Louise Arbour wins Trainor Award at Georgetown UniversityOctober 2, 2009 # 3:13 pm # Human Rights, International Law # No Comment
The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy (ISD) presented this year’s Jit Trainor Award to its first female recipient, Louise Arbour, for her trailblazing work in the field of international diplomacy.
Arbour, president and chief executive officer of the International Crisis Group, describes herself as an “accidental tourist in international diplomacy,” never meaning to have taken the path that has led her around the world.
“Ms. Arbour represents the complex, new worlds of diplomatic engagement. She has been a scholar and teacher, attorney and judge, international prosecutor and human rights defender and now has become a major nongovernmental leader in international affairs,” said Paula Newberg, the Marshall B. Coyne Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. “Her abiding interests in protecting rights and promoting peace are signal issues in contemporary diplomacy that also reflect ISD’s intellectual agenda.”
Arbour has led a distinguished career that includes serving as a U.N. high commissioner for human rights, 2004-2008; chief prosecutor for the U.N. Security Council’s international criminal tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, 1996; and member of the Supreme Court of Ontario, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada.
The awardee highlighted the United Nations High Commission on Human Right’s multilateral work during her lecture.
“Procedurally, one would think that the peace and security agenda should not be handled exclusively by agents of states,” she said.
Arbour talked about the roles countries and the United Nations play when it comes to preventing crimes against humanity. She said steps must be taken for the international public interest.
“(The U.N.) evolved from the established idea that injury inflicted upon an individual may become an injury inflicted upon the entire community,” she said.
Arbour joins a list of 27 other Trainor recipients that includes retired U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Vice President Walter Mondale and retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark.
The Trainor Award, named after the late School of Foreign Service registrar Raymond “Jit” Trainor, recognizes outstanding men and women for their conduct of diplomacy.