Bahai News - Lecture series celebrates 50th anniversary of human rights declarartion

Lecture series celebrates 50th anniversary of human rights declarartion

BY LAUREN PELLETREAU Staff Reporter A university professor is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the first international declaration of human rights by bringing a group of speakers to the university to tell us exactly how far we have come.

"We've come a long way, but we're not there yet", said James Oliver, a political science and international relations professor.

Oliver said he hopes he can help educate the university community about how much still has to be done concerning human rights across the world.

Throughout this month, the free lecture series entitled "Human Rights at 50" will be held in commemoration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights In the wake of the Holocaust and other war crimes committed during World War II, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on Dec. 10, 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly.

Article one of the Declaration states, "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." Oliver said he hopes people will have a more concrete sense of the objectives of the document by attending the lecture series. "Minimally, I hope that people will have a better concept of what human rights means," Oliver said. The lecture series will be held at Clayton Hall on Laird Campus and in Arsht Hall at the university's Wilmington campus.

Director of the U.N. Studies Program at Columbia University Stephen Marks will begin the series on Jan. 7 in Room 125 of Clayton Hall.

Neil Hicks will hold the second lecture, "Some Islamic Responses to Universal Human Rights," on Jan. 11 in Room 108 of Arsht Hall.

Hicks' lecture will explore the conflicts of applying Western values to other countries, Oliver said.

"The series will step back and reflect on whether or not we are approaching the standards set forth in the U.N. Declaration over 50 years ago," Oliver said.

Joseph Mettimano, public policy specialist for the U.S. Committee for UNICEF, will continue the series with "The Rights of the Child" on Jan. 14 in Room 125 at Clayton Hall.

Columbia University Law School professor Lori F. Damrosch will deliver her lecture on Jan. 19 in Room 125 of Clayton Hall entitled "Universal Human Rights."

And Minni Schrag, a former senior trial attorney for the War Crimes Tribunal in former Yugoslavia will discuss "Human Rights and War Crimes" on Jan. 21 in Room 108 of Arsht Hall.

Other speakers include Kit Cosby, coordinator for external affairs for the National Spirit assembly of the Baha'is of the U.S. and co-chair of the working group on the Human Rights of Women.

She will give a lecture titled "The Human Rights of Women" on Jan.28 in Room 125 of Clayton Hall.

And special assistant to the ambassador-at-large for War Crimes in the U.S. Department of State Sheila Berry will end the series on Feb. 1 in Room 125 of Clayton Hall.

The series is sponsored by the departments of political science and international relations, the Office of International Programs and Special Sessions and the World Affairs Council of Wilmington.

All lectures are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.


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