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Coming to campus

September 12, 2005

Coming to Campus is a section announcing visiting speakers of note.

Those who wish to submit items for this section should send a brief description (maximum 300 words) of the event, including the date, time, and place, and giving the name, title, outstanding accomplishments and, if available, a color photo of the speaker to: Visiting Speaker, Advance, 1266 Storrs Road, Storrs, CT 06269-4144 or by e-mail: advance@uconn.edu, with Visiting Speaker in the subject line.

The information must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, a minimum of two weeks prior to the event.

Publication will depend on space available, and preference will be given to events of interest to a cross-section of the University community.

Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and central figure in the civil war that ended the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, will speak on “The Challenges of Human Rights in Rwanda after the 1994 Genocide” on Monday, Sept. 19 in the Student Union Theatre, beginning at 11 a.m.

He will be introduced by retired Lt.-Gen. Roméo Dallaire, a Canadian who served as the top UN commander in Rwanda in 1994. Dallaire has written a book titled Shaking Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda.

Kagame has been the dominant figure in Rwandan politics since the genocide just over a decade ago. In 2003, he won a clear victory in presidential elections marking the end of nine years of transitional government, having campaigned on a platform of national unity, economic growth, strengthened governance, and the delivery of justice.

Since coming to power, Kagame has consistently downplayed any ethnic agenda in Rwanda, and has taken a strong stand against corruption. In addition to addressing poverty, he has also emphasized security.

The event is part of the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights lecture series.

Hernando de Soto, an internationally renowned Peruvian economist who has helped redefine the debate on development theory regarding free markets, law, and property ownership, will deliver the RBS Greenwich Capital Economic Seminar, “Opening the Door to Economic Human Rights,” on Monday, Sept. 26. The event will take place at 1 p.m. in the Dodd Center’s Konover Auditorium, and will be followed by a public reception.

De Soto is founder and president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, a private non-profit organization headquartered in Lima, Peru, that was formed to help developing and ex-communist nations in the transition to a modern market economy. The institute has conducted decades of work on behalf of property rights for the poor.

In 1979, after a successful business career in Europe, De Soto returned to a Peru plagued by poverty and years of military rule. Having made enough money to retire, he decided to devote his life full-time to solving the riddle of development: Why are some countries rich and others poor?

During the early 1990s, de Soto served as principal adviser to the president of Peru, initiating a series of legal and economic reforms that modernized the country’s economic system. Between 1988 and 1995, de Soto and the Institute for Liberty and Democracy ran Peru’s property system that gave titles to more than 1,500,000 families, brought under the law some 300,000 firms that previously operated in the black market, and streamlined government procedures. These initiatives helped stabilize Peru’s economy, tamed inflation and allowed Peru to return to international financial markets.

Today, de Soto is helping design and implement capital formation programs to empower the poor in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

His best-selling books, The Other Path and The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else, have been translated into many languages.

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