The speaker welcomes the attendees, who come from fourteen different countries, and outlines five common characteristics that unite those present. First, there is a significant number of people in our societies who live below the poverty line and who routinely have their legal needs overlooked. Second, the attendees recognize that basic human needs are protected by legal rights, and legal assistance and access to justice are necessary to vindicate those rights. Third, the resources currently available to help the poor address their legal needs are woefully inadequate in almost all of the countries represented. Fourth, those meeting today share a common commitment to find new ways to effectively address the legal needs of the poor. Finally, all share a belief that each can learn something from, and contribute to, other conference participants.
Michael A. Cooper,
Welcoming Remarks--April 6, 2000,
24 Fordham Int'l L.J. S182
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ilj/vol24/iss6/9