Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Friday, 23rd November 2007 - UN Human Rights Commissioner Pays Official Visit to RCSI

23 November 2007

Ms. Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, paid an official visit to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). The Commissioner was accompanied by Ambassador Dáithí Ó Ceallaigh, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva; Mr. Ronan Murphy, Director General of Irish Aid and Mr. Eamonn Mac Aodha, Director of the Human Rights Unit, Department of Foreign Affairs. The delegation met with Professor Gerald O’Sullivan, President of RCSI; Mr. Michael Horgan, CEO of RCSI; Professor Frank Keane, Vice-President of RCSI, Dr. Terry McWade, Deputy CEO of RCSI and Ms. Louise Loughran, Associate Director and Head of Communications and Events.


Pictured from l to r are Dr. Terry McWade, Deputy CEO, RCSI; Professor Frank Keane, Vice-President, RCSI; Ms. Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Professor Gerald O'Sullivan, President of RCSI; Ambassador Dáithí Ó Ceallaigh, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the United Nations in Geneva and Mr. Michael Horgan, CEO of RCSI.

Ms. Arbour was appointed UN High Commissioner for Human Rights by the Secretary-General on 1st July 2004.

A Canadian national, she began a distinguished academic career in 1970, culminating in the positions of Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the Osgood Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, Canada, in 1987. In December of 1987, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario (High Court of Justice) and in 1990 she was appointed to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. In 1995, Ms. Arbour was appointed by Order-in-Council as single Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into certain events at the Prisons for Women in Kingston, Ontario.

In 1996, she was appointed by the Security Council of the United Nations as Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. After three years as Prosecutor, she resigned to take up an appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada. Ms. Arbour graduated from College Regina Assumpta, Montreal in 1967 and completed an LL.L (with distinction) from the Faculty of Law, University of Montreal in 1970. Following the Quebec Bar Admission Course, she was called to the Quebec Bar in 1971 and the Ontario Bar in 1977.


Pictured are Ms. Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Professor Gerald O'Sullivan, President of RCSI

Ms. Arbour has received honorary doctorates from twenty-seven Universities and numerous medals and awards. She is a member of many distinguished professional societies and organizations and has served on the boards of many others. She has published extensively on criminal law and given innumerable addresses on both national and international criminal law.

Speaking about the visit, RCSI President Professor Gerald O’Sullivan said “It is a great honor to host the UN High Commissioner at RCSI today. Throughout the years, she has earned an international reputation for courage and tenacity and gained the respect of human rights groups around the world. Through her conviction and determination in her fight for human rights, Ms. Arbour represents the virtues that RCSI values highly.”