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Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., former Canadian Senator and Ambassador for Disarmament

MPI is pleased to announce that the Honorable Douglas Roche, O.C. has been appointed Acting Chair for the Middle Powers Initiative.

Senator Roche played an instrumental role in the formation of MPI in 1998, encouraging seven leading international NGOs to form a joint venture that would focus on the potential for middle power governments to press the nuclear powers to fulfill their nuclear disarmament responsibilities. 

Over the ensuing ten years, Senator Roche served as MPI’s Chairman, guiding the coalition’s work with diplomats and politicians on the legal, political and technical requirements for a nuclear weapons-free world.

Throughout his 35-year public career, Senator Roche has specialized in peace, human security, and nuclear disarmament.

Senator Roche was a Canadian Senator, Member of Parliament, Ambassador for Disarmament, and was elected Chairman of the United Nations Disarmament Committee at the 43rd General Assembly in 1988.

The author of 20 books, his latest is How We Stopped Loving the Bomb (Lorimer, 2011). His memoirs, Creative Dissent: A Politician's Struggle for Peace was published by Novalis in 2008. A previous book, The Human Right to Peace was a Canadian Book Review Annual Editor's Choice scholarly selection.  

Mr. Roche holds eight honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities and has received numerous awards for his work for peace and non-violence, including the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation for World Peace Award (Canada) and the United Nations Association's Medal of Honour. In 1995, Pope John Paul II presented him with the Papal Medal for his service as Special Adviser on disarmament and security matters, and in 1998 the Holy See named him a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great. He received the 2003 Peace Award of the Canadian Islamic Congress and the 2005 Luminosa Award for Unity from the Focolare Movement, North America. In 2005, he was given Lifetime Achievement awards from both the Canadian Pugwash Group and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He received the 2009 Distinguished Service Award of the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians for his “promotion of human welfare, human rights and parliamentary democracy in Canada and abroad.” He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a leading organizer of an effort involving 500 members of the Order of Canada who have endorsed a call for Canada to commit to working with other countries to achieve a Nuclear Weapons Convention to ban nuclear weapons globally.

As Acting Chair of MPI, Senator Roche will lead a strategic review of the substantial opportunities that lie ahead for MPI to make unique and meaningful contributions to the determined pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons.