Two champions of social justice
to speak at URI March 9
KINGSTON, R.I. -- March, 3, 2000 -- A former assistant secretary general
of the United nations and a former professor at Fairfield University will
speak at the University of Rhode Island about the effects of economic sanctions
on innocent people and human suffering in Iraq.
Denis Halliday, former assistant secretary general of the United Nations,
and the Rev. Dr. G. Simon Harak, a Jesuit priest, will lecture Thursday
March 9, at 7 p.m. in Room 277 of the Chafee Social Science Center on the
Kingston Campus. Their topics are "Economic Sanctions Kill Innocent
People-Over 1.2 million, A Large Proportion Children-Is it Worth the Price;"
and "Iraq Behind the Headlines-The Untold Story of Human Sufferings."
The two have given up their careers to work full-time for the cause of
humanity. The program is free and open to the public.
Halliday was appointed United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq
in September 1997, at the assistant-secretary general level, and he served
until September 1998.
Halliday resigned from the post in Iraq and from the United Nations in
October 1998 after serving the organization for 34 years.
Previously, Halliday served as assistant secretary-general for the Human
Resources Manager of the United Nations, based in its New York headquarters.
During this period, he introduced on behalf of the secretary-general to
the General Assembly a strategy for the better management, performance and
development of some 15,000 United Nations staff worldwide.
Halliday graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and holds a
master's degree in economics, geography and public administration. He is
married and has a daughter, Fransisca.
Harak entered the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1970 and was ordained
a priest in 1979. He has served as a missionary in Jamaica and the Philippines,
and as a priest has traveled to many different countries. He received his
master of divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in 1979 and
his master of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1984. He
earned his doctorate from Notre Dame in 1986.
He has taught at Fairfield University in Connecticut and held the John
Early Visiting Professor Chair at Loyola College in Baltimore.
He has authored, edited, and contributed to such books as Virtuous Passions,
Aquinas and Empowerment, Beyond Boundaries: Students in the Developing World;
and Nonviolence for the Third Millennium. He is currently writing Vicious
Passions and co-editing and contributing to Riding on Faith, a social/cultural/religious/psychological
criticism of the Disney phenomenon.
He traveled to Iraq in December-January in 1997-98 with "Voices
in the Wilderness," bringing medicine and toys to Iraqi children in
open and public violation of U.S. law. He has spent the past year touring
the country, giving talks on the effects of the sanctions.
In December 1998, Harak resigned his full professorship at Fairfield
University to work full-time against the economic sanctions against Iraq.
Harak visited Iraq again in December, 1999 and January, 2000, specifically
during Christmas and Muslim Eid, to see what U.S. planes were doing during
the two great holiday occasions. He found out that on both of those days,
U.S. planes were bombing civilian areas.
Thursday night's program is sponsored by the URI Visiting Scholars Committee,
the URI John Hazen White Sr. Center for Ethics and Public Service, the URI
Department of Athletics, the URI Latin American Students Association, Student
Senate and the Rhode Island Committee for Nonviolence Initiative. The lectures
are organized by the Southern Rhode Island Islamic Society and URI Muslim
For Further Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116