2004 Conference Videos: Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis is one of North America's most influential commentators on social affairs, international development and human rights. He has held a variety of senior roles with international bodies. He holds 18 honourary degrees from Canadian universities and in 2003, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest honour for lifetime achievement. He is a noted radio and television commentator and race relations arbitrator.

On June 01, 2001, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Stephen Lewis as his Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. Shortly thereafter, Stephen founded the Stephen Lewis Foundation to ease the pain of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Stephen's work with the UN has shaped the past two decades of his career. In the autumn of 1999, Stephen Lewis returned to Canada after four years in his appointment as the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organization's global headquarters in New York. Stephen was first appointed as Special Representative for UNICEF in 1990. In that capacity, he spoke and traveled regularly, acting as a spokesperson for UNICEF's passionate advocacy of the rights and needs of children, especially children of the developing world.

In 1997, Stephen was appointed by the Organization of African Unity to a Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the Genocide in Rwanda. The 'Rwanda Report' was issued in June of 2000. From 1984 through 1988, Stephen Lewis was Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations, where he chaired such groundbreaking committees as the Five-Year UN Programme on African Economic Recovery, and the first International Conference on Climate Change.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Stephen Lewis was an elected representative to the Ontario Legislature, becoming leader of the New Democratic Party and leader of the Official Opposition.

He is married to Michele Landsberg, feminist columnist with the Toronto Star; they have three grown children; Ilana, Avi and Jenny.


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