April 10, 2003
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, MASS. -Jan Kavan, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, will deliver a lecture on "Managing the Iraq Crisis: The U.N.'s Role-Past, Present and Future" on Wed., April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. His talk, sponsored by the office of the President and the political science department at Amherst, is free and open to the public.
A lifelong advocate of democracy and human rights, Kavan served as the Czech Republic's minister of foreign affairs from 1998 until 2002. He is currently a deputy in the Czech Parliament. He spent 20 years in exile in Great Britain after being blacklisted by the Communist Party for his leading role in protesting the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. During this period, he founded Palach Press, the press agency in the West for promoting the activities of the Czech opposition movements. Kavan also founded and edited the East European Reporter, a quarterly whose editorial board included Vaclav Havel and Adam Michnik. Kavan's most recent publication, "McCarthyism has a New Name: Lustration, the Transition to Democracy in Eastern Europe and Russia," was published just last year in the U.S. The recipient of numerous awards for his contribution to the struggle for human rights and democracy, Kavan has also lectured widely at many American universities. During the 1993-94 academic year, he was the Karl Loewenstein Fellow in Politics and Jurisprudence at Amherst College.