In Sydney, Australia, a symposium on the 74th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was held in honor of Charles Malik, a key player in its development and adoption in 1948. Organized with the Friends of Dr. Charles Malik Committee, Australia, President of Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), Fr. Bechara Khoury, attended the commemoration in the presence of Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay of the Maronite Archdiocese of Australia, Metropolitan Basilios Kodseie of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, Bishop Robert Rabbat of the Melkite Church in Australia, Event Coordinator, Fr. Jean-Paul Bassil, and a number of officials including former former ministers and clergymen. The son of the honoree, Habib Charles Malik, sent a pre-recorded statement of support and gratitude to the event.
The symposium took place at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) to celebrate Malik’s legacy. Fr. Khoury highlighted the impact of Malik’s legacy on Lebanon’s cultural mission, which endures despite the civil unrest.
“Lebanon remains faithful to the cause that Malik set forth,” said the Father President. “Legislators, thinkers, and defenders of human rights alike—all of which Malik himself was a perfect amalgamation—are essential in our fight to preserve Lebanon’s status as a cultural pillar.”
A documentary film on Charles Malik, based partly on NDU’s unique archives of this Lebanese giant, was screened in the symposium. NDU alumni comprised a significant portion of the audience, ever-devoted to Lebanon and the University.
The annual event serves as an important reminder to continuously play our parts in advancing culture and human rights in all capacities: individually, socially, institutionally, and nationally, across all disciplines. As a University, a pivotal point of NDU’s mission is not only respecting the dignity of the person, but promoting it as a necessary feature of a just and merciful society.