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Panel on "Addressing Human Rights in Multinational Investment," April 26

A panel discussion titled "Addressing Human Rights in Multinational Investment: The Case of the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan Pipeline," will be held on April 26, at 6:30 p.m., in Room 129. The event is sponsored by the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, the Forum for the Practice of International Law, and the Yale Environmental Law Association. It is free and open to the public.

The BTC Pipeline project, organized through a consortium led by BP, is a $2.9 billion investment that will unlock energy from the Caspian Sea by providing a new crude oil pipeline from Azerbaijan, through Georgia, to Turkey for onward delivery to world markets. The project is made possible by a framework of agreements with each country it will pass through. The pipeline has been supported by the Bush administration for its potential to reduce U.S. and European dependence on oil from the Persian Gulf. But human rights and environmental groups have been critical of the consortium for creating agreements with national governments which could thwart rights protections in the pipeline zone.

The panelists will be:
- Tom Dimitroff, senior legal advisor/ legal affairs manager, BTC Co.
- Sheldon Leader, consultant on business and human rights at Amnesty International; author of a report on the BTC project, Human Rights on the Line; Professor at Essex University (UK).
- Gare Smith, partner, Foley Hoag, Wash. DC; expert in corporate social responsibility and the legal, political, and economic aspects of globalization.

The speakers will address questions such as: Can oil and human rights mix? Will the pipeline exacerbate ethnic tensions or promote regional stability? Can BP avoid the pitfalls of other oil companies and protect human rights while profiting from resource extraction? How should human rights advocates and oil companies work together to ensure that investment and profit-making does not demand too heavy a social price?