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Ireland at Fordham Humanitarian Lecture Series

The Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), Fordham University, launched the Ireland at Fordham Humanitarian Lecture Series as a significant multiyear partnership between the Government of Ireland and Fordham University. The lecture series, which began in April 2019, will run until June 2020 with events in New York, Dublin, and Geneva.

The Ireland at Fordham Humanitarian Lecture Series speaks to Ireland’s profile as a leader in international development and humanitarian action as well as Fordham University’s commitment to research and education that assist in the promotion of justice, the protection of human rights, and respect for the environment. The series will consist of a number of distinguished lectures supported by a series of more technical lectures and workshops that are open to all.

Lectures will explore the challenges facing policymakers and humanitarians as they seek to ensure that aid reaches those in need, that humanitarian principles are upheld, and that civilians are protected. Specific topics of discussion will include humanitarian protection through international humanitarian law, humanitarian financing, climate and security, and more.

Speakers will include high-level political leaders who will communicate pivotal messages in response to key questions such as:

What challenges and opportunities exist in humanitarian action in the 21st century?

How do climate and gender drive food insecurity and humanitarian need?

And, how can humanitarian action strengthen the role of local actors in humanitarian responses?


Lecture #1: H.E. Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson

The inaugural lecture of the series was delivered by H.E. Mary Robinson, chair of international NGO The Elders and the first woman elected president of Ireland (1990-1997). She is a former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and an advocate for climate justice, gender equality, women’s participation in peace-building, and human dignity.

Watch the full lecture here.

Read the full lecture here.


Lecture #2: Michael D. Higgins 

Michael D Higgins giving a lecture

The second lecture of the series was delivered by Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland on “Humanitarianism and the Public Intellectual in Times of Crisis.” President Higgins has campaigned tirelessly for human rights, peace, democracy, equality, and justice throughout his years as a political leader. 

Watch the full lecture here.

Read the full lecture here.