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Conference Explores U.S. AIDS Policy Abroad

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April 19, 2005

The co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and the Assistant U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator will be featured speakers at the Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights April 28 to 30. The conference on the University’s Evanston campus will focus on U.S. policy toward the AIDS pandemic in the developing world.

Free and open to the public, the event brings together distinguished academics, activists, and policy makers from around the globe to look into U.S. policy and the AIDS crisis. In addition, it provides a forum for undergraduate and graduate students from 37 universities and colleges across the country to discuss the future of this crucial issue in U.S. human rights policy.

Stephen Lewis, the U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, will open the conference at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 28, with an address in Room 107 of Harris Hall, 1881 Sheridan Road. He will detail the efforts of the U.N. and other organizations to help more than 25 million people on the African continent who are living with HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Bernard Kouchner, co-founder and former president of the Paris-based Doctors Without Borders,will discuss the global effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the urgent need for cooperation between national governments and non-governmental organizations at 8 p.m. Friday, April 29. His lecture will take place in Room 217 of Fisk Hall, 1845 Sheridan Road.

Dr. Mark Dybul, assistant U.S. Global AIDS coordinator, will outline the Bush administration’s global AIDS policy in the developing world. His lecture at 4 p.m. Friday, April 29, will take place in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive.

The conference on human rights also will include a panel on AIDS and medicine with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Professor of Infectious Diseases Robert Murphy; a panel on American AIDS policy moderated by history senior lecturer Lane Fenrich and including Richard Joseph, director of the University’s Program of African Studies director; a panel on women and AIDS with Northwestern anthropologist Kearsley Stewart and Celeste Watkins, professor of African American studies and sociology; and a panel on AIDS and the media moderated by Northwestern journalism professor Lawrence Stuelpnagel.

The conference will end with an open discussion about the ways in which students can become active in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. It will give student delegates representing the 37 universities and colleges opportunities to speak first-hand with representatives from national AIDS awareness groups and explore ways in which they can build AIDS awareness on their own campuses.

The human rights conference is organized by Northwestern’s Program in American Studies with support from the Office of the President; Office of the Provost; Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Center for International and Comparative Studies; Institute for Policy Research; departments of African American Studies, anthropology, English, history, political science and sociology; and programs in African studies, Asian studies, biological sciences and gender studies. The United Nations Association of Chicago also played a role in making the conference possible.

For further information or a complete schedule of events, visit http://www.nuchr.org/ or call (847) 491-3525.

Topics: Campus Life