Canadian Mennonite
Volume 10, No. 15
July 31, 2006


Ernie Regehr given 2006 World Peace Award


Fergus Watt, executive director of World Federalist Movement (WFM) Canada, left, presents Ernie Regehr, the cofounder of Project Ploughshares, with its World Peace Award during the WFM Canada national meeting in Vancouver in June.

Ernie Regehr, cofounder of Project Ploughshares, received the 2006 World Peace Award from the World Federalist Movement Canada at a ceremony in Vancouver recently. In addition to advising various international organizations, Regehr also teaches peace and conflict studies at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ont.

Regehr was recognized for his work on peace and security issues. He served as an expert advisor on multilateral disarmament forums, is a member of the World Council of Churches’ Commission on International Affairs, and is on the board of the Africa Peace Forum. Regehr was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003.

The World Federalist Movement (WFM) is an international gathering of individuals and governments committed to a culture of peace and sustainability.

WFM Canada executive director Fergus Watt said of Regehr’s choice for this year’s award, “It’s the high quality of his analysis, it’s well researched. You can rely on him to have thought things through, whether it’s on the issues of disarmament or weapons of mass destruction. He’s an opinion leader in the peace community.”

The award inscription summarizes Regehr’s contribution: “With much gratitude and appreciation for many years of leadership and dedicated service to the cause of peace and the peace movement in Canada and around the world.”

Watt also stressed Regehr’s personal qualities. “People like working with him. He’s modest, easy to get along with, accommodating and straight forward,” Watt said.

Warren Allmand, former federal cabinet minister and current WFM Canada president, said, “I’ve known Ernie since 1965, when I was an MP and he was campaigning for nuclear disarmament.” Allmand noted that Regehr often appeared as a witness before parliamentary committees. “Regehr is very concerned about morality in politics; he’s an idealist. He has a very pleasant, agreeable manner, including those with whom he disagrees,” said Allmand.

Regehr, who arrived from a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, just in time for the Vancouver event, was modest about receiving the award. “It puts one in the company of some pretty good people,” he said. “It’s a recognition of our mutual work efforts.”

Previous Canadian award winners include retired lieutenant-general Romeo Dallaire, UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis, UN high commissioner for human rights Louise Arbour, and former minister of foreign affairs Lloyd Axworthy.

—Henry Neufeld

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