November 24, 2014

BEYOND NUREMBERG: THE FUTURE OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Prince zeidWednesday, January 30, 2013

Time: 5:30 pm

Location: International Lounge, Usdan

Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United Nations, will deliver a Distinguished Lecture in International Justice and Human Rights. He will reflect on the development of international criminal justice since Nuremberg and the seeming challenge faced by tribunals in leading those convicted of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes to acknowledge and repent of their crimes. The event will be moderated by Donald Ferencz of the Planethood Foundation, which has generously funded the Distinguished Lecture.

Prince Zeid is Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, a post he held previously for six and a half years from 2000-2007. From 2007-2010 he was Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States of America. He also served as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN, with the rank of Ambassador, from 1996-2000. Prince Zeid holds a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University.

In early 2009, Prince Zeid was asked by the President of the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court to chair the closing stages of the negotiations to the “Crime of Aggression” — identified by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremburg as the “supreme international crime” – specifically with respect to its definition and the conditions for the Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over it, all necessary for the crime to become operational under the Rome Statute. Under the President’s leadership and guidance, those negotiations were brought to a successful conclusion and by consensus in Kampala, Uganda, in June 2010. Most recently, from March through to October 2011, Prince Zeid coordinated the search committee for the selection of the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. And also from 16 September 2010 to 7 March 2012 he was the Chairman of the “Country-Specific Configuration for Liberia” — the committee within the framework of the UN Peace Building Commission responsible for overseeing the transition from peacekeeping to the consolidation of peace in Liberia. He was also a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Council for the World Development Report 2011. He is married to Princess Sarah Zeid, and they have a son and two daughters.

This event is cosponsored by the Legal Studies, International & Global Studies and Peace, Conflict & Coexistence Departments, and the Heller School’s Coexistence and Conflict Program.

Comments

  1. (David) Libang Huang says:

    In order to exclusively interview Prince Zeid Al-Hussein (Your Highness) as a WBRS reporter, I contacted the IGS Department and the Ethics Center of Brandeis University beforehand. I laboriously generated 5 questions and those questions were all approved. But a sudden change came. International and Justice Society Program director Leigh Swigart sent me an email at 13:49 ET on Jan.30, 2013, saying “I’m so sorry, but we just got to Brandeis late after Prince Zeid’s flight was delayed. He is feeling pressured and has a lot on his plate and has indicated that he is just not up to doing an interview. Too bad.” But the consolation that I received from Prof.Rosenberger and Mrinalini Tankha makes me feel much better. I have tried my best to accomplish what a decent journalist is supposed to do.

  2. Rebecca Mitchell says:

    Prince Zeid was above all a very fascinating a eloquent lecturer. I found it very interesting in how he used the analogy of final interaction between Jean Valjean and Javert in the famous book by Victor Hugo, Les Misérables. He talk about when Jean Valjean did not kill Javert for revenge, it was the “ultimate form of nonviolent protest.” Prince Zeid went on to talk about how he believes that through powerful acts of kindness and understanding, the oppressors brought to the ICC can be forced to see themselves truly equal to those who they oppressed. I thought it was very interesting that not only did he emphasize the importance of have an international court with worldwide support, but also a court where the prosecuted are made to see the error of their ways and hopefully, in the end, issue of statement of remorse, realizing that what they did was wrong.

  3. Sophia Baez says:

    One of the things that resonated with me when I heard Prince Zeid speak today was when he said,”Maybe it is not so straight-forward”. That was the purpose of his speech and, in my opinion what we we discussed in class today. While it was very difficult for me to empathize with the Nazi soliders that Prince Zeid was discussing and quoting Nazi war criminals that appeared that their “remorse was really real”, I think certain humanitarian crimes should not have such grave consequences. For example when we spoke about Kosovo, was it really justified to bomb a city from January to April? Or to drop the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified for Pearl Harbor. While I appreciate Prince Zein’s giving both sides of the argument and I was able to relate it back to other historical occurrences that I have learned about in my IGS class, I think those Nazi Criminals deserved their faith and some. What they did was personal and beyond cruel and I think most of them did not feel remorse. I am not sure how one can decide to punish one cruel act more harshly over another, but I think Nazi War crimes are unforgivable, maybe because the killing of the Jewish people hit a lot closer to home, but that is something I cannot separate.

