Alex Morrison – a man who dedicated his career to upholding the vision of peacekeeping established by Lester B Pearson, and to fostering an expansion of that vision to encompass new and evolving concepts of peacebuilding – is the 23rd recipient of the Pearson Peace medal. The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor-General of Canada, made the presentation in her capacity as Honourary Patron of the United Nations Association in Canada on Thursday, 30 January 2002 at Rideau Hall.
Mr. Morrison served in the Canadian military for over thirty years, commanding troops in national and international assignments and serving in a United Nations peacekeeping force headquarters. He ended his formal military service as Minister-Counsellor at the Canadian Mission to the United Nations, in which capacity he successfully upheld and protected Canada’s international role as a peacekeeper.
After his retirement from the army Mr. Morrison served as the Executive Director and then the President of the Canadian Institute for Strategic Studies. Alex was also one of the key articulate proponents of the idea to establish a centre through which to inculcate the ideas and techniques which would sustain an evolving need to train the men and women who were increasingly being called upon to undertake peacekeeping operations in varied troubled situations around the world. Ultimately he was the founder and first President of the Lester B. Pearson Canadian International Peacekeeping Training Centre, known as the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, which operates on the former military base Cornwallis in Nova Scotia. Throughout the seven years of his term as President, Mr. Morrison established the Centre as one of the finest in the world. In his vision for a “new peacekeeping partnership,” Alex recognized also the vital role that non-military agencies have to play in peace operations. He was instrumental in imbuing this notion into the core of the Centre’s teachings.
After he left his position at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in late 2001 he became involved with Peaceful Schools International – an organization dedicated to providing support to schools worldwide which have declared a commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of peace.
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