Penn Law International
Law at the UN: What Difference Does it Make

Law at the UN: What Difference Does it Make

January 21, 2016

Miguel de Serpa Soares
UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel

This talk and the conversation that followed examined the extraordinary range of legal issues that the UN confronts. As the UN’s top legal adviser, Under-Secretary-General Serpa Soares addressed the UN’s responsibility to uphold the rule of law and the complex role of administering international law in the face of some of the most intractable challenges of the day. His discussion responded to the often-debated question: Does lawmaking at the United Nations make a difference?

Invisible Wounds of War - CERL Conference Keynote by Zainab Hawa Bangura

Invisible Wounds of War - CERL Conference Keynote by Zainab Hawa Bangura

December 3, 2015

Zainab Hawa Bangura
Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Zainab Bangura addressed wartime rape and other forms of conflict-related sexual violence as a “cost- free” and devastating weapon of war. She focused on her UN mandate challenging impunity in the DRC and South Sudan and the psycho-social support needed for survivors of violence in countries ranging from Iraq, Syria, Bosnia, DRC, Somalia and the Central African Republic. Bangura was previously the Minister of Health and Sanitation for the government of Sierra Leone and was also the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Free Trade Agreements and Multilateralism: The Next Frontier for the EU and the US

Free Trade Agreements and Multilateralism: The Next Frontier for the EU and the US

October 29, 2015

Ambassador David O'Sullivan
Ambassador of the European Union to the United States 

This discussion was moderated by Professor Jill Fisch and Professor William Burke-White.  With the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently at the forefront of economic dialogue, O’Sullivan emphasized the importance of international accountability in trade relations.

The Challenges Facing the ICC: The Africa Question

The Challenges Facing the ICC: The Africa Question

October 28, 2015

A Critical Global Conversation with Akua Kuenyehia, former Judge of the International Criminal Court, and the former Law Dean of University of Ghana. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been criticized for what is deemed to be “selective” targeting of poor, African, or “third world” states. Is this a legitimate criticism? What impact has the ICC had on conflict resolution, peacebuilding, the rule of law, and the struggle to end impunity? Does ICC’s retributive justice model work in the case of Africa?

Implementing the UN Human Rights Agenda: Challenges and Opportunities

Implementing the UN Human Rights Agenda: Challenges and Opportunities

October 5, 2015

A Critical Global Conversation with Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at the United Nations. Dean Ruger hosted Šimonović for a discussion of critical new developments and challenges in human rights including Responsibility to Protect(R2P), the new ‘Human Rights Due Diligence Policy’ (HRDDP) and the Human Rights Up Front (HRUF) initiative. Before joining the United Nations, ASG Simonovic held the position of Minister of Justice of Croatia and also served as President of UN ECOSOC.

Licit and Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: Are Lawyers Heroes or Villains?

Licit and Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: Are Lawyers Heroes or Villains?

September 30, 2015

The 2015 The Leon C. & June W. Holt Lecture in International Law was delivered by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Former Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Okonjo-Iweala helped grow her country's economy, the largest in Africa, an average of 6% (per annum) over three years. She is credited with developing reform programs that helped improve governmental transparency and stabilizing the economy. Okonjo-Iweala was the first woman to be the finance minister and the foreign minister of the West African country with a GDP of $502 billion.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals: Leaving No One Behind

The UN Sustainable Development Goals: Leaving No One Behind

July 22, 2015

In July 2015, Penn Law joined with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) to rededicate our commitment to the SDGs. Penn Law convened a high-level panel discussion in the United Nations Delegate’s Dining Room to discuss how efforts to promote the rule of law may best address problems of equity and social justice confronting the international community. Keynote remarks were provided by Ambassador Michele J. Sison, United States Deputy Representative to the United Nations. Panelists included Irene Khan, Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) and Khalid Malik, former director of the Human Development Report Office at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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