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University of Iowa News Release

March 26, 2004

Former New Zealand Prime Minister To Speak On International Whaling Commission

Sir Geoffrey Palmer, New Zealand's commissioner to the International Whaling Commission, will speak to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) about "The International Whaling Commission: An International Organization with a Dilemma" from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 6 at the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

This event is sponsored by the ICFRC and University of Iowa International Programs, with additional support from The Braverman Foundation.

Palmer, an honorary lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, also teaches periodically at the UI College of Law. He has been a British Commonwealth fellow at the University of Chicago and obtained a Doctor of Law cum laude in 1967. He also holds honorary degrees from Hofstra University, New York, Washington University in St Louis, and Victoria University of Wellington.

His 11-year-long political career in New Zealand began as a Member of Parliament, Christchurch Central in 1979. During this time he became deputy leader of the opposition and was leader of the House of Representatives, deputy prime minister; attorney-general and minister of justice, minister for the environment and prime minister.

Palmer was made a laureate of the United Nations Environment Program's "Global 500 Roll of Honor" in 1991 and served on the International Advisory Council of the World Wide Fund for Nature. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was made a knight companion of the Order of St Michael and St. George in 1991 and a companion of the Order of Australia the same year. He is a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council. He has written 12 books and more than 40 law review articles, and he first taught at the UI in 1969.

He is now practicing law at Public Law Specialists, Chen Palmer and Partners, a unique law firm for New Zealand, based on the "Washington law firm" model. The firm provides strategic advice on all matters relating to the legislative, regulatory and policy frameworks in which Crown entities operate.

The lunch will be catered by Abel's Catering in North Liberty. The cost of lunch is $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members. Checks may be written to the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council and mailed to ICFRC, 38 International Center, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1802. Reservations cannot be received any later than Wednesday, March 31. Reservations may not be made by phone, but last-minute adjustments may be made. For more information, call ICRFC Executive Director Tom Baldridge or Marianne Weiss at 319-335-0351.

For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM (910) will carry this program Wednesday, April 7, following the noon news.

The Iowa City Foreign Relations Council is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area. Annual membership fees are $50 per person, $75 for a household of two, $25 for additional house member; and $20 for full-time students or visiting scholars.

Meetings are scheduled from August to June to take advantage of these speakers and are held at noon or in the evening to allow the widest possible participation from the business community, other professionals, the community at large and students, faculty and staff from the university. Meetings are scheduled at catered luncheons, as dinners or as evening desserts.

ICFRC is part of International Programs, which consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic program and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Writer: Mansi Bhatia