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fowlerdk211Former Ambassador Robert Fowler, one of Canada’s most distinguished diplomats, presented a riveting talk at the University of Ottawa on June 29th, 2015. The event was organized by ICJ Canada, along with the Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development, University of Ottawa.

Professor Mendes, President of ICJ Canada, introduced Ambassador Fowler as a dominant force in Canadian foreign affairs who experienced a most devastating life-threatening event. On December 14, 2008, Fowler, acting as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Niger, was kidnapped by Al Qaeda, becoming the highest ranked UN official ever held captive. In his presentation, Ambassador Fowler related how, along with his colleague Louis Guay, he lived, slept and ate with his captors for nearly five months, gaining rare first-hand insight into the motivations of the world’s most feared terror group. Ambassador Fowler discussed how his capture, release and subsequent media appearances have helped shed new light on foreign policy and security issues as we enter the second decade of the “War on Terror” and a new understanding of the so called “clash of civilizations”. The presentation was followed be a lively discussion moderated Professor Mendes with the 60 participants from the government, civil society, the diplomatic community and the legal profession.

Ambassador Fowler's book, A Season in Hell, is the compelling story of his captivity, told in his own words.

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Published in News

Robert Fowler has had a distinguished career as a Canadian diplomat and public servant. In addition to serving as Canada's ambassador to the United Nations ('95-2000) and to Italy (2000-'06), he has also been foreign policy advisor to three prime ministers. Robert was also the Deputy Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister's Personal Representative for Africa.

For decades, Robert was a dominant force in Canadian foreign affairs. In one heart-stopping minute, all of that changed. On December 14, 2008, Fowler, acting as the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Niger, was kidnapped by Al Qaeda, becoming the highest ranked UN official ever held captive.

Along with his colleague Louis Guay, Fowler lived, slept and ate with his captors for nearly five months, gaining rare first-hand insight into the motivations of the world’s most feared terror group. Fowler’s capture, release and subsequent media appearances have helped shed new light on foreign policy and security issues as we enter the second decade of the “War on Terror.” His book, A Season in Hell, is Fowler’s compelling story of his captivity, told in his own words. It is also a startlingly frank discussion about the state of a world redefined by clashing civilizations.

The presentation and following discussion is organized by Errol Mendes, President of ICJ Canada and law professor at the University of Ottawa in partnership with the University’s Centre for Continuing Education and its Security and Policy Institute of Professional Development.

This event will be held on Monday, June 29, from 5-7pm in Ottawa on the University campus, in Desmarais Hall Room 12102. This event is free to attend, but attendees are requested to register online, as space is limited.

Published in News