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Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to Keynote Boswell Symposium at DePauw

February 3, 2004

February 3, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will come to the campus of DePauw University March 14 to deliver the keynote address for the Hampton and Esther Boswell Symposium. The symposium, which will take place March 14-15, will examine Global Human Rights and the Media. Ms. Robinson's speech, at 7:30 p.m. in Meharry Hall of historic East College, is free and open to the public, as are all symposium events.

Other participants in the Boswell Symposium will include Kwame Dixon, visiting professor of African American Studies at Syracuse University; Paul Chaat Smith, curator of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian; Lynne Duke, Washington Post staff reporter; and Ken Bode, Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Professor of Journalism at DePauw University. They will participate in a panel discussion at 4:15 p.m. Monday, March 15, in the the auditorium of DePauw's F.W. Olin Biological Sciences Building.

Mary Robinson is the founder and executive director of the pro-human rights organization Ethical Globalization Initiative, which recently announced a partnership with Columnia University. As part of the arrangement, the Initiative will be housed in Columbia's Earth Institute. Robinson will serve as an adviser to the Institute, will teach in the department of international and public affairs, and will be a senior research scholar at Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute.

Robinson served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and as the first woman president of Ireland (1990-1997). In the latter role, Robinson became known internationally as a strong supporter of human rights and placed special emphasis on the needs of developing countries. Robinson was the first head of state to visit Rwanda and Somalia and received the Special CARE Humanitarian Award in recognition of her efforts for Somalia.

As high commissioner for human rights, Robinson turned the post into one of the organization's most high-profile departments. During her first year on the job, she traveled to Rwanda, South Africa, Colombia and Cambodia. In 1998, she visited China, signing an agreement supporting the improvement of human rights. She also strengthened human rights' monitoring in Kosovo, in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Educated at Trinity College, Robinson also holds law degrees from the King's Inns in Dublin and from Harvard University.

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