Remembering Lester Pearson
Recently I took advantage of Ottawa’s annual Doors Open to visit Global Affairs Canada’s Lester B. Pearson Building, named after whom I view as Canada’s greatest diplomat and Prime Minister. He was the architect behind the UN’s first, large-scale peacekeeping force which diffused the Suez Canal Crisis and earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. Only a true diplomat could have accomplished what he did as Prime Minister under minority rule in just four years.
Many associate Pearson with the goal of 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) to be allocated to ODA. In 1968, the World Bank appointed the Pearson Commission to reach a consensus between developed and developing countries on an appropriate level of aid. They knew who could get this daunting task done.
Sadly, the presentation in the lobby of the building did not do justice to the man it was named after.
Stephen St. Denis