  4. (David) Libang Huang says:

    But positively, I have known more about Prince Zeid, human rights issue, and Jordan after I generated those 5 questions for the rejected interview.

  5. Kevin Dupont says:

    Before attending this event, I did not know much about how criminals were tried in the international legal system, the history of war criminals and their respective tribunals. I spent time in Poland last year and visited the former concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The Prince touched upon one point concerning Auschwitz that I was not aware of. He pointed out that women, along with men were SS guards at the camp. The Prince stated that the women who were in the Nazi regime as guards were at times, ruthless in their beatings to men. However, these women also had a sympathetic side to their fellow woman and some of these women guards were dismissed from their duties because they were too sympathetic to the prisoners. Before attending the event, I had not known that the Nazi regime employed women. The Prince continued to speak about the International Court of Justice and how 121 of 193 nations in our world currently abide by this court. I think that this stat is very remarkable considering how many nations there are in this world and yet we can bring nearly 63% of them together to abide under one court is truly remarkable. I throughly enjoyed the speech of Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein and I am very happy that I attended the event.

  6. Shane Silverstein says:

    (for Introduction to International and Global Studies)

    I found Prince Zeid’s lecture especially interesting because he not only explored the political aspects of justice and human rights, but delved into the nature of the human mind and other essential philosophical inquiries that are often ignored in such settings. He discussed what he viewed as the flaws of our nature as well as what are not, specifically addressing the concept of vulnerability as a major weakness. Although he acknowledged that we are a moral species, in the same sentence he included the indisputable truth that we are capable of barbaric criminal conduct. He explored the various ways we can come to do such things in a way that is empathetic to the criminal; not empathetic to the crime, but humanizing those individuals that are so often dismissed as inhuman. Dehumanizing those we view as monsters leaves us no room to learn from them, and Zeid effectively investigated that which is often taboo of humanizing these criminals to learn what can cause a person to commit such atrocious acts. He explored the phenomenon of the power of being told what to do can have on an individual through the lack of remorse he witnessed in many war criminals who felt that guilt should be left to those who gave the orders. He also discussed the liberation these individuals can feel once freeing themselves from those moral obligations that inherently guide us as humans. Few of us can disregard these thoughts, and the question as to whether human rights abusers truly can, or merely effectively convince themselves of their ability to discard their moral compass remains. But it seems that even the concept of the potential liberation that can come from doing this is attractive enough for many to try.
    An especially profound, I felt, thought he communicated, was his mention of a moment in a restaurant I believe near Auschwitz? when the waiter asked him if he preferred still or sparkling water and he was able to fathom the contrast of this absurd luxury compared with the human rights abuses that took place nearby. Zeid clearly feels a deep connection to the human race and all its flaws and strengths, and his examination of justice through a human, philosophical lens was not only fascinating, but inspiring to hear: that someone with such beautiful ideals has acted upon them, and integrally worked with those structures with the same visions that have become reality a piece at a time. He is not at all discouraged by the impossibility of his dreams, but instead driven by it.

  7. Leah Ditmore says:

    Prince Zeid’s speech was exceptional, as are his experiences that he spoke about on Wednesday night. The Prince spoke of his exposure to war and poverty where he felt sick and wretched, and of his recollection of those feelings once returning to the very different “real world.” He noted that people have a stillborn collective conscious of what is going on in areas of the world that have experienced war criminals and genocide.
    I thought one of the most interesting points Prince Zeid made was about the future of international criminal justice. Right now, the international criminal court, as mentioned in class, goes after people who are suspected of committing terrible war crimes. The Prince mentioned that 121 of 193 countries have placed high officials on this court, showing their dedication to its cause. The court currently punishes those whom it finds guilty of being war criminals. However, is that good enough? Prince Zeid says no, we should expect more and strive for sophisticated outcomes beyond simply learning the truth from a perpetrator. What would be best is if the court were somehow able to make the perpetrator truly recognize his deed for what they were: terrible and inhumane.
    It is a great goal to reach for, but is it really possible? Can people change the views of an accomplished war criminal? In reality, we don’t know whether they have the mental capacity for remorse anymore. In other words, a perpetrator of a war crime who is being questioned by the international court is likely to be even more resentful and resistant to influence.

