2nd Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 149, Issue 57
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker
The Honourable Roméo Antonius Dallaire
2014 Elie Wiesel Award Recipient
Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I rise today to recognize our colleague Senator Dallaire, who was this year’s recipient of the Elie Wiesel Award. This prize is the highest honour granted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The prize is named after the 85-year-old Nobel Prize-winning author Elie Wiesel, who survived the Nazi death camps to write about his experience.
This high honour was given to our colleague last Wednesday. It was a tribute for his efforts to end the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and the work he has tirelessly done since then to prevent another similar devastation from happening. Senator Dallaire’s role in Rwanda was one of heroic proportions. Where others would have given up and left, he stayed to protect those he could with what little resources he had. The international community failed him, but he did not want to fail the people of Rwanda. He saved many lives from death.
Senator Dallaire also works diligently to bring attention to the plight of child soldiers. He genuinely understands that children are our future and truly believes that every child is special. I was able to witness this first-hand when I worked with him on the issues facing Darfur. He acts with a sense of purpose and has a heart filled with love for the children of the world.
The night the prize was given to Senator Dallaire, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, spoke some powerful words about our colleague. I would like to share some of her words with you today:
You, General, have stood between the killers and their prey. You have heard the piercing screams of victims, and the deafening silence of a world unable to muster the will to act. You have turned that deadly silence into a personal — and now global — crusade to help summon meaningful action to protect peoples endangered by crimes of unfathomable and unconscionable proportions. In 1994, you were doing your job, at a time when no one else was willing to do theirs. Your story is a call to action, your commitment is an inspiration, and your courage is unmatched.
On behalf of all the honourable senators, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Senator Dallaire. Senators, I have travelled with Senator Dallaire to some of the most difficult parts of the world, and I have the greatest respect for him because of his belief that “all humans are human; no one human is more human than any other.” That is why he works so hard for all the children of the world.
Honourable senators, I know I speak on behalf of all of us when I say this: Senator Dallaire, we are profoundly honoured to have you as one of our colleagues.
Hon. Senators: Hear, hear!