Northern Ireland Peacemaker to Speak at USD Conference

Keynote address by Monica McWilliams, Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, speaks at 2010 Women PeaceMakers Conference sponsored by the University of San Diego

Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, Monica McWilliams will be speaking at the University of San Diego’s Women PeaceMakers conference on September 29, 2010 at 7 p.m. As the conference’s keynote speaker, McWilliams will address the challenges of turning the promise of peace accords into stable post-conflict societies through the inclusion of women in political and civil leadership. McWilliams was working to build a Women's Coalition party, as she and her colleagues faced daily threats and taunts for their suggestion that women needed to be included in the peace negotiations. They kept a bulletin board of the threats to remind them of the importance of continuing their work.

McWilliams’s professional experience as co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party has made her an expert on the effects of women and politics. Additionally, as a professor of women’s studies, her published works focus on domestic violence, human security and the role of political conflict on women’s lives.

This year’s Women PeaceMakers conference coincides with a momentous year, marking both the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 10th anniversary of UNSCR 1325. In anticipation of these celebrations, this working conference is situated to develop, distill and disseminate expert opinion from practitioners and policymakers of all levels. Delegates will reflect on the implementation and challenges of UNSCRs on women, peace and security (1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889) and analyze their practical considerations.

Ms. McWilliams is available for interviews.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit us at

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The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.