    • Zachary Silver says:

      I think that Prince Zeid did a remarkable job really articulating his experiences as well as his potential future plans for the International Criminal Court on Wednesday night. He talked about his experiences with war because he was born in Nuremberg and how he loathes and despises war and especially war criminals as well as genocide. One thing that struck me as very interesting to me mostly because we are discussing it in class right about now is the future of the International Criminal Court. As Prince Zeid explained, there are about 121 of 193 countires that have put high ranking officials on this court. Also mentioned in his speech is that the courts currnet main objective is to track down people who are particularly suspected of committing horrific war crimes. But Prince Zeid tells us later that this is just simply not enough, and that things have to change for the betterment of humane causes.We should accept the fact that these criminals have committed a crime. That is the first step of the process. Next however, the court has to make the criminal or perpetrator recognize what he did was wrong. Let us ask ourselves a question. Is this really an attainable goal to reach and would the perpetrator actually commit to getting advice from the court because they might not have the mental capacity to actually admit and reason why they did in fact do the crime? This is a tough question I think would be hard to answer just because the perpetrator may be extremely resistant to the pressures of advice or influence. This is the next main roadblock that the International Criminal Court will have to tackle in order to really prevent such atrocious acts of inhumane and war crimes throughout the world.

  8. Victoria Aronson says:

    I thought it was fascinating when Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein spoke of the complexities involved in the trials of war criminals. Providing examples in which certain officials were essentially defended to a degree by their slightly less brutal treatment of members of the concentration campus, he drew upon the fact that nevertheless, such indivdiuals were guilty of severe atrocities. He stated that it seemed perplexing that such individuals could even have the capacity for mercy, given all the heinous acts they had previously been involved in, a fact with which I agree. Such defense mechanisms negate to account for the undeniably brutal acts committed by such officials regardless of moments of suppossed sympathy.

  9. Abby Rosenblum says:

    Though all of Prince Zeid’s presentation was fascinating, what particularly stood out to me was Zeid’s recognition of the need to “replace the law of force with the force of law,” and the International Court of Justice’s continued aim for this. In Introduction to International and Global Studies we have talked and read about the possibility that institutions are solely an instrument by which powerful states assert their power and dominate less powerful states. Zeid acknowledged the International Court of Justice’s strong effort to avoid this notion.
    Additionally I was intrigued by Prince Zeid’s statement that it is not enough to capture and punish war criminals; ideally, war criminals will admit their wrongdoings and publically apologize. Though I agree that this is ideal, I do not understand what improvements this public recognition will bring about, and I wish this were something Prince Zeid had discussed more in depth. Though Prince Zeid discussed the extreme about of violence that exists, he also recognized the large decrease in violence in proportion to population increase. I think this is something that our society currently underrates. We often talk about how violate our society has become; however, the truth is there have been significant improvements with the help of both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

  10. Ellie Driscoll says:

    Prince Zeid made many interesting and eloquent remarks in his talk on Wednesday. I was especially interested in his point about the nature of the international criminal courts and its methods. Prince Zeid stressed the point that reciprocal justice in the form of mere punishment, or an “eye for an eye” approach, is inadequate. Punishing perpetrators of human rights violations does not correct the past. Instead, Prince Zeid argued that we must find a way to have such perpetrators express their guilt, understand their crimes and apologize. While I agree with Prince Zeid insofar as punishing war criminals does not fix the past or absolve their crimes, I think his goal is overly idealistic. One cannot force criminals to feel remorse or guilt and there is no way to ensure that an apology is sincere. People who commit such atrocities as we have seen in the past are damaged individuals and to expect International Criminal proceedings to give them a change of heart is unrealistic.

  11. tng94 says:

    In the lecture, Prince Zeid mentions that one purpose of having an education is so that people learn to understand the human rights that they have. This leads people to more likely be at peace with one another, despite their differences in nationality, religion, etc. When people are educated, they understand that when a person of power takes away their human rights, they question this person of power instead of blindly obeying him. I find this concept to be interesting because in a lecture in the Intro to IGS Class, I learned that when citizens of a country know that they have “universal human rights,” they want their government to protect these rights at all times. Education has led citizens to place their trust in the government to make sure their human rights are not taken away. This point is reflected in Prince Zeid’s emphasis on the purpose of education. The International Criminal Court guards our human rights and brings justice to those who have been through human injustices, such as the Rwanda Genocide. Overall, I found Prince Zeid’s lecture to be captivating, and it gave me a better understanding of the role of the International Criminal Court in protecting our rights.

