Nobel Peace Prize nominee to lecture

Author, parliamentarian and diplomat Douglas Roche, who has specialized throughout his 35-year public career in peace and human security issues, offers up his vision of a world without nuclear weapons at 3:30 p.m. today in the McKellar Room, University Community Centre (UCC).

This event is sponsored by the UCC, Department of Political Science at Western, Pugwash Canada and Canadian Students Young Pugwash.

In 2008, President Barack Obama brought to the White House his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons and re-energized the peace movement around the globe. But the nuclear powers cling to their instruments of mass murder, even though public opinion favours a global ban.

Two decades after the end of the Cold War, more than 20,000 nuclear weapons are still in existence, and a catastrophe could happen any time.

But the desire to rid the world of nuclear weapons is gathering momentum.

Roche, a former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and a leading authority on the subject, tells the dramatic story of the struggle now going on to end the threat of nuclear warfare and to build human security without nuclear weapons.

A 2011 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Roche was a Senator, Member of Parliament, Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta.

He holds eight honourary doctorates from Canadian and American universities and has received numerous awards for his work for peace and non-violence, including the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation for World Peace Award (Canada) and the United Nations Association’s Medal of Honour.

In 1995, Pope John Paul II presented him with the Papal Medal for his service as Special Adviser on disarmament and security matters, and the Holy See named him a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great in 1998.

He received the Peace Award of the Canadian Islamic Congress (203), Luminosa Award for Unity from the Focolare Movement, North America (2005), Canadian Pugwash Group and Nuclear Age Peace Foundation lifetime achievement awards (2005) and Distinguished Service Award of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians (2009).

In 2011, he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a variety of international organizations.

The author of 20 books, his latest is How We Stopped Loving the Bomb (Lorimer, 2011).

For more information on his visit to Western, visit the lecture website.