Canadian Leadership | Roméo Dallaire on Peace & Security

June 27, 2019

Canada will now have a Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security.  In the same week General Romeo Dallaire received a standing ovation for his compelling speech on leadership to the Canada Future Forward Summit designed by the Globe & Mail, the Canadian Defence Academy announced the establishment of the Centre named for him. 

Canadians pride themselves in being part of a nation that prioritizes Human Rights. The country has been a steady presence on the United Nation’s Security Council and been one of the largest contributors to peacekeeping operations around the world since the formation of the UN. But times have changed. The nature of conflict has drastically altered and since the late 1990s, Canada’s focus has shifted away from peacekeeping missions towards peacemaking missions. This resulted in drastic drops in Canada’s UN contributions both in terms of personnel & financing. It has left many Canadians wondering how – in the modern geopolitical climate –  we can take on more of a leadership role in the pursuit of peace.

The recent announcement by Minister of National Defence, The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, looks to bring back that sense of Canadian leadership on the international stage.

A New Approach to Human Rights

Sajjan unveiled the establishment of the Dallaire Centre of Excellence for Peace and Security, within the Canadian Defence Academy. Named after speaker Lieutenant-General (Retired) Roméo Dallaire, the focus of the initiative is on peacekeeping and the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

Dallaire is all too familiar with the evolving realities of war and how Canada can lead in the building of peace. As the commander of a key UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda, his warnings about the impending conflict & pleas for more troops weren’t acted on by the United Nations leadership.

During this UN mission, he encountered the use of child soldiers as a weapon of war. His 2011 bestselling book They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children exposes the child soldier phenomenon and provides concrete solutions to eradicate it.  Since the book’s release, Dallaire has been a leading voice in drawing attention to – and calling for action on –  this issue. His new mission is to end the use of child soldiers. This is in large part why the government of Canada looked to Dallaire to help lead the new initiative.

Key to this new Canadian Defense effort is resources. The government of Canada has announced an investment into The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. $1.175 million over five years will be allocated to Dallaire’s team to conduct research and identify lessons learned and best practices regarding the prevention of the recruitment and use of child soldiers. They will also conduct annual workshops with the Canadian Forces to communicate the results of its research.

Leadership Speaker: The Humanistic Approach

As a speaker, Dallaire brings these lessons to life for audiences seeking inspirational insights on leadership. His keynote The New Leadership: A Humanistic Approach shows audiences:
• 
Tangible ways to regain the initiative in the present while simultaneously anticipating the needs of the future; leading rather than reacting.
• How to use new forms of communication with their team, to inspire confidence & take actions beyond the perception of their own abilities.

“The future belongs to those who dare to imagine and create, and to those who have the courage to bring these processes into practical being.”
-Romeo Dallaire


Dallaire is also a military leader who expresses the pride & virtues of Canadian values: he’s a go-to media commentator on topics related to Canadian peacekeeping policies, and earlier this year he joined CTV News in the coverage of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. This Canada Day, we recognize the achievements of this national hero.

If you’re looking for a speaker to inspire your audience to rethink their approach to leadership, General Dallaire would be a great fit for your event.