Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has today become an Honorary Fellow of Mansfield College as part of a two-day visit to Oxford.
Secretary Clinton unveiled a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt at the University’s Bonavero Institute of Human Rights to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which Roosevelt was instrumental in drafting.
In an accompanying conversation with former Mansfield Principal Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Clinton noted that “democracy is under siege,” telling the assembled audience that “when you move away from democracy…you lose human rights.”
The former US Secretary of State will deliver the keynote speech at tomorrow’s conference, entitled ‘Confronting Illiberalism: The Role of the Media, Civil Society and Universities.’ Oxford Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson will also speak at the event.
'Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world’ said Eleanor Roosevelt, whose statue will be unveiled today by @HillaryClinton @MansfieldOxford @BonaveroIHR #udhr70 pic.twitter.com/zGkboYWXkW
— Bonavero Institute of Human Rights (@BonaveroIHR) October 8, 2018
To a audience of Oxford academics and distinguished guests, Mrs Clinton said: “Democracy is under siege, international cooperation is being diminished and dismissed, and we have to ask ourselves, how do we maintain the democratic experiment in self government and how do we find the cooperation around the world and stand against this tide that seems to be sweeping Europe and the United States that is really undermining the extraordinary work that was done.”
In a wide-ranging conversation, Clinton also described recently confirmed US Supreme Court Associate Justice, Brett Kavanaugh, as “somebody that would protect the President.” On Brexit, she noted that Leave voters wanted to feel “their futures are given appropriate respect”. Secretary Clinton also stressed that she could not understand why the press, public and political establishment are “so reluctant to call out what the Russians have been doing.”
This evening’s event was titled ‘An Evening Celebration Of Three Remarkable Women: Eleanor Roosevelt, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton & Baroness Helena Kennedy QC.’
Oxford University’s Bonavero Institute of Human Rights was officially opened earlier this year by the late, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Secretary Clinton lost the 2016 race for the White House to Donald Trump. A former First Lady and US Senator for New York, Clinton said at the event: “As we learn more about the role that Putin, oligarchs around him, the Russian government particularly, the intelligence forces have played, we see that it’s not just what they did in our election in the United States. They have been actively supporting right wing political parties and politicians.”
The bronze statue of Roosevelt was created by artist Penelope Jencks. At the unveiling, in front of around 200 Mansfield students and event guests, Clinton noted that it was the second casting of an earlier statue currently found in Riverside Park, New York City.