  12. Emily Dworkin says:

    In Prince Zeid’s lecture on Wednesday night, he spoke about many fascinating aspects of his work in the International Criminal Court, however his main focus brought all of his experiences and observations together into one broad observation. This observation was the interconnectedness of the international community, a topic we have focused on in class in regard to trade, communication, technology and ideas. Prince Zeid spoke about the need of an education in every country that instills the values of basic human rights in its youth. In his opinion, a world like that would prevent people for ever resorting to cold blooded murder and genocide like they had in WWII. He also emphasized that the way people were able to commit such atrocities such as the Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide was through association, by being taught that ones race or religion is superior to that of others makes it feel easier to dispose of those people. This again ties into what we have covered in class in that the spread of nationalism, while offering solidarity to groups of peoples, also led to the oppression of many other peoples, namely the imperial powers against native populations and the British in India. I think Zeid made many true points, however, while nationalism does cause groups to sometimes feel they can oppress others, it also enabled many to become independent, economically successful countries. In addition, it is unrealistic to expect if country were to implement a system of education which preached human rights to its youth, that violence and war would cease to exist. If a nationalist country preached these values of human rights, it could easily exclude certain ethnic groups, considering those groups non-human and therefore not deserving of human rights.

  13. Judy Nam says:

    Prince Zeid gave a great lecture on the process of international law and its history. I particularly liked the answer he gave to a questioner who noted that the ICC was punishing crimes rather than preventing them. Prince Zeid made an analogy to homicide laws: although they do not prevent homicides entirely, it does prevent vigilantism and assures citizens that there is a system in place for retribution by the law. The biggest lesson I took away from the lecture, though, related to what I’ve learned in IGS: globalization and worldviews. Prince Zeid stressed the importance of not defining yourself by one attachment. Nationalism isn’t a bad thing – for example, it was crucial to creating a sense of political legitimacy in the American colonies and helped unify the colonists – but radical nationalism can lead to dangers like bigotry and chauvinism. Our worldviews are shaped by our culture and our history, and it’s easy to justify our own beliefs while classifying others’ as wrong. Globalization ultimately shrunk the world, giving us the U.N. and an international criminal justice system. Although this closeness brings some countries into conflict with each other, it also wraps together the interests of other countries.

  14. Alexandra Johnson says:

    Towards the beginning of his lecture, there was one comment in particular that Prince Zeid made which struck me the most; that despite the greatness of our artistic talents and the vast aesthetic beauties of the earth, ultimately we live in a world of murder. For someone who seemed full of hope that there was more we could do to bring justice to the world, it surprised me to hear such a bluntly depressing notion – albeit one that is unfortunately realistic. Looking back on history, it truly does seem like the years are stained with the constant and unnecessary flow of innocent blood; and so after hearing Prince Zeid’s words, I began to think not so much about what can be done to atone for atrocities after the fact, but on whether any preventative actions are actually viable. Although I agree that the majority of efforts towards any such change ought to be focused on teaching humanitarian values to our world’s youth, I find myself wondering if that is enough. Prince Zeid pointed out that any human being has the capacity for evil, and so I wonder if there is actually a cure for our malevolence or is our cruelty inevitable? Is it human nature that some of us should be inherently wicked? It is terrifying to think that someday someone you know could become a heartless killer, and even more terrifying than that is the thought that you could one day become one yourself. Perhaps it is exactly because of that fear that we need to believe that things can change for the better, and who knows? Maybe they really can. With enough people like Prince Zeid working to make the world a more peaceful and just place, perhaps a positive difference really can be made. At the very least, that hope gives us something to fight for – and maybe that in itself is enough to make it a battle that we can one day win.

  15. Jennah Jacobs says:

    Prince Zeid made many interesting points and also discussed some ideas for improving the power of the International Criminal Court. So far, 121 out of 193 countries have recognized the court which is extremely positive for the effectiveness of the court. Prince Zeid asked the question, should we aspire to something deeper and greater than merely punishing the guilty? He discussed the possibility of a perpetrator admitting their wrongdoing and even potentially showing remorse. I don’t think this is realistic because so far it is extremely rare for a genocide perpetrator to show remorse.
    The most significant aspect to Prince Zeid’s speech, for me, was when he discussed how anyone in the world, if put under certain conditions is potentially capable of committing these terrible crimes on humanity. Most war criminals were not born with a desire to murder, some event in their life causes them to feel that they have no other choice but to obey and kill. Knowing and understanding this could potentially lead to genocide prevention because we as a human society need to work on teaching and learning about basic human rights, and what can happen if people lose sight of this.
    Hopefully this International Criminal Court deters crimes on humanity while the rest of the world teaches and talks about the importance of human rights and prevention of these disasters.

