The IBA Annual Conference returns with President Zelensky and Lionel Barber keynotes
Sunday 30 October 2022
Pictured (left - right): Sternford Moyo, Lionel Barber, Mark Ellis, Volodymyr Zelensky
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and media heavyweight Lionel Barber, former editor of The Financial Times (FT) are to address delegates attending the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference. The former in a video specially recorded for IBA delegates and the latter with a personal appearance. The event marks the return of the IBA’s flagship Conference being held in-person after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Opening Ceremony will take place on Sunday 30 October 2022 at the Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami, United States. The Conference will run from 30 October – 4 November and will bring together more than 5,000 delegates from 130 jurisdictions.
In President Zelensky’s video, referring to members of the audience as ‘defenders of the law and human rights’, he talks about the important role lawyers will play in ensuring justice is meted out to those who planned and instigated Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This comes as the IBA and the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 27 October on cooperation to ensure accountability for war crimes and other international crimes including the crimes of aggression, genocide and conflict-related sexual violence.
Furthermore, in recognition of extraordinary leadership and dedication shown in protecting human rights and the rule of law in Ukraine during a time of war, two Ukrainian bar associations will be presented with special IBA leadership awards.
Mr Barber’s address, tailored for the IBA’s international audience, will cover a number of issues currently dominating the geo-political landscape. This will be followed by an interview with international law expert, and IBA Executive Director, Dr Mark Ellis. Mr Barber, himself an interviewer of several high-profile individuals including the former President of the United States Barack Obama, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Germany’s former Chancellor Angela Merkel, will answer audience questions at the end of his own interview with Dr Ellis.
As Editor of the FT, Mr Barber led the publication to surpass the milestone of over a million paying readers and more than 75 per cent digital subscribers. Under his editorship, the FT won several prestigious awards for its world-class journalism, including being named News Provider of the Year for two years running at the 2018 and 2019 Press Gazette British Journalism Awards. Mr Barber is now an investor and senior advisor for The New European.
IBA President Sternford Moyo said: ‘It has been another year of witnessing an increase in authoritarian rule, blatant human rights violations and the continued erosion of the Rule of Law across the world. During this week in Miami, there will be a series of strong sessions that highlight these and other challenges facing not only the legal profession but our world, including cybersecurity, climate change and sustainability, artificial intelligence and human rights to name a few. As President Zelensky said, we are the “defenders of the law and human rights”, we must be steadfast in our great responsibility.’
Dr Ellis commented: ‘Lawyers from across the world have come together to debate serious issues, exchange knowledge and develop a greater understanding of, and appreciation for, perspectives that may differ from one’s own. The IBA’s Annual Conference provides a congenial environment for these exchanges and a forum where many can explore legal issues far removed from usual day-to-day practice. The broadening of one’s comprehension of a variety of issues is key to improved business deals and relationships, cementing friendships, the pursuit of development, justice and peace. We are the beneficiaries of the intentions of the IBA’s Founders in 1947. Our work is their legacy.’
This year’s IBA Annual Conference will be held from Sunday 30 October to Friday 4 November in Miami, Florida. A major US city and leading centre for finance, commerce, culture, entertainment and international trade. Sometimes referred to as the ‘capital of Latin America’, it houses the headquarters of Latin American operations for more than 1400 multinational corporations.