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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
December 6, 2016
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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Public lecture explores the UN and humanitarian trends

May 27/14| For Immediate Release


Alistair Edgar, Executive Director
Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS)
226-772-3167 or


Lori Chalmers Morrison, Acting Director
Communications & Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3067 or

WATERLOO – Former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Catherine Bragg will be the keynote speaker at a free public lecture discussing global humanitarian trends May 30 at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). 

The public lecture, entitled, “Staying in the Game: The UN and Humanitarian Trends,” is being sponsored by the United Nations Association in Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Office of the Vice-President: Academic and Provost and the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), which has been hosted by Laurier since 2003. In addition to Bragg’s keynote address, the evening will feature open forums, Q & A sessions and panel discussions on global humanitarianism in today’s world.

Bragg has had a distinguished career in public service, working in several positions with the Canadian government before being named director-general of the Humanitarian Assistance, Peace and Security Programme in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). She then served as assistant secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs with the UN from 2008-13. 

Joining Bragg as panelists will be Rohinton Medhora, president of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI); George Somerwill, former director of public information for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations during the UN Mission in Sudan; and Kathryn White, president and CEO of the United Nations Association in Canada. 

“We are very happy that Catherine Bragg is able to join us; she brings a wealth of experience and expertise as a senior leader in humanitarian affairs for the UN,” said Alistair Edgar, executive director of ACUNS. “With George Somerwill, Rohinton Medhora and Kathryn White adding their ideas, we have a tremendous opportunity to engage with the discussion of global humanitarian issues in a deeply challenging world.”

"As the academic host of ACUNS, and a partner in the BSIA, one of Laurier's main goals is to facilitate discussions among academics and students, governance professionals, and individuals in the community,” said Deborah MacLatchy, vice-president: Academic and Provost at Laurier. “We are thrilled to be hosting this event and look forward to the engagement of the speakers on challenges critically important to us as both Canadians and global citizens."

The free public lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 30 at the Balisillie School of International Affairs (67 Erb Street West, Waterloo). There will be a reception starting at 5 p.m. prior to the opening remarks. To RSVP for the event, email For more information, click here


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