WRITER: JESSICA SNOWDEN
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: April 9, 2001
(Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with one of the speakers, or to attend
all or part of the conference, call the University of Iowa Center for Human
Rights at 335-3900 or the Global Health Studies Office 335-2825.)
UI hosts Global Assembly on Human Right to Health April 20-22
IOWA CITY, Iowa Iowa is not immune to the health crisis facing people
around the globe. The state's diverse population links Iowa to the global
community and is thus affected by global health concerns such as conflict,
clean water, sanitation, and lifestyle and infectious diseases.
"Infectious diseases, poor sanitation and lack of clean water are only
an airplane trip away," said Maureen McCue, M.D., an organizer of an
assembly convening at the University of Iowa to address health and human rights.
"A Global Assembly: Advancing the Human Right to Health" will
be held April 20-22 at the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU) on the UI campus. The
assembly is organized by the UI Center for Human Rights, Global Health Studies
Program and the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health Rights of the Harvard
School of Public Health with support from many colleges, departments and Non-Governmental
Organizations (NGOs) nationally and internationally.
Highlights of the Assembly will be the keynote address given by Daniel Tarantola,
M.D. and the plenary address given by Carlos Pazos, M.D. These talks are free
and open to the public. Tarantola will speak on "World Health and Human
Rights" on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in the IMU Ballroom. He is a senior
policy advisor in the Office of the Director-General of the World Health Organization
(WHO). He advises the WHO Director-General on a number of health and human
rights issues including HIV/AIDS, communicable diseases and emergency humanitarian
Pazos will deliver an address on "Globalization: Its Impact on Health"
on Sunday, April 22 at 8:30 a.m. in the IMU Ballroom. He is the president
of the Cuban Medical Committee for Global Survival and advisor to the Cuban
Minister of Health. Pazos advises the minister on issues of globalization
and health as well as the arms race and health.
"Both speakers have unique and broad international perspectives to
share with Iowa," noted McCue.
Scholars, health and legal professionals, and activists from around the world,
including Cuba, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark and Canada, will share their
insights and expertise. International participants from Liberia, the United
Kingdom, Uganda and Canada also plan to attend.
Goals of the conference include articulating the consequences of the denial
of the right to health, presenting research and findings in the areas of human
rights and health, and introducing initiatives to achieve economic, social
and cultural rights supportive of global health.
"At the conclusion to the three day Assembly, participants will compose
and publish the Iowa City Declaration addressing our collective responsibility
to advance the human right to health," McCue said.
Numerous participants from the UI, Iowa City community, and other state
of Iowa institutions will also contribute to the Assembly. These local experts
include faculty and students in public health, medicine, law and social sciences,
legal professionals, health care providers, community members, and activists
with an interest in global health and human rights.
UI conference sponsors include: the College of Public Health; College of
Medicine; International Programs: Stanley Major Projects and National Resource
Center; Associate Provost for Health Sciences; Anthropology Department; Global
Studies Program; and Students Against Sweatshops (SAS).
Other sponsors are: the University of Northern Iowa, Global Health Corps
(GHC); Global Lawyers and Physicians, Health Law Department, Boston University
School of Public Health; Physicians for Human Rights (PHR); Doctors for Global
Health (DGH); and the Stanley Foundation.
The United Nations Association-USA, Iowa Division, UI Department of Health,
Leisure and Sport Studies, the Council for International Visitors to Iowa
Cities (CIVIC), and the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) have also
For more information about the Global Assembly, including registration information
and a complete schedule of events and speakers, contact the UI Center for
Conferences and Institutes at (319) 335-4141 or 1-800-551-9029 or check online