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Ignatieff to be Disarmament Ambassador

Metta Spencer — September 1984

Prime Minister John Turner has appointed George Ignatieff as Canada’s Disarmament Ambassador. Previously held by Alan Beasley, the post had been vacant for about 10 months.

Mr. Ignatieff is an experienced diplomat, having previously served as Canada’s permanent representative to the NATO, and as Ambassador to the United Nations. At one time he was the President of the Security Council. at the U.N. He is now the Chancellor of the University of Toronto, and the, administrators of the university expect him to continue in that post while performing his new duties.

Mr. Ignatieff was attending meetings in Europe when his appointment was announced and could not be reached for comment. Mr. John Swift, of the Prime Minister’s .Office, said that Ignatieff will be spending a few weeks in Ottawa being briefed and then will divide much of his time between working in Ottawa and in New York at the United Nations. When asked whether Ignatieff might be replaced quickly if the Conservatives win the federal election, Swift explained that all ambassadorships are made by order in council. It ls unusual for such appointments to be terminated for political reasons, but it is possible.

Mr. Ignatieff has been semi-retired from public office in recent years, but has continued to support the United Nations by serving the U.N. Association in Canada, and by speaking continuously in favour of nuclear disarmament. He is an honourary patron of the Canadian Disarmament Information Service (CANDIS).

Peace activists have generally been delighted with the naming of George Ignatieff for this new role. As Dieter Heinrich of the World Federalists exclaimed, “Beautiful! When I think of some of the things that Ignatieff has done and said on the record, such as his opposition to the cruise, it makes me really hopeful.”