  16. Tawanna Johnson says:

    I was very drawn into Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein speech. His topic was interesting and his words were provoking. The part of the speech that stood out to me the most and would like for it to be implemented was the strive for educating children up to grade five about human rights and not rejecting one’s race or religion, but to not believe that their race or religion is not exceptional over another. We often read about nationalism and how it can lead to racism in the International and Global Studies course. I am not refuting that people should have pride in their nation, but I agree with Prince Zeid that there should a universal acceptance of all nations, ethnicities, and religions and focus on the conduct of each individual and not who they represent.
    Prince Zeid also brought up the point of harsh circumstances that drive people to such extreme crimes, that some criminals may be remorseful for their crimes, but Prince Zeid believes in justice. He is reluctant about relieving criminals, giving them amnesty breaks for telling the truth, because he questions if criminals of such extreme crimes are truly remorseful and that the majority of the time, they are the ones who request amnesty, not the victims. There was an interesting question from the crowd about wether or justice will always bring peace? Should the ICC consider a program more like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission where criminals just publicly admit their crime and they are worked back into society? Prince Zeid, who I side with as well, was against the ICC doing such because regardless will commit homicides, but having the law will stop people from taking justice into their own hands and thus prevent more chaos. Most importantly, who can tell if that remorse from the criminal is real each had their own rational thinking for perpetrating such crimes.

  17. Hyun Jae Lee says:

    Prince Zeid’s speech was one of the most interesting speeches I have attended. Of all the things he mentioned, one thing that caught my attention is that the war criminals must be educated, so that they know what they have done in the past is wrong/immoral. In fact, they knew what they were doing was not right, but due to the figure that was in power, they had to do whatever they were told to do. This is related to human rights issue, and during class we have recently been learning about the United Nations and issues dealing with human rights. Prince Zeid also mentioned about how the ‘International Criminal Court’ should be provided with more power. I strongly agree with his point because, by doing so, we can reduce the possibility of genocide. The first step to preventing genocide and crimes among humanity is to educate people about the importance of basic human rights.

  18. Jemesh Hunter says:

    After listening to Prince Zeid informative view on human rights and creating peace, I was amazed by his conclusions. His concept of educating children in a pure way, will ultimately be the deciding factor of human rights. He believes children should be raised knowing what bigotry and chauvinism is, but only having reference to individual conduct. He reference how the world should judge each other by our character than apperance, like the great Martin Luther King once said. I strongly agree with this concept, because if kids are raised not abiding strictly by a religion or nationality, they want feel compelled to rebel, which potentially create convicted criminals, or barbaric people.

  19. Lucas Padovani says:

    Prince Zaid delivered a passionate and thought-provoking speech to Brandeis and he opened me up to a new mindset of international aggression prevention. While I first thought the International Criminal Court would be focused on simply the apprehension and subsequent retribution of war criminals yet Prince Zaid has much wider goals in the fight against human rights violators and war crimes. The Prince believes that in times of conflict, the darker parts of human nature can be accessed and any soldier can descend into violence in the obscurity of the fog of war. He sees extremist nationalism and exceptionalism as the main catalysts for the descent into darkness. If we can educate the world’s youth about the basic intrinsic rights of every human being, Prince Zaid believes we can begin to prevent these slips into aggression and promote world peace. By encouraging pride about one’s religion or nation without falling into classism or prejudice, global aggression will begin to dwindle and hopefully eventually become negligible. However, while this process is underway, the International Criminal Court will still represent a resolute defender against war criminals and seek retribution for those who continue to commit human rights violations. Zaid’s goals for global education impressed me, even though they struck me as a little idealistic. I think global cooperation is still a very tricky issue for a variety of reasons, but I agree human rights education is imperative for new generations.

