Monday, 7 January 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to readers of the blog, and especially to PhD students at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. We have an exciting 2008 ahead of us. The year will include the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (on 17 July), the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Genocide Convention (on 9 December) and the sixtieth anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (on 10 December). There will be many conferences and celebrations.
Some of the highlights of our activities at the Irish Centre for Human Rights for the coming year include the annual doctoral seminar, during the week of 31 March. Our guests this year are Prof. Anita Ramasastry (who is spending the semester at the Centre as a Fulbright fellow), Dr. Alfred De Zayas (formerly of the Office of the High Commisioner for Human Rights), and Prof. Semih Gemilmaz (of University of Istanbul). It will be followed by a student-organised conference on the 'responsibility to protect' or 'R2P'. In June, we will receive Judge Richard Goldstone, who will be awarded an honorary doctorate at the University. In the autumn (date to be confirmed, to be held in Galway), we will jointly sponsor a conference with UNESCO on the right to benefit from scientific progress.
I am back in action after a wonderful two weeks in Mexico. We spent a week with friends at the beach town of Puerto Escondido, three extraordinary days visiting the heritage site of Oaxaca, and a final night in Mexico City, where Juan Manuel Portilla Gomez and his family took Penelope and I for a lovely dinner (see top photo). Some of you may remember Juan Manuel, who is a distinguished professor of international law in Mexico. He spent his sabbatical three years ago at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. The bottom photos show one of the pyramids at Monte Alban, outside Oaxaca, and Penelope at the local market, deciding whether or not to buy some grasshoppers for cooking. She can be an adventuresome cook, but she took a pass on the grasshoppers (which I tried out that night in a Oaxacan restaurant).
We are back in New York City for the night, but are leaving tonight for Rome, where I will be a visiting professor at the Luiss Guido Carli University during January and February.

1 comment:

michelle said...

sounds great Prof. happy new year to you and Penelope