Lloyd N. Axworthy
PC, OC, OM, BA, MA, PhD,
|Born||Lloyd Norman Axworthy
December 21, 1939
North Battleford, Saskatchewan
|Occupation||President of the University of Winnipeg|
|Known for||Canadian politician, statesman, philanthropist, author, educator|
Lloyd Norman Axworthy, PC, OC, OM (born December 21, 1939) is a prominent Canadian politician, statesman and academic. He is best known for having served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Axworthy is currently President of the University of Winnipeg, and is a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, the first global initiative to focus specifically on the link between exclusion, poverty and law.
Axworthy was born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan to a family with strong United Church roots, and received his BA from the University of Winnipeg (then known as United College) in 1961. He received his MA and PhD from Princeton University in 1963 and 1972 respectively, returning to Canada to teach at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. At the latter, he also became the director of the Institute of Urban Affairs.
Axworthy became involved in politics during the 1950s, becoming a member of the Liberal Party after attending a speech by Lester B. Pearson. He briefly aligned himself with the New Democratic Party (NDP) in the 1960s when Pearson, as federal opposition leader, called for American Bomarc nuclear warheads to be allowed on Canadian soil. He soon returned to the Liberal fold, however, and worked as an executive assistant for John Turner. Axworthy supported Turner's bid to become party leader at the 1968 leadership convention.
Axworthy ran for the party in Winnipeg North Centre in the 1968 election, and finished a surprisingly strong second against veteran NDP Member of Parliament (MP) Stanley Knowles. His first political success came at the provincial level. He first ran for the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in the 1966 election, placing second to Progressive Conservative Douglas Stanes in St. James. In the 1973 election, he was elected as a Manitoba Liberal in Fort Rouge, a riding that bordered on the one held by party leader Izzy Asper. He was re-elected in the 1977 election, and was the only Liberal in the legislature from 1977 to 1979.
He resigned from his position on April 6, 1979 to run for the federal House of Commons, and in the 1979 election narrowly defeated former provincial PC leader Sidney Spivak in Winnipeg—Fort Garry. He was re-elected in the 1980 election, becoming the only Liberal MP west of Ontario. He was promoted to cabinet under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, serving as Minister of Employment and Immigration, and then as Minister of Transport.
In the Liberal defeat in the 1984 election, Axworthy was one of only two Liberals west of Ontario to be elected (the other being then Liberal leader John Turner). Axworthy played an important role in opposition, forcefully attacking the government of Brian Mulroney. He was an especially vocal critic of the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement.
Years as a Cabinet Minister
When the Liberals returned to power in 1993 under the leadership of Jean Chrétien, Axworthy became one of the most important Cabinet ministers. After the election, he was given responsibility for the vast new Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), and launched a major overhaul of employment insurance.
Axworthy's true interest was in international relations, and in a 1996 cabinet shuffle, he became Minister of Foreign Affairs, where he excelled, becoming a strong advocate of Canada's tradition of multiculturalism. His greatest success was the Ottawa Treaty, an international treaty to ban anti-personnel land mines. He also campaigned against the use of child soldiers and the international trade in light weapons.
In 1999, Axworthy supported Canada's involvement in NATO's bombing campaign of Yugoslavia over the issue of Kosovo. The 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's and Canada's most controversial act as its first deliberate non-defensive aggression against another sovereign state. In 2000, he initiated the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty to study and make recommendations on all issues related to humanitarian intervention to save populations from genocide and other forms of severe violence. This Commission's recommendations led to the policy of Responsibility to Protect adopted by the United Nations in 2005.
Honours and awards
In 1997, Axworthy was nominated by United States Senator Patrick Leahy to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on banning land mines.. Many political commentators in Canada believed he was a strong contender for the honour. He did not win, but was thanked by the recipients, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, as having been instrumental in their effort. In 1998 he was one of the two winners of the North–South Prize. In 2003, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In September 2000, Axworthy retired from public life and returned to academia, joining the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia. He is also a frequent public speaker on matters relating to international relations. He has published a number of books on this subject, notably Navigating A New World, a book on the uses of "soft power". He has served as a United Nations envoy tasked with resolving the Eritrean–Ethiopian War.
In May 2004, he was appointed to his current job as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Winnipeg.
Axworthy is Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch. He also serves on the advisory council of USC Center on Public Diplomacy and of Fair Vote Canada, and is an endorser of the Genocide Intervention Network and International Student Exchange, Ontario.
In February 2005, Axworthy gave a lecture entitled "The Responsibility to Protect: Prescription for a Global Public Domain" at the University of San Diego's Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Distinguished Lecture Series.
In 2006, Axworthy supported Bob Rae's bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, but supported Stéphane Dion after Rae dropped off the ballot. Axworthy supported Rae's unsuccessful candidacy in 2009, and in 2012 endorsed Joyce Murray's bid for the leadership.
He is a member of Collegium International, an organization of leaders with political, scientific, and ethical expertise whose goal is to provide new approaches in overcoming the obstacles in the way of a peaceful, socially just and an economically sustainable world. He is President of the World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy.
From 2008-2012, Axworthy began a community learning initiative at the University of Winnipeg to assist under-represented groups attend university including Aboriginal youth and new Canadians. Notable accomplishments in this period included construction of a new science complex, a business complex of several stories and a student hub replete with a pub and Starbucks. The capital developments also include a new student residence and student and community daycare. The university is currently in the process of building a new recreation and health complex.
- Navigating a New World, Knopf Canada Publishing, 2004
- Liberals at the Border, University of Toronto Press, 2004
- The Axworthy Legacy, Edited by O. Hampson, N. Hillmer, M. Appel Molot, Oxford University Press, 2001
- The Norwegian Nobel Institute
- "The North South Prize of Lisbon". North-South Centre. Council of Europe. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
- "Order of Canada Lloyd Axworthy". Office of the Governor General of Canada. Retrieved April 5, 2011.
- "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter A". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved April 28, 2011.
- Lecture transcript and video of Axworthy's speech at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice at the University of San Diego, February 2005
- Lloyd Axworthy – Parliament of Canada biography
- Order of Canada Citation
Patrick Deane (acting)
|President of the University of Winnipeg
June 6, 2004–present