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MPI Founder Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

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

February 10, 2011-- The International Peace Bureau (IPB), itself a Nobel Peace Laureate Organization, has nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize the Hon. Douglas Roche O.C. for his lifelong devotion to the cause of disarmament -- notably nuclear disarmament.

IPB's letter to the Nobel Committee reads in part: "We believe he is eminently eligible for the Nobel Peace Prize on account of the multiple outstanding roles he has played, both in the ‘official’ arenas and as a leader in a variety of civil society endeavours...as founder or co-founder of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), Middle Powers Initiative (MPI), and Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND) – all of which have played very significant high-level roles in the global disarmament movement. Aside from existing Nobel laureates, it is hard to think of a single individual who has worked as hard for disarmament as he, and with such persistence and determination, at the top levels of world politics."

Significant among his many actions in support of the goal of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament was his establishment of the Middle Powers Initiative in 1998.

Mr. Roche was a Senator, Member of Parliament, Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, and Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta. He 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 (Novalis, 2003), was the Canadian Book Review Annual Editor's Choice scholarly selection for July-August 2005. He has contributed chapters to 20 additional books.

Mr. Roche holds eight honourary 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.

In 2009, he received the 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." In 1992, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

For more information, see: http://roche.apirg.org/public_html/index.html