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Doing Business in Developing Countries: The Importance of the Rule of Law

For lawyers who represent clients in cross-border transactions and international investment disputes involving developing countries, the rule of law plays an indispensable role. At both the national and international levels, the rule of law is required to provide fair, stable, and predictable frameworks for corporations doing business in developing countries. The U.N. General Assembly has recognized the importance of the rule of law to international commerce and development, declaring it “essential for sustained and inclusive economic growth, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and hunger and the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development.” Our panel will present several perspectives on the rule of law and doing business in developing countries, and will include presentations on international transactions, international investment disputes, and the United Nations’ Rule of Law Initiative.

Presented by: The Council on International Affairs of the New York City Bar Association, Bettina B. Plevan, Chair, and The American Bar Association Representatives and Observers to the United Nations

Panelists:  Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba, Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations, one of two Co-Facilitators appointed by the President of the U.N. General Assembly tasked with working with Member States to develop the Declaration on the Rule of Law adopted by the U.N. General Assembly; Laura Chenoweth, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Emerging Markets Business Unit, Pfizer Inc.; Lawrence B. Friedman, International Litigation and Arbitration, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; Bruce Rashkow, Lecturer-in-Law at Columbia Law School, formerly with the Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State, and head for ten years of the General Legal Division, U.N. Office of Legal Affairs, before retiring from the Management and Reform Section, U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

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Religious and Ethnic Minorities in the Middle East 11/08/11
The plight of religious and ethnic minorities in the Middle East today will be examined through speakers representing various religious and/or ethnic groups. These groups face pressure to assimilate or to leave. What is the current situation of religious minorities and ethnic groups? What challenges do they face? How can the situation be monitored and documented? What can be done to preserve these communities within the fabric of the Middle East?

Moderator: CAROLE BASRI, Senior Vice President, Balint, Brown & Basri LLC; Adjunct Professor, Fordham University School of Law

Speakers: HON. IRWIN COTLER, Member of Parliament; Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice of Canada; DR. ASHRAF RAMELAH, Founder and President, Human Rights Organization “Voice of the Copts,” ANTHONY VANCE, Director, External Affairs at Baha'i National Center

Commentators: MALVINA HALBERSTAM, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; ELIZABETH DEFEIS, Seton Hall University Law School

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