Former commander of UNAMIR supports appeal for UN Parliamentary Assembly

Secretariat, 8. May 2008

The Canadian Senator Roméo Dallaire supports the call for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA). "So many of my current causes, projects and interventions in the Parliament of Canada have a single common denominator - the urgent need to transform the United Nations System, to make it more accountable and more responsive to the collective needs, and rights, of the world's citizens. A UN Parliamentary Assembly would be an important step in the right direction,” Dallaire noted. From 1993 to 1994 Dallaire served as force commander of UNAMIR, the United Nations peacekeeping mission for Rwanda. At the time of his command, the ill-equipped mission was faced with the massive genocide lasting for a total of 100 days and leading to the murder of between 800,000 and 1,171,000 Tutsi and Hutu moderates. Dallaire’s efforts to constrain and stop the atrocities have been widely recognized. Proponents of a UNPA argue that if the body had been in place at that time, it could have helped to alert the international community to the urgent need to intervene.