BookTalkUNA presents

Grappling with the World's Most Challenging Issues

Join us for an evening of discussion with our special guest

Author and diplomat

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

6 p.m. | Reception
6:30 p.m. | Presentation
7:15 p.m. | Book Signing

4 Columbus Circle (58th Street and Eighth Avenue)
New York, NY


After more than seven decades, the United Nations embodies humanity's hopes for peace, security, social justice, human rights, equality for women, and a voice for all. At the same time, it's where the conflicts and tensions amongst the governments and peoples of the world are often expressed.

Douglas Roche who has spent his lifetime in the cause of peace as a Canadian member of parliament, ambassador, and senator offers a brief account of the role of the United Nations in the world today. He focuses on the most important issues: the use of military force in conflicts, the challenges of global warming and climate change, deep disparities between rich and poor, and the ongoing battle for equal human rights for all.

He describes the wide range of activities of the United Nations in these areas. He acknowledges the organization's failures and weaknesses, while pointing out its many successes some little known to the world's citizens.

Roche documents how the UN is working to address key issues that threaten humanity's future, using its unique position in the world to promote the ideals that gave it birth. Though its success is far from assured, he sees the UN as humanity's best hope for the future.

This book offers insight into an organization whose work is often decried by critics, often ignored by political leaders, and often invisible to the world's public.


The Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C., is an author, parliamentarian and diplomat, who has specialized throughout his 35-year public career in peace and human security issues. He lectures widely on peace and nuclear disarmament themes.

He was a Senator, Member of Parliament, Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament, and Visiting Professor at the University of Alberta. He was elected Chairman of the UN Disarmament Committee at the 43rd General Assembly (1988).

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." He is an Officer of the Order of Canada.

From 1998 to 2008, Mr. Roche was Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative, an international network of eight non-governmental organizations specializing in nuclear disarmament issues. He was also a member of the Pugwash Council, which won the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for its work for nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Roche is the author of 21 books. His most recent is Peacemakers: How People Around the World are Building a World Free of War (2014). His memoirs, Creative Dissent: A Politician's Struggle for Peace was published in 2008. A previous book, The Human Right to Peace (2003), was the Canadian Book Review Annual Editor's Choice scholarly selection for July-August 2005. He has contributed chapters to 20 additional books.

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