UN and Battlestar Galactica host discussion of human rights and armed conflict

Kiyo Akasaka

17 March 2009 – The United Nations is co-hosting a discussion with the stars and creators of the television show Battlestar Galactica today, exploring themes which are important to both – human rights, terrorism, children and armed conflict, and reconciliation between civilians and faiths.

“This event will show how skilful storytelling can elevate the profile of critical humanitarian issues,” said Kiyo Akasaka, UN Under-Secretary-General for Public Information. “Not only does it present an opportunity for creative discussion, but, more importantly, it offers a chance to deliver a message about the many harsh realities that still exist worldwide.”

The panel will be moderated by Academy Award-winning actress and producer Whoopi Goldberg, and will include Oscar-nominated actress Mary McDonnel, Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated actor Edward James Olmos, and Battlestar Galactica creators and executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick.

On the UN side, panelists will include Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; Craig Mokhiber of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Planning; and Famatta Rose Osode, from the Permanent Mission of Liberia to the UN.

The discussion is a launch project for the UN Department of Public Information’s Creative Community Outreach Initiative, which is aimed at partnering with the international film and television industries to raise awareness of global issues.

Building on collaborations such as The Interpreter, Che and an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the Initiative provides film, new media, television and documentary producers worldwide with access to information about the work of the UN and its priority issues, offers logistical advice and assistance, and participates in dynamic special events with creative community partners.


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