Post Date: April 19, 2005

“The UN is at a cross-roads,” says Professor Bill Alford, HLS vice dean for international legal studies. “The real question is whether it can effectively restructure itself both to meet legitimate criticisms and to play a central role in addressing the defining problems of our lifetime.”

Hauser’s lecture comes at a time when the U.N. is facing unprecedented challenges to its authority and, in the words of Secretary General Kofi Annan, “a desire exists to make the most far reaching reforms in [its] history.” Toward that end, Annan has issued a report calling for major changes in the Security Council, the Human Rights Commission and other UN bodies to better address the challenges of global poverty, mass violence, AIDS and terrorism.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Rita Hauser here to address these questions,” added Alford. “She has extensive experience at the highest levels of international affairs, an abiding commitment to international understanding and justice, and the keenest of lawyerly acumen.”