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Former Australian Foreign Minister To Deliver Annual Cohen Lecture

Gareth Evans, a 21-year member of the Australian Parliament and current chief executive of the International Crisis Group (ICG), will deliver the 16th Annual Cohen International Relations Lecture at Lehigh University at 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 in Baker Hall of the Zoellner Arts Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Evans’ talk, "Confronting the Challenge of Terrorism: International Relations after 9-11," will highlight how international crisis has taken on new significance in the past six months and how the international community is becoming increasingly polarized.

"Mr. Evans is a fabulous speaker with a unique perspective," says Henri Barkey, chair of the international relations department at Lehigh University. "Name the hot spot around the world, and Mr. Evans is there gaining a ground-level perspective. As a former foreign minister, he understands the policy and diplomacy needed to resolve international crisis. It is an honor to welcome a leader of his stature to the Lehigh Valley."

Since January 2000, Evans has served as president and chief executive of the Brussels-based office of ICG, a private advocacy organization committed to improving the way the international community responds to crises. In providing on-the-spot analysis of their root causes and proposing practical solutions, the ICG issues reports and briefing papers that are prepared by field-based analysts and are distributed to top-level policymakers in governments, the UN and other multilateral agencies and to the press.

Evans was also recently appointed co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. The ICISS was commissioned by the Canadian Government in response to a challenge placed before the international community by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan about dilemmas posed by humanitarian crises where intervention and the sanctity of state sovereignty are in conflict.

Evans resigned from the Australian Parliament in September 1999. He was the longest serving parliamentary member of the Australian Labor Party, first entering the Senate in 1978 and transferring to the House of Representatives in 1996. Evans served as a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating Labor Governments in the posts of Attorney-General (1983-4), Minister for Resources and Energy (1984-7), Minister for Transport and Communications (1987-8) and Foreign Minister (1988-96).

He is best known internationally as Foreign Minister for his role in founding APEC in 1989, for developing the U.N. Peace Plan for Cambodia, and for bringing to a conclusion the International Chemical Weapons Convention. He is also recognized for initiating the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and his 1993 book on UN Reform, "Cooperating for Peace."

The Cohen International Relations Lecture Series is made possible by an endowment from the late Bernard L. Cohen, a 1936 Lehigh graduate, and his wife, Bertha Finkelstein Cohen, a 1937 graduate of Moravian College.


Posted on Friday, April 12, 2002

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