2017 Key Note Speaker

Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire

Lieutenant General the Honourable Roméo A. Dallaire, O.C., C.M.M., G.O.Q, M.S.C., C.D., (Retired)

Roméo Dallaire is a retired Lieutenant-General, former Senator, and is celebrated as a humanitarian worldwide. He ended his distinguished career in the Canadian military at the rank of Lieutenant-General and position of Assistant Deputy Minister of Human Resources-Military. His passion for child rights and protection led him to establish The Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative, a global partnership with the mission to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers.

This mission was inspired by his experience as the UN Force Commander leading the peacekeeping mission in Rwanda (UNAMIR). His account of the genocide became the subject of the book Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, which was awarded the Canadian Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2004.

Since he left his appointment as a Canadian Senator in 2014, LGen Dallaire works as an author, and public speaker while continuing his research on conflict resolution and prevention, and the protection of child rights globally. In his most recent book, Waiting for First Light: My Ongoing Battle with PTSD, LGen Dallaire details his personal struggle with the condition, and his leadership as a mental health advocate who continuously offers support to other Canadian veterans who are also coping with traumatic injuries.

He spends much of his time working with the Dallaire Initiative on innovative ways to assist militaries worldwide to understand the unique dynamics of the use of child soldiers.