Diplomats to Present on Human Rights at 75th India University Borah Symposium


MOSCOW — Global and national diplomats, including the former president of Peru, a three-star US general and a former UN human rights leader, are expected to make presentations at the University of the University’s 75th Annual Borah Symposium Idaho.

The annual symposium – focusing on the causes of war and the conditions of peace – brings together world leaders, diplomats, scholars, practitioners and activists to discuss solutions to problems facing the global community. This year’s symposium focuses on the international protection of human rights at events on September 22, 27 and 28 in Moscow.

“We chose to honor the anniversary by highlighting the conditions that enable peace,” said Dave Gottwald, assistant professor at the College of Art & Architecture and chairman of the Borah committee. “Without justice, there is no peace. But without human rights, there is no justice.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, will begin with a panel discussion titled “Coercive Labor in Nazi Germany and the Pacific Northwest, 1933-45” at 4:00 p.m. PT on September 22 at the Bruce M. Pitman Center Vandal Ballroom and via Zoom.

Former Peruvian President Francisco Rafael Sagasti will deliver the keynote address at 7:00 p.m. on September 27 in the Pitman Center’s International Ballroom. Sagasti is an engineer, academic, and author who served as President of Peru from November 2020 to July 2021. He was also the founder and executive director of the poverty relief organization Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo; adviser to the ministers of industry, foreign affairs and education and adviser to the president of the council of ministers and the national planning institute. Bill L. Smith, director of the Borah Foundation and the Martin Institute, will present “William Edgar Borah and the Outlaw Movement of War” at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 27 in the Pitman Center’s Vandal Ballroom and via Zoom. Online viewing links will be available at uidaho.edu/borah.

Three-star general Erik Peterson, an alumnus of Island University, will present “War and Peace in the Twenty-Century” at 12:30 p.m. September 28 in the Pitman Center’s International Ballroom. Peterson is the G8 Deputy Chief of Staff in the US military. Previously, he served as Director of Force Development and Commanding General of the First Army Division West. Peterson will also host a visitation session with high school students from across the Interior Northwest.

Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will deliver the symposium’s closing address at 7 p.m. on September 28 in the Pitman Center’s International Ballroom. Known for his outspoken criticism of fascism, religious radicalism and threats to growing civil liberties in countries around the world, Zeid is a powerful advocate for human rights and open societies. Zeid was the sixth to hold the UN post, from 2014 to 2018. He was also the first Arab and Muslim to hold the post.

“The Borah Symposium connects what is learned in the classroom with real-world experiences. Hearing from world leaders and other highly accomplished individuals is an opportunity students don’t want to miss,” said Olivia Niemi, Borah Committee Member and Director of Sustainability at the University of Idaho Student Associate.

The William Edgar Borah Outlawry of War Foundation is a separately endowed foundation at the U of I established in 1929 to honor and continue the peacemaking work of former U.S. Senator William Borah of Idaho. Supported by the U of I Martin Institute, the Borah Foundation was established to advance research and teaching on the causes of conflict and peaceful resolution. Topics for the Borah Symposium program are chosen by a committee of U of I students and staff. Find speaker biographies and additional symposium information online.


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