An international lawyer and author will be the keynote speaker at United Nations Day on Thursday.

About 120 people have signed up to attend Sovaida Ma'ani-Ewing's presentation, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gainesville Woman's Club, 2809 W University Ave.

Ma'ani-Ewing, an international lawyer, has lived in the United States, England and the Middle East. She was born in Kenya to an Iranian Baha'i family.

She now works as an independent scholar in the field of collective security and writes about nuclear affairs, said U.N. Program Chair Lisa Renner.

Ma'ani-Ewing will discuss the relevance of the U.N. in the 21st century and how to tackle the challenges of energy security and climate change, Renner said.

She agreed to speak at the U.N. Day event for free after meeting Taraneh Darabi, board president of the United Nations Association's Gainesville chapter, at a Baha'i conference.

There will also be a panel discussion with UF faculty Sadie Sanders, a professor in the College of Health and Human Performance, and Abe Goldman, the acting director of the UF Center for African Studies.

U.N. Day is hosted annually by the United Nations Association Gainesville chapter.

The event is free and open to the public.


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