevention, mental health and war-affected children. He founded The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, an organization committed to ending the use of child soldiers worldwide, and is the author of two best-selling books.
Senator Dallaire has received numerous honours and awards, including Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002, Grand Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2005, Commander of the Order of Military Merit and the Meritorious Service Cross and the US Legion of Military Merit.
He has also been named a Senior Fellow at Concordia University’s Montreal Institute of Genocide Studies, at Dalhousie University’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies and has received honorary doctorates from a number of Canadian and American universities.
The story of the genocide in Rwanda is a story of betrayal, failure, naiveté, indifference, hatred, war, inhumanity and evil. There is no doubt that the toxic ethnic extremism that infected Rwanda was a deep-rooted and formidable foe, built from colonial discrimination and exclusion, personal vendettas, refugee life, envy, racism, power plays, coups d’etat and the deep rifts of civil war. In Rwanda both sides of the civil war fostered extremism. Together these extremists created the climate in which a slaughter of an entire ethnicity could be dreamed up—an attempt to annihilate every Tutsi who had a claim on Rwanda, carried out by Rwandans on Rwandans.
Still, at its heart, the Rwandan story is the story of the failure of humanity to heed a call for help from an endangered people. The international community, of which the UN is only a symbol, failed to move beyond self-interest for the sake of Rwanda. While most nations agreed that something should be done, they all had an excuse why they should not be the ones to do it. As a result, the UN was denied the political will and material means to prevent tragedy.
General Dallaire undertakes a number speaking engagements each year. As an individual, he accepts a limited number of contracted speaking engagements which help fund projects such as The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative and the General Roméo Dallaire Foundation. Frequent topics include: Leadership, Conflict Resolution, and International Affairs. Bookings can be made with the National Speakers Bureau. Note: General Dallaire does not accept fees for speaking as a Senator.
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I was moved by General Dallaire’s story. How can I support his work?
Financial contributions are one of the most effective ways for individuals and companies to support General Dallaire’s various causes. Online contributions can be made to (1) The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative (a non-profit organization which aims to end the use of children in war) or (2) The General Roméo Dallaire Foundation (a non-profit which funds summer camps in Quebec and certain projects in Rwanda). Donations cannot be made to General Dallaire in his capacity as an individual or Senator.
Is General Dallaire available for speaking engagements?
Yes, General Dallaire is available for a limited number of speaking engagements each year. As an individual, he also accepts a limited number of contracted speaking engagements which help finance personal research and projects. Frequent topics include: Leadership, Conflict Resolution, and International Affairs. Requests can be made to the National Speakers Bureau.
Can the General review my manuscript/thesis/contribute to forewords?
Due to limited time constraints, General Dallaire is unable to respond to the many requests for comments on the written efforts of others.
Can I make a personal appointment or private interview with the General?
Regrettably, the General is only able to receive officials, visitors and colleagues.
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