Never again: Gareth Evans at Sydney Ideas this Friday
22 October 2008
Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans will discuss how the world must take responsibility in ending mass atrocities in a Sydney Ideas lecture at the University of Sydney this Friday, 24 October, 2008.
Evans, the President of the Brussels-based International Crisis Group and the author of The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All (Brookings Institution Press), will discuss the internationally accepted Responsibility to Protect (R2P) initiative and how it can work at a practical level.
Evans, who this Friday will be presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Sydney, was a primary architect of R2P. R2P was adopted by the UN General Assembly at the 2005 World Summit. It gives sovereign states the primary responsibility to protect their citizens from mass atrocities and the international community the responsibility to take appropriate action if these states don't act.
"It is easy to be cynical about the power of ideas, but there are few that seem to have the potential to matter more for good than the responsibility to protect," according to Gareth Evans, who as Foreign Minister was a key broker of the United Nations peace plan for Cambodia.
"If we are never again to have to say 'never again' in the face of mass atrocity crimes, like-minded governments like Australia's and civil society organisations worldwide are going to have to campaign very hard to hold and consolidate, in the UN and elsewhere, the ground that has been won by its adoption."
In this lecture, Evans will look at the challenges the world faces in preventing crises such as the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and how R2P can be used in current political hotspots such as Darfur, Myanmar and Georgia.
Evans is the author or editor of nine books including The Responsibility to Protect. He spent 21 years in Australian politics, most notably as Foreign Minister in the Hawke and Keating Governments from 1988 to 1996. In June 2008, he was appointed to co-chair (with former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi) the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. He is a member of the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Committee on Genocide Prevention.
Gareth Evans will be introduced to the Sydney Ideas stage by Dr Ben Saul, director of the University of Sydney's Sydney Centre for International Law.
What: "Responsibility to Protect: Ending mass atrocity crimes once and for all"- Gareth Evans at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney's international public lecture series
When: 4pm on Friday, 24 October, 2008. Please note this earlier timeslot.
Where: The Seymour Theatre Centre, cnr of City Road and Cleveland Street, University of Sydney
Cost: $25/$20 concession. Free tickets are available for University of Sydney students and staff. Please contact the Seymour Theatre box office.
Bookings: 02 9351 7940 or online www.seymour.usyd.edu.au/boxoffice/program
Next at Sydney Ideas - Hugh Mackay
Social commentator and best-selling author Hugh Mackay will argue that participation in the arts can lead to a healthier city when he speaks at Sydney Ideas, the University of Sydney at 5pm on Saturday, 8 November, 2008. This lecture is part of the Spring Back to Sydney Alumni program.
Contact: Katrina O'Brien
Phone: 02 9036 7842