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Conference Examines at Iraq War, United Nations

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January 19, 2005

Academics, diplomats and corporate representatives from the United States and Europe will gather at a conference on Northwestern University’s Chicago campus Jan. 24 and 25 to examine, among other issues, how the United States’ decision to act without Security Council authorization in the war with Iraq has impacted the future role of the United Nations.

The conference will focus on reform of the U.N., including the role it should play in protecting human rights.

The fourth annual Transatlantic Dialogue conference, “Reforming the United Nations,” is organized by Northwestern University School of Law Professor Douglass Cassel and co-sponsored by the law school and its Center for International Human Rights at the Bluhm Legal Clinic with the Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. 

The conference is open to the public and free of charge. It will take place at Northwestern’s Wieboldt Hall, 340 E. Superior St.

Sir David Hannay, a former permanent U.N. representative of the United Kingdom, will deliver the keynote address at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 24.

He will share his perspective on the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change that was convened in 2003 by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in response to U.N. debates over military interventions in Rwanda and Iraq. Haney was a member of the high-level panel, composed of 26 “eminent persons.”

In its December 2004 report, “A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility,” the panel makes scores of recommendations to reform the U.N., the most important of which will be discussed by the U.N. General Assembly in 2005.

Conference participants will focus on panel recommendations on the use of force to preserve international security and to safeguard human rights and on restructuring the U.N. Security Council.

Conference schedule: www.law.northwestern.edu/news/spring05/UNconfbrochure.pdf

Established in 1998, the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law is dedicated to fostering the use and study of international law as a means to defend human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights provides a new forum for vigorous discussion of human rights issues among scholars of all disciplines and perspectives. This event is part of the School of Law’s continued focus on international human rights and the globalization of business.