Roméo Antonius Dallaire

Honorary Doctorate

Roméo Antonius Dallaire

Lieutenant-General The Honourable Roméo Antonius Dallaire, (Retired) Senator OC, CMM, GOC, MSC, CD, BSc
Honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters

The son of a Canadian soldier and Dutch mother, Roméo Antonius Dallaire was born in the Netherlands and arrived in Canada as an infant. Raised in Montreal, he enlisted in the Canadian Forces at the age of 14 and attended le Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean as an officer cadet. He served in the military until he retired with the rank Canadian Army Lieutenant-General after 36 years of service. Dallaire was appointed to the Canadian Senate in 2005 where he continues to serve this country as a Senator.

During his distinguished military career, Dallaire served in North America, Europe, and Africa. Most notably, Dallaire was appointed Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda prior to and during the 1994 genocide.

A devoted humanitarian, Dallaire is an outspoken advocate for human rights, particularly war-affected children, women, Canadian First Nations, and military veterans. He is a respected champion of genocide prevention initiatives, the Responsibility to Protect doctrine* and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He is the founder and president of the Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire Foundation, which helps both Rwandan children affected by civil war and genocide, as well as less privileged Canadian children, to attend camp. He is also the founder of the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, a project aimed at eradicating the use of child soldiers.

Dallaire is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and recipient of numerous awards including the United Nations Association of Canada’s Pearson Peace Medal, and the Harvard University Humanism Award, the Meritorious Service Cross, the United States Legion of Merit and the Aegis Award on Genocide Prevention.

Over the years, Dallaire has served on the UN Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention, worked as Special Advisor to the Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada, as Advisor to the Minister of National Defense, and as Special Advisor to the Minister responsible for the Canadian International Development Agency on matters relating to War Affected Children.

His harrowing experiences in Rwanda are detailed in Shake Hands with the Devil – the Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004 and provided the basis for an Emmy Award-winning documentary as well as a major motion picture of the same name. The book has also been entered into evidence by war crimes tribunals prosecuting perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Dallaire’s most recent book, They Fight Like Soldiers; They Die Like Children – the Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers, introduces the Child Soldier phenomenon and offers solutions to end the brutal exploitation of children in war.

The University of Winnipeg is honoured to present Lieutenant-General The Honourable Roméo Antonius Dallaire with an Honorary Doctor of Sacred Letters for his extensive and distinguished humanitarian  achievements as well as for being a respected Canadian ambassador and global citizen committed to protecting the world’s disenfranchised.

*The Responsibility to Protect doctrine is an emerging international security and human rights principle which recognizes the collective and state-level responsibility to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.