Just over two years ago I had the privilege of listening to one of the world's most famous journalists talk about his experiences covering various wars. It was a time when anger over the invasion of Iraq was building a real head of steam, and what the speaker had to say was most illuminating. I am now proud to have a signed copy of The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk in my collection.
For those who missed him while he was here (the house was full, the queue for tickets very long, and lots of people were out of luck), a second chance is a-coming. Amnesty International Aotearoa New Zealand (AIANZ) is delighted to host Robert Fisk as its keynote speaker during its 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights (UDHR) celebrations.
With more than 30 years reporting experience in the Middle East Robert Fisk is the most decorated of all British foreign correspondents. He writes daily for the Independent and has been awarded the British International Journalist of the Year Award seven times. He has also received the Amnesty International UK Press Award twice.
"Few regions on earth have had human rights trammelled so consistently as the Middle East - an area Robert Fisk has called home and reported on for more than 30 years," says AIANZ spokesperson Margaret Taylor. This makes Robert Fisk a fitting speaker to mark this anniversary.
Fisk needs little introduction to New Zealand audiences - The Great War for Civilisation has sold more per capita here than any other country. He will speak in Wellington on September 7 and 8. The University of Auckland is hosting his only public speaking engagement in Auckland on September 9. He is also appearing at The Press Christchurch Writers' Festival 6 and 7 September.