Gordon Brown heads new commission

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has paid tribute to the University as he prepares for the first meeting of the Global Citizenship Commission.

The sold-out event at the McEwan Hall, which is being streamed live on the web, will be addressed by education campaigner Malala Yousafzai.

Malala survived an assassination attempt by members of the Taliban, which disagrees with her aim of improving the rights of girls and women.

The Commission is being organised in conjunction with New York University, where Mr Brown is a Global Fellow, and is being supported by the Carnegie UK Trust.

The Commission will see distinguished leaders gather in Edinburgh to re-examine the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations in 1948, and discuss the many global developments since its passing 65 years ago.

Among those attending will be Mohammed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace laureate and former head of the UN's nuclear watchdog, Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and former Chairman of the African Union.

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The University is delighted to welcome this important Commission to Edinburgh. How we understand and promote human rights is a matter of global significance and it is a privilege to host the first public hearing of the Commission.

Professor Sir Timothy O’SheaPrincipal, the University of Edinburgh

Global debate

Members of the Commission, representing politics, religious institutions, law and philanthropy will discuss the issues on Friday 18 October.

Following this private meeting, the Commission will hold a public hearing, funded by the Carnegie UK Trust, on Saturday 19 October that will allow members of the civic and academic communities, as well as the public at large, to give their views.

Questions will be put to the Commissioners during the event, while written questions will also be able to be submitted, to contribute to the Commission’s official record.

Confirmed members of the Commission, who are attending this inaugural public gathering are: K. Anthony Appiah, Laurel Bellows, Nicolas Beggruen, Paul Boghossian, Derek Bok, Sissela Bok, Gordon Brown, Mohamed El Baradei, Andrew Forrest, Ronald George, John Kufuor, Kate O’Regan, Emma Rothschild, Robert Rubin, Robert Shrum, Jeremy Waldron, Joseph Weiler, and Rowan Williams.

Event details

Tickets and cancellations

This lecture is sold out and our waiting list for cancellations is fully subscribed.

Please let us know if you are unable to attend as we have a very large waiting list. Contact Susan McGinley.


Global Citizenship Commission

Saturday 19 October 2013, 9.00am

Saturday 19 October 2013, 11.30am

McEwan Hall, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG

Find McEwan Hall on campus maps

Shared values

The University has a number of staff and students working in fields related to the aims of the Commission.

These include members of the Global Justice Academy (GJA), one of four Global Academies at Edinburgh committed to bringing together people from a wide range of disciplines in order to better address complex problems around the world.

The GJA has been working with students, through its Human Rights Courses, to encourage greater understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and will support students, staff and the wider public to make submissions to the Global Citizenship Commission.

Get involved

Questions and submissions are invited from the public, via e-mail at, on Twitter using the hashtag #askGCC or by post using the submission form to:

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