January 28, 2002

Contact: Sarah Ray
Posted: January 28, 2002 MIDDLEBURY, VT -Denis Halliday, the former United Nations assistant secretary-general and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, will give a lecture titled "Finishing Unfinished Business? Iraq, a Decade After Desert Storm" on Friday, Feb. 15, at 4:30 p.m. at Middlebury College. Halliday will address the consequences of present policies toward Iraq, and suggest alternative strategies. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will take place in Dana Auditorium in Sunderland Language Center on College Street (Route 125).

A career U.N. diplomat for 34 years, Halliday was appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the post of humanitarian coordinator for Iraq in 1997. After one year of overseeing the "oil for food" program, he resigned in protest of the suffering he witnessed as a result of the sanctions. He subsequently spoke out against what he calls a devastating policy at congressional hearings, to national and international media, and at speaking events around the world.

At the time of his resignation in 1998, he discussed the sanctions policy, telling Reuters news agency, "It probably strengthens the leadership and further weakens the people of the country." In an interview with the BBC on Sept. 30, 1998, he cited a number of misfortunes the Iraqis endured as a result of sanctions, including: breakdown of water supply and sanitation, inadequate diet, poor healthcare, increase in number of divorces, higher death rate among children, escalating crime, and isolation from the international community. He also noted that the development of more fundamentalist Islamic thinking similar to that of the Taliban movement was a real possibility in Iraq.

Halliday has many years of experience working on U.N. economic development and humanitarian assistance programs. In 1987, he was appointed chef de cabinet of the organization's development program, and later served as the assistant secretary-general for human resources management.

For more information, contact Charlotte Tate at the Center for International Affairs at Middlebury College at 802-443-5795.