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Upcoming Watts Lecture features former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

WATTS LECTURE: The Honourable Louise Arbour will speak about human rights on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. in the ARC theatre on campus.

The Honourable Louise Arbour, an internationally renowned judge and lawyer who served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is this year’s guest speaker at the 33rd Watts Lecture at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She will speak on the topic of “All Human Rights for All: A Broken Promise.”

Arbour previously served as a judge on the Supreme Court of Canada, and first gained world attention for her role as Chief Prosecutor during the International Criminal Tribunals related to war crimes in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. She has earned an international reputation for courage and tenacity, and gained the respect of United Nations officials as well as human rights groups around the world. She was appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2004 and recently completed her term in 2008.

Her lecture, on the eve of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, will address a number of important questions:

• Is the promise of universal, indivisible rights, of equality and dignity for all, still a work in progress, or has it been largely repudiated?

• Have rights been pitted against each other, as a proxy for the north-south divide?

• Is the new Human Rights Council the theatre of choice for a cruel play of broken promises and political posturing?

• Or are we on the way to a genuine globalization of rights, and is this possible without an international rights enforcement institution?

The Watts Lecture is a free public event that will take place on Wednesday, October 29 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Academic Resource Centre (ARC) lecture theatre, AC-223, at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

The Watts Lecture Series is named in honour of the late F.B. Watts, a distinguished geography professor who died in 1969. The F.B. Watts Memorial Lecture series was established in 1970 with the intention that the lectures have as wide an appeal as possible, both within the university and in the community, and that distinguished speakers be invited from all walks of life. The lecture is generously supported by TD Insurance Meloche Monnex.

© University of Toronto Scarborough