Advisor Examines U.N.’s Role in World

“The [United Nations] has grown very big. A lot of people think it is too large; it is different to different people, much like the proverbial elephant to the three blind men,” began Lakhdar Brahimi, former U.N. special advisor and Cornell A.D. White Professor-at-Large. Yesterday evening, he addressed a crowded lecture hall about the progress and shortcomings of the U.N. as a humanitarian and peacekeeping force in the world.

Judge Discusses Debaathification in Iraq

Judge Ra’id Juhi Hamadi al-Saedi lectured about the vast problems with the debaathification committee in Iraq yesterday afternoon. Juhi is Cornell Law School’s first Clark Middle Eastern Fellow; he is known for indicting Saddam Hussein in 2004.
Debaathification, which began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, refers to the process of ridding Iraq of all Baath supporters; in other words, all Saddam Hussein supporters.

U.N. Veteran Questions Future of Human Rights

“Human rights are meant to be of universal application,” said Hon. Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In her lecture, “Human Rights for All: Beyond our Reach?” Arbour spoke to a diverse group of students and members of the public last night about current threats to the universality of human rights.
“The principle of universality itself is now under attack,” said Arbour, who recently resigned from her post at the U.N. having served since 2004.
Dec. 10 will mark the 60-year anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Arbour described as, “one of the most important secular documents in human history.”

Election Supervisor Says Voting Process is Flawed

Since the United States democracy operates in such a way that every citizen of 18 years and older has the right to cast a vote, one would imagine that every citizen’s vote would have the right be counted. According to Ion Sancho, supervisor of elections for Leon County, Fla., however, this is not at all true.
This past Saturday, New Yorkers for Verified Voting invited Sancho to speak to the public concerning issues of the flawed voting processes that occur in the country.

Profs Disappointed in Argentinian Science Ed.

Normally, Earth science students and faculty gather once a week to hear the latest updates on plate tectonics and radiometric dating techniques. This week, however, they were treated to something different. Visiting Professor Victor Ramos of the University of Buenos Aires spoke on his views on the broader subject of science in South America from an Argentinian perspective. He tied together aspects of economics, politics and social history to illuminate how science in South America has changed over the last century and what its prospects are for the next.
The importance of an accessible, developed and protected education system became the theme of the lecture that most resonated with Cornell’s own mission and future.