MRU Arts Sponsors Peace Prize Gala
On April 9, the Faculty of Arts, represented by Dr. Mark Ayyash of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, joined the Calgary Centre for Global Community and other groups to award Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire with the 2015 Calgary Peace Prize. Dallaire served as Force Commander of UNAMIR, the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping force for Rwanda between 1993 and 1994, and attempted to stop the genocide that was being waged by Hutu extremists against Tutsis and Hutu moderates. Dallaire has since been an active voice and proponent of conflict prevention, calling for various institutional and strategic reforms on national and international levels. His books deal with a number of important and pressing issues such as the Rwandan genocide and mass atrocities, the role of the United Nations in the world, the injury of PTSD and its long-term effects, and the use of child soldiers in active conflict zones. Dallaire has founded the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative to deal with the last issue, which among other things, recommends military doctrinal reforms that can better deal with child soldiers in the field, and more importantly, prevent child soldiers from entering into active conflict zones in the first place. During his award acceptance speech, Dallaire engaged the large audience with a direct, candid and honest account of his experiences in Rwanda, the United Nations, the Canadian Senate, and his personal struggle with PTSD. It was a great pleasure for all the groups involved to honour Dallaire for all his efforts in the past and continued efforts today to promote peace.