Projects Akaash Maharaj - Practical Idealism
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Civil Diplomacy

The end of the Cold War, the rise of globalisation, and the eruption of non-state international actors have all converged to provide the final epitaph to balance of power between great states as the defining feature of the international system, which had endured since the Peace of Westphalia. As Canadians, we must act to project our values into the emerging international order, or risk becoming prisoners of the values of others.

As a respected middle power, Canada has a strategic advantage in championing a coherent international framework, capable of enforcing the rule of law and fostering democracy the international arena. Moreover, with the nation-state having lost its monopoly on foreign affairs, individual Canadians can do more than ever to save and improve the lives of people the world over.

My work in civil diplomacy has centred on three areas: armed conflict resolution; defence of human rights; and combatting corruption.


Combatting Global Corruption Bringing Kleptocrats to Justice
I serve as Ambassador-at-Large for the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), a worldwide alliance of parliamentarians, working together to combat corruption, strengthen good government, and uphold the rule of law. GOPAC has 62 national chapters in parliaments across the world. I am particularly focussed on employing international law to bring the world's worst kleptocrats to justice.

Presentation to WADA Reform of the World Anti-Doping Agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency asked me to serve as one of two Independent Experts to help lead its Governance Working Group, which it created "to ensure the independence of the anti-doping system from sports organizations and national governments" in the wake of the Russian doping crisis.

UNU ILI Talks in Jordan Democracy and Armed Conflict Resolution
My work in peace and armed conflict resolution has been my profession and remains one of my callings. I also served as a visiting professional and scholar at the University of Toronto's Massey College, which afforded me a unique opportunity to blend theory and practice in this vocation.

Modernising the FEI Reform of the International Equestrian Federation
I worked with four colleagues to guide a global consultation with the world's 133 national equestrian federations, to create a new constitution that will make the FEI a more democratic, more accountable, and more transparent institution, one equal to its mandate and worthy of its name.

UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
As the most vulnerable members of society, as the most innocent victims of the calamities that befall them, and as the best investment for social assets, children have the right of first call on the resources of nations. Because of this, I consider my voluntary service through UNICEF to be at the heart of my life's work.

Emancipation Combatting Child Labour
Canadians have been battling human bondage for longer than Canada has been a country. It is, therefore, a special honour for me to ride for UNICEF Team Canada at the International Tent Pegging Championships, thus representing both Canada and the cause of the abolition of exploitative child labour.

Amnesty International Amnesty International Urgent Action Network
At first blush, writing letters to free prisoners of conscience may seem futile. However, the hands of tyrants can be stayed by the eyes of the world. The Urgent Action successes are proof that in raging against the dying of the light, people of conscience can sometimes subdue the darkness itself.

LI Resolution Governance of the International Trading Architecture
I wrote the central resolution for the 2000 Global Congress of the Liberal International (LI), the worldwide association of Liberal parties. After impassioned debate and draughting sessions lasting into the early hours of the morning, the adopted resolution became part of LI's creed. I have been involved in the reform of international trade and financial institutions ever since.

  To collaborate on any of my civil diplomacy projects, please drop me a note through my Volunteers page.

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Remembering Desmond Tutu


My article in the Globe and Mail

Television appearances

TVOntario’s The Agenda

Reflecting on the life of Queen Elizabeth II

Radio interviews

United Nations

My address in the UN General Assembly Chamber

Published articles

Testifying at Parliament

My testimony on regulation of social media.

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