Former UN president speaks about Iraq

Czech-born Jan Kavan, former president of the United Nations General Assembly, will present a lecture on “The US, the UN and Iraq: Ethics, Empire and International Law” today at 2:30pm in the Verney Room, S674 Ross Bldg.

Left: Jan Kavan

Kavan recently completed his term as president of the 57th session of the UN General Assembly. He is currently a member of the Czech Chamber of Deputies. With a history of activism promoting democracy and human rights in his native country, Kavan served, prior to his appointment to the UN, as the Czech Republic’s deputy prime minister for foreign and security policy (1999-2002) and minister of foreign affairs (1998-2002). He continues to head the Policy Centre for the Promotion of Democracy in the Czech Republic, which he founded in 1993.

Following the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Kavan spent 20 years in exile in the United Kingdom. During his time in exile, he founded the Palach Press Agency, which promoted the activities of Czech opposition movements in the West. He also formed the Jan Palach Information and Research Trust and the Eastern European Cultural Foundation.

Kavan was a visiting professor of politics and history at Adelphi University (1993-1994) and Karl Loewenstein Fellow in Politics and Jurisprudence at Amherst College. He is an Honorary Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Kavan’s lecture is presented by York’s Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, the Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy, the York Centre for Practical Ethics, McLaughlin College, the SSHRC-sponsored Tri-Centre Ethics & International Intervention Project and the York Centre for International & Security Studies.