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Release: Jan. 17, 2002

Photo: Denis Halliday, former United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq

Former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator To Speak At The UI

Denis Halliday, former United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, considers the implications of international military action in Iraq, U.N. economic sanctions and the resulting impact on Iraqi citizens during his public address at the University of Iowa Thursday, Jan. 24. Halliday's talk, "Human Rights, Terrorism, and U.N. Sanctions Against Iraq" takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Shambaugh Auditorium in the Main Library.

Halliday, appointed as coordinator by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, resigned from his post of assistant secretary general in 1998 after 34 years of service to the U.N. in protest of what has been described as the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Iraqi children. The vocal Ireland native spent most of his career with the United Nations in development and humanitarian assistance-related posts in New York and in Southeast Asia.

"Apparently, a shift has been occurring in U.S. policy on Iraq," says Yelena Perhunkova, one of the event's organizers. "The current policy has destroyed society in Iraq and caused the deaths of thousands. Are we going to end this policy by force, by replacing Saddam Hussein?"

Halliday is available for pre-lecture telephone interviews and is expected to attend various UI classes during his campus visit. On Wednesday, Jan. 23, he also is expected to participate in a 30-minute press conference beginning at 4:30 p.m. and a reception in his honor at the Congregational United Church of Christ, 30 N. Clinton Street, Iowa City. The reception is co-sponsored by the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and the Iowa Division of United Nations Association.

The UI speaking event has been organized by Iowans for Peace with Iraq, a local group of UI students and community members who have received support for this program from the UI Student Government, International Programs, Center for Human Rights, the First Mennonite Church, and various other UI departments and community organizations.

For more information and to read Halliday's biography, visit www.uiowa.edu/~ipiraq or e-mail ipi@uiowa.edu with questions.