The University of Winnipeg



Axworthy at United Nations: Legal Empowerment of the Poor


WINNIPEG, MB – Despite significant progress made in addressing global inequalities, many poor and marginalized people lack access to basic services and the social protection they are entitled to. The Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor – an independent high level commission set up in 2005 –  noted in its 2008 report that more than four billion people live outside the protection of the law and, after three years of in-depth research, concluded that there are to clear linkages between poverty, exclusion, and the law.

On Thursday, December 12, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Winnipeg, will be in New York to participate on a UN panel discussing the barriers that poor and marginalized people face in different development contexts and how legal empowerment and access to justice can help remove them. The UN is currently reviewing progress made with the Millennium Development Goals – eight development targets established by the UN in 2000 – which expire in 2015. Panelists will reflect on the opportunity that exists to frame the post-2015 development agenda in a way that allows people around the world to use the law to address inequalities and reduce poverty.

The panel will be chaired by Mr. Jan Elliason, Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and includes Dr. Lloyd Axworthy (former Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister), Justice Clotilde Aniouvi Nougbode Medegan (Judge at the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice) and George Soros, business magnate, investor, and philanthropist.

In 2008, UWinnipg’s Global College hosted an international conference on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and is a founder of the International Applied Research Learning Network on Poverty and Human Rights ( The network serves as a portal through which a diversity of organizations’ contributions to the field of poverty and human rights are channeled, and provides a collaborative space for researchers and practitioners.

The panel event will take place at the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations on December 12, 2013 from 1:15-2:30 pm.

Diane Poulin, Senior Communications Specialist, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7135, E: