Ottawa – March 14: The United Nations Association in Canada (UNA-Canada) is pleased to announce the 2016 recipient of our Pearson Peace Medal, the Honourable Louise Arbour, C.C., G.O.C. She is the 29th recipient of this Medal, which honours outstanding Canadian achievements in the field of international service and understanding. His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and Honourary Patron of UNA-Canada will present the Medal during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Thursday, March 17, at 10 a.m.
Each year, UNA-Canada awards its Pearson Peace Medal to a Canadian who has made an outstanding contribution, in a professional capacity or through volunteer work, to those causes for which Lester B. Pearson is remembered: aid to the developing world; mediation where conflicts arise; assistance to refugees and those in need; equal rights and justice for all; peaceful change through international law and multilateralism.
In 1996, Mme. Arbour was appointed Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Her tireless efforts brought convictions against 60 people charged with participating in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. She also brought charges against Slobodan Milosevic, becoming the first UN prosecutor to indict a serving head of state for war crimes.
Mme. Arbour was a justice of the Supreme Court of Canada from 1999 to 2004, before her appointment as the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights (2004 to 2008). She subsequently served as President & CEO of the International Crisis Group until 2014. In addition to involvement in the International Commission Against the Death Penalty and the Global Commission on Drug Policy, she is currently a jurist in residence with Borden Ladner Gervais, providing strategic advice to lawyers of the International Trade and Arbitration Group and mentoring to younger lawyers.
Kathryn White, President and CEO of UNA-Canada, noted that “the jury especially commended her actions of personal courage beyond her professional remit: that through her professional life she has shown leadership and resolve when confronted with despicable perpetrators and their protectors. Her leadership is a model – professional and personal – for young men and women aspiring to making peaceful change in the world through the enforcement of law and justice for all.”
UNA-Canada is proudly celebrating its 70th anniversary on the day of this presentation. The Association is an historic registered charity with a mandate to educate and engage Canadians in support for, and understanding of the United Nations and issues which have a global impact. Working with a broad network of partners, UNA-Canada provides a place for Canadians to offer made-in-Canada solutions to challenges confronting the global commons and to develop skills in living together in peace and prosperity.
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