Douglas Roche

Douglas Roche, O.C.

Doctor of Civil Law

Born in Montreal of Irish descent, Senator Roche was educated at St. Patrick's High School, Ottawa and St. Patrick's College University of Ottawa where he earned a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (1951).

He began his professional career as a journalist prior to graduation in that he was a reporter for the Ottawa Journal. This journalist career lasted until 1972 when he was elected as a Progressive Conservative member of Parliament for Edmonton-Strathcona. Two years later he won another election and in 1977 was appointed the P.C. Spokesperson on External Affairs. In 1979 he was again reelected to Parliament for Edmonton South and then appointed, among other responsibilities, Chairperson of the P.C. Caucus Committee on External Affairs; Parliamentary Secretary to the Secretary of State for External Affairs; and International Chairperson, Parliamentarian for World Order.

From 1984-89, he served as the Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament and in 1988 as Chairperson of the United Nations Disarmament Committee. During this period (1980-84) he was the founding President of the Parliamentarians for Global Action. From 1982-2003 he served as the Chairperson Canadian Pugwash; President (1983-84) of the United Nations Association in Canada; 1995 as the Chairperson of the Canadian Committee, Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations; from 1990-96, the Chairperson of the Global Education Associates; and from 1989 to the present, Special Advisor on Disarmament and Security, Holy See Delegation to the UN General Assembly.

The author of 18 books, his latest is Beyond Hiroshima (Novalis, 2005). His previous book, The Human Right to Peace (Novalis, 2003), was the Canadian Book review Annual Editor's Choice Scholarly selection for July-August 2005.

Mr. Roche holds six 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 Advisor 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 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 is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Mr. Roche is Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative, an international network of eight non-governmental organizations specializing in nuclear disarmament issues. He is a member of the Pugwash Council which won the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for its work for nuclear disarmament.

Extending social and economic development throughout the world and eliminating nuclear weapons from military arsenals are two fundamental prerequisites to replacing the culture of war with a culture of peace, and building true security for all the world people.