  20. Rivka Gross says:

    I found Prince Zeid’s lecture captivating. I thought his points were very well made and that he spoke eloquently. I found his discussion of historical atrocities and attacks on human rights very interesting as it gave great support to his ideas about social justice in contemporary times. His point that basic knowledge of human rights should be a necessity in early education was of great interest. He believes that all children should have an understanding of human rights before the fifth grade; they should understand piety and love as well as bigotry and chauvinism. He expressed that governments should feel an obligation to the education of human rights, and that children should understand that “a rich constellation of reference points makes one an individual” not one reference point such as one’s religion or ethnicity. I found this to be a very moving and I agree with it, as I believe all children should have this knowledge, and that it should be a government’s priority. I believe it would change the way nations interact with one another, and more importantly, how people would interact with one another.

  21. Leonie Koch says:

    One of the most striking points that Prince Zeid made was that children should have a basic concept of human rights by the time they enter fifth grade. Human rights represent so much of what today’s world is concerned with, as they are a guideline for how countries and people should act toward other humans. These rights teach us morals and ethics, and would stress to children the importance of appreciating what they have, while so many other children must live with far less. This segued into his position on exceptionalism, and how he believes that children should not be taught that they are better than others. Prince Zeid said that while children are being taught what the minimum universal standard of bad behavior is, they should instead be striving for doing good. Far too much emphasis is put onto the pursuit of materialistic accomplishments, and the value of love and piety is understated. Considering that the Prince is someone who has been very fortunate in his life, it is refreshing to see him emphasize the importance of doing good, and teaching good.

  22. Ramya Ramakrishna says:

    Prince Zayed brought up several excellent points during his lecture about criminal justice on the international front. He proposed instilling values of piety, morals, justice and other basic human rights into children in a young age, and how this is information is just as important as any other subject we learn in school, if not more. I believe it is important to teach students from a young age that it is better to have travelled well than have arrived at the end point. In other words, the ends do not always justify the means, no matter how noble the goal is. If you are killing in the name of a good cause, then something clearly wrong is happening. Another important thing he spoke about was exceptionalism- or the false notion that one human is better than another human. He explained how many war criminals don’t understand their wrong-doing because they were never taught to believe otherwise. The point I found most interesting about his talk was the human ability to turn off emotion and morality in the face of authority and normative influence. He said this was a major flaw of human nature. This strongly related to the Stanley Milgram study about obedience I had learned about last semester in psychology.

  23. Helen Gong says:

    While I thought that the entirety of Prince Zeid’s lecture was thought-provoking, one point that particularly resonated with me were his questions about kindness. He asked, what it would take for a hairline crack to appear in the mindset of the SS in order for them to break down? Perhaps a simple act of kindness by a victim to the perpetrator? Is it even possible for kindness to be shown to someone who has killed your friends and family? I started to think – can kindness ultimately undermine all other emotions and priorities? Or is it always going to be a never-ending struggle to try and make people put a greater emphasis on kindness? I related it to my Introduction to International and Global Studies class in which we explored imperialism and hegemony but I pushed the concepts a bit further and realized that at the base of both concepts is the desire for one’s own beliefs and way of thinking to be spread and to be dominant. I then linked it back to one of the last things that Prince Zaid said, which is that an attachment to just one ideal leads to extremes, which imperialism and hegemony both are. My realization at the end of this reflection is that while we would like for there to be a lot more kindness in the world, it may be too idealistic of a belief that kindness does in fact undermine all other emotions, but at the same time, we must try as hard as we can without imposing it because, as history shows, there are many negative consequences for participating in extreme actions and beliefs.

  24. Sara Kyungpyo Lee says:

    During his speech, I learned so much and it changed my point of view towards war criminals. He stated that any soldier or even anyone could have done the same cruel actions under harsh circumstances like the war. Also he showed though criminals, they knew what they were doing immoral. They just didn’t have the choice under power and some of women guards working for the Nazi were dismissed for being too sympathetic towards the prisoners. This story of women guards did change my thoughts towards the war criminals, making me think about their own human rights as well. Among his speech, the most interesting part was his conclusion and solutions for the future. His idea of teaching young children the meaning of basic human rights before 5th grade was interesting. He emphasized children should learn the universal standard of right and wrong and the focus of education should be love and cooperation. I enjoyed listening how he had ideas of solving problems from the past generations and giving solutions to prevent future wrongs as well.

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