Date & Time
Free and open to the public
Reception to follow.
Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Jared Genser, human rights lawyer, managing director of Perseus Strategies, and founder of Freedom Now
Moderated by Kiyoteru Tsutsui, associate professor of sociology, director of Human Rights Initiative
About the event:
In 2000, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325, a landmark framework that would shape the global understanding of the roles of women in conflict situations and peace-building processes. Acknowledging the changing nature of warfare, in which civilian casualties have grown exponentially and gender-based violence has become a weapon of war, and recognizing the critical role of women in creating sustainable peace, the Resolution called on member states to take measures to increase participation of women in peace-building processes and to protect women from gender-based violence. Dozens of countries have developed National Action Plans to implement the Resolution and several further Security Council resolutions have been adopted to reinforce the norms codified in Resolution 1325. In 2015, the women, peace, and security agenda is being reevaluate by the UN Security Council. To close the gap between the promise of Resolution 1325 and its implementation, ten Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - including Jody Williams - commissioned Jared Genser and other partners to prepare and submit a report to the UN Security Council evaluating the impact of the Resolution 1325 and recommending how its implementation can be addressed. In anticipation of the the report that is to be submitted in late March, Jody Williams and Jared Genser will join the Human Rights Initiative to preview its findings and its implications, and to discuss women's rights in the 21st century.
Jody Williams received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which shared the Peace Prize with her that year. At that time, she became the 10th woman - and third American woman - in its almost 100-year history to receive the Prize. Since her protests of the Vietnam War, she has been a life-long advocate of freedom, self-determination and human and civil rights. Since 1998, Williams has also served as a Campaign Ambassador for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Beginning in early 1992 with two non-governmental organizations and a staff of one - Jody Williams, she oversaw the Campaign's growth to over 1,300 organizations in 95 countries working to eliminate antipersonnel landmines. In an unprecedented cooperative effort with governments, UN bodies and the International Committee of the Red Cross, she served as a chief strategist and spokesperson for the ICBL as it dramatically achieved its goal of an international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines during a diplomatic conference held in Oslo in September 1997. Williams continues to be recognized for her contributions to human rights and global security. Since January of 2006, Jody Williams has worked toward those ends through the Nobel Women's Initiative, which she chairs. Along with sister Nobel laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi of Iran, she took the lead in establishing the Nobel Women’s Initiative. They were joined at that time by sister Nobel laureates Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Rigoberta Menchú Tum (Guatemala), and Betty Williams and Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland). The Initiative uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and the influence and access of the women Nobel laureates themselves to support and amplify the efforts of women around the world working for sustainable peace with justice and equality.
Jared Genser is managing director of Perseus Strategies, a law and consulting firm that focuses on human rights, humanitarian, and corporate social responsibility projects. He is also founder of Freedom Now, a non-governmental organization that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide. His pro bono clients have included former Czech Republic President Václav Havel and Nobel Peace Prize laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Liu Xiaobo, Desmond Tutu, and Elie Wiesel. Genser holds a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.P.P. from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was an Alumni Public Service Fellow, and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. He is the lead author of a report to the UN by a group of Nobel Peace Prize laureates regarding the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women in conflict and peace, and author of The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Commentary and Guide to Practice (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming 2015).
Sponsors: Human Rights Initiative, International Institute; Program in International and Comparative Studies; International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and the Center for the Education of Women.