150+ Canadians Day 35: Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis contributes to peace by being an early climate change activist and with his advocacy for those affected by HIV/Aids. #Canada150

A politician, broadcaster and diplomat, he is best known for having served as Canada’s United Nations Ambassador and as the United Nations’ special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. He established The Stephen Lewis Foundation to help people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and Aids-Free World, a non-profit organization the advocates for more effective global responses to HIV and AIDS.

He has consistently spoken out about the promises of western countries to address AIDS, poverty, and education in Africa which have not been kept. In 1988, Stephen Lewis chaired the first international conference on Climate Change, which drafted the first comprehensive policy on global warming.  Almost three decades have passed since the political leaders, ambassadors, scientists, and environmental activists joined Mr. Lewis in declaring what remains one of the best, though starkest, pronouncements about global warming:

“Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war.”

Since 2003, the foundation has funded over 1,400 initiatives, with the support of over 300 community-based organizations in the 15 African countries hardest hit by the global AIDS epidemic.

“These grassroots groups are the lifeline for their communities: they provide counselling and education about HIV prevention, care and treatment; distribute food, medication and other necessities; reach the sick and vulnerable through home-based health care; help orphans and vulnerable children access education and work through their grief; and support grandmothers caring for their orphaned grandchildren.”

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