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Release: Immediate

UI committee launches website for 50th anniversary of UN declaration

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Students, educators, activists, and people all over the world interested in human rights have access to the latest information on local programming and events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, thanks to a new site on the World Wide Web sponsored by a University of Iowa committee planning the year-long celebration.

The committee for "Global Focus: Human Rights '98" has launched a site on the World Wide Web to keep the UI, Iowa City and statewide communities up-to-date on planning for the commemoration. The site includes several scholarly and educational resources as well as links to other sites on issues in human rights.

The Global Focus site is accessible at

Burns H. Weston, professor of international law and chair of the Global Focus committee, says the site is designed to provide information on plans for activities on campus and in Iowa City and to educate visitors about human rights.

The site also is intended to invite participation by people at the UI, in the community, the state, and nationally, Weston says, and to serve as a resource and database for students and faculty who are researching human rights.

"In an age when communication takes place on a global scale through the Internet, we hope that our new website will be spot where discussion and education on issues in human rights will take place," Weston says. "We are excited to be able to keep the community informed and up-to-date on plans for this historic milestone."

The committee currently is planning activities and events leading up to and going beyond Dec. 10, 1998, the 50th anniversary of the declaration. Nobel Peace Prize winners Elie Wiesel and Rigoberta Menchu Tum and Chinese human rights activist Harry Wu are among the people scheduled to speak at the UI during 1998 as a part of the celebration.

The Global Focus website, designed by Brett Lorenzen of Digital Academy, includes information about the committee and its work; the latest schedule for lectures, panel discussions, classroom activities and other events.

Also included are links to resources, including the entire text of the declaration and other UN documents and treaties; curricular information on human rights; and an entry on human rights to be published in the new Encyclopedia Britannica and written by Weston.


Editors note: The address for the Global Focus site on the World Wide Web -- -- requires a ~ (tilde sign) before the letters "hr98/".