Human rights and international law expert Professor Hilary Charlesworth, says that Australia's appointment to the UN Human Rights Council gives the country an opportunity to examine its own human rights record.
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The Medal recognises Professor Evans' pioneering work to further international understanding of the Responsibility to Protect Concept (R2P) and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
According to R2P, national sovereignty can no longer serve as a protective shield for nations which allow their own citizens to be the subject of atrocities and genocidal crimes.
Since 2008 he has been co-chair (with former Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi) of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (www.icnnd.org) and was named a Professorial Fellow at Melbourne in August 2009.
The Freedom from Fear Medal is one of the annual Four Freedoms Awards presented to individuals who exemplify President Roosevelt's vision and who have demonstrated their commitment to that vision through their life and work.
Former recipients of the Four Freedoms Awards include Aung San Suu Kyi, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Anan, Desmond Tutu and Richard von Weizsäcker.
The awards originated in New York in 1950, and since 1982, the Four Freedoms Awards have been presented in conjunction with the Roosevelt Stichting in Middelburg, the Netherlands.
Mr Evans will receive his award, most probably from Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, on 29 May.
A Melbourne graduate in Arts and Law (Honours), Gareth Evans lectured in law at the University from 1971 to 1976 and welcomed his return to the campus last year.
"With its strong, long-standing and growing international reputation, the University of Melbourne is a wonderful base from which to work over the next year on the global nuclear commission," he said.
Over 21 years, Professor Evans served in the Australian Senate and the House of Representatives as a Cabinet Minister in both the Hawke and Keating governments including appointments as Foreign Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
Professor Evans is available for interview today and tomorrow, 9035 8160.