Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guest Blogger: Elizabeth Burleson

It's IntLawGrrls' great pleasure to welcome Elizabeth Burleson (left) as today's guest blogger.
An expert on emerging issues related to international environmental and human rights law, is currently a visiting professor at the University of Oregon School of Law. She will join the law faculty at Pace University, White Plains, New York, later this year, and also has taught law at Florida State University, the University of South Dakota, and the University of Connecticut. Additionally, as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, she taught International Trade and the Environment in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Elizabeth earned her J.D. from the University of Connecticut, and also holds an LL.M degree in International Law from the London School of Economics.
Her professional service includes advising UNICEF's Senior Advisor for the Environment as well as the New York Director of the U.N. Environment Programme; and helping intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations in planning events at a variety of international conferences, including Cancun, Copenhagen and Bali climate conferences.
She's published on these issues as well. Her recent ASIL Insight, coauthored with our colleague Cesare Romano, law professor at Loyola-Los Angeles, is here. In her guest post below, Elizabeth discusses prospects for international cooperation on the issue of climate change.
Elizabeth has taken part in the negotiation of treaties since the 1991 sessions of the U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development. Among the legal instruments she's had a hand in drafting are the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Agenda 21, and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, all developed under U.N. auspices in 1992.
Those experiences inspired Elizabeth to dedicate her post to Bella Abzug (1920-1998), the attorney and cofounder of the National Women's Political Caucus. A New York Democrat, Abzug (below right) served in the U.S. House of Representatives for most of the 1970s. Abzug also worked at the international level, cofounding the Women's Environment and Development Organization, taking part in conferences like that at Rio and pushing states to live up to commitments they made at those gatherings. Elizabeth writes:

Working with Bella Abzug and the Woman's Caucus in the pre-Rio climate negotiations was instrumental in my learning the breadth of international diplomacy. Bella's larger-than-life charisma and intellect provided a great model upon which to build friendships across civil society and the United Nations.

Today Abzug joins other IntLawGrrls foremothers in the list just below our "visiting from..." map at right.
Heartfelt welcome!

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