Myanmar (Burma) joins Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen as among the worst crises on the planet. Since 2012, the Burmese military has been committing widespread atrocities against the minority Rohingya people. In February, the Burmese military junta staged a coup and the country is presently spiraling into a civil war. Since March, the Biden administration (as well as the European Union) has levied two rounds of sanctions against Myanmar.
The 2020 Klatsky Endowed Lecture will provide an inside perspective of the human rights situation in Burma by Nicholas Koumjian, who was appointed in 2019 by the UN Secretary-General to be the Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar. From 2013-2019, Koumjian served as the International Co-Prosecutor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. He previously served as Trial Attorney at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), as Deputy General Prosecutor for serious crimes in Timor-Leste, as International Prosecutor in the War Crimes Section of the Prosecutor’s Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as Principal Trial Attorney and Senior Appeals Counsel in the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
The Klatsky Endowed Lecture was created in 2001 by Bruce J. Klatsky, Chair and CEO of Phillips Van Heusen Corp., and a member of the Board of Directors for Human Rights Watch. The endowment also provides annual fellowships for two students at Human Rights Watch. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Klatsky endowment, Bruce Klatsky joins us to provide a special introduction to the Lecture and present Kumjian with the Cox International Law Center Humanitarian Award for Advancing Global Justice.