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Ireland’s former President to argue for worldwide human rights at Cardiff University

06 October 2008

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, one of the world’s leading human rights advocates, comes to Cardiff University to argue that globalization brings responsibility to promote human rights worldwide.

The free public lecture, ‘Ethical globalization - a challenge for the 21st century’, (November 7) will focus on the key challenges facing ‘a global society and the need to position human rights at the heart of governance and policy-making.’

Mrs Robinson’s lecture will draw upon her wide experience in the field of ethical globalization, including her time as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She is also the founder and President of the Ethical Globalization Initiative. Over the course of a distinguished political career, she has received countless awards and honours for her humanitarian approach to international affairs.

The lecture is to be the first Hadyn Ellis Distinguished Lecture. It marks a fitting tribute to the late Professor Hadyn Ellis CBE DSc (1945-2006), who was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University and played a significant role in establishing Cardiff as one of the leading research universities in the UK.

The lecture, part of the University’s 125th anniversary celebrations, is open to all and takes place on Friday 7 November at the Julian Hodge Building on Colum Drive. A pre-lecture reception will commence at 18:45pm, followed by the lecture at 19:45pm. Attendance is free of charge but entry to the event will be by ticket only. Please contact Sue Dentten, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, to obtain tickets (email or telephone 029 2087 5356).

This lecture is sponsored by the Waterloo Foundation, an independent grant-making foundation based in Wales.


Notes to Editors:

1. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education (THE).

2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883. Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

2. Mary Robinson (photos available from public relations office 029 2087 0995)

Mary Robinson, the first female President of Ireland (1990-1997) and formerly the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), is a politician and humanitarian of international standing. She currently chairs the Council of Women World Leaders and is President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative.

She is also a member of the Elders, a group of world leaders convened by Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackling some of the world’s toughest problems.

A more indepth biography is available at:

3. Professor Hadyn Ellis CBE DSc (1945 - 2006)

Professor Hadyn Ellis undertook many leadership roles at the University, including Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research. Professor Ellis also served as Head of the School of Psychology for 13 years, during which time he guided the School to successive five star ratings in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). As Chair of the University’s Research Committee he played a pivotal role in the University’s cumulative successes in both the 1996 and 2001 Research Assessment Exercises.

For more than two decades, Professor Ellis helped to establish Cardiff as one of the leading research universities in the UK and, in 2004, was awarded a CBE for his contributions to higher education.

Professor Ellis was an internationally acknowledged psychologist who undertook pioneering work on face recognition and made a significant contribution towards establishing the discipline of cognitive neuropsychiatry.

Further Information:

Jessica Kelly

Public Relations

Cardiff University

T: 029 2087 0995