▲ Stavos Lambrinidis and the students engaged in a discussion on human rights. Photographed by Song Yeonsoo.
Starting from 11:30 A.M. on December 1, Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Union (EU) special representative for human rights, gave a lecture titled, “Protecting Human Rights: Success Stories” on the first floor of the International Studies Hall. Lambrinidis was a previous Ambassador and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece. He started his lecture by clearing out four major misunderstandings and wrongly held notions upon the perceptions of human rights.
Lambrinidis opened up his lecture by stating why EU is devoted in fighting for human rights. Emphasizing the importance of education concerning human rights issues, he stated, “If you want to fight terrorists, educate girls. Empowered women educate other women. Thus, terrorists hate human rights more than anything else. This is why we protect human rights in EU.”
The lecture continued to discuss other misunderstandings regarding the fundamental qualities of human rights. Lambrinidis discussed, how human rights in essence, by design, are unpopular, how human rights do not involve national rivalry in the west, and how the legitimacy of talking about human rights is not perfection.
After Lambrinidis’ lecture, numerous students participating in the lecture were able to ask questions and participate in an active back-and-forth discussion with Lambrinidis. He stated during the discussion, “Human rights are not a romantic notion alone. They are hardcore politics.” The event was no doubt a congregation of passion for human rights and their protection.