TWU brings key experts on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland to speak in Langley

Event: On March 8, the community is invited to hear Sir (Robert) Andrew Burns, British High Commissioner to Canada speak on Britain’s view on the future of Northern Ireland. On March 15, General John de Chastelain, who is currently responsible for disarming paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland, will speak on the future of guns and bombs in Northern Ireland. The public has the opportunity to meet and talk with the officials at a reception before their presentations as well as in a question and answer time following their presentations.

Dates: March 8 and March 15

Times: Reception: 6:30 p.m.
Presentation: 7:30 p.m.

Place: Trinity Western University, 7600 Glover Road, Langley, B.C.
Reception: Alumni Hall, Reimer Student Centre
Presentation: Block Hall, Neufeld Science Centre

Admission: Free

Background information: Sir (Robert) Andrew Burns worked on conventional arms control in Europe before being appointed as Private Secretary to the Head of the Diplomatic Service for Britain. He later became Head of British Information Services in New York and after returning to England, served as Press Secretary to three successive Foreign Secretaries (Sir Geoffrey Howe, Mr. John Major and Mr. Douglas Hurd). He served as British Ambassador to Israel and also played a key role in negotiating the return of Hong Kong from British control to China. He became the British High Commissioner to Canada in August, 2000.

In 1993, General John de Chastelain was appointed Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., a position granted to high-ranking diplomats. A year later he was named Chief of Defence Staff of the Canadian Armed Forces. In 1995, de Chastelain began working with a three-man negotiating team and the British and Irish governments along with Northern Ireland’s political parties to reach the 1998 Belfast Agreement. In Canada, de Chastelain’s negotiations played a key role in ending a two-month stand off known as the OKA Crisis. He is currently Chair of the Independent International Commission for Decommissioning of arms in Northern Ireland.

For more information: Contact Craig Seaton at (604) 888-7511 or by e-mail at

Last Updated: 2012-08-21
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