On 22 May, the Hague Institute for Global Justice hosted the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Ambassador Jan Eliasson for a discussion on the current challenges facing the United Nations (UN). The event was moderated by The Hague Institute President Dr. Abiodun Williams. A small, selected group of attendees took part in this Roundtable.
In an inspiring tour d’horizon, Ambassador Eliasson drew on practical examples such as the planning for the future role of the UN in Afghanistan, the challenge to conduct classical UN peacekeeping operations in modern combat zones or the current work on the post-2015 UN development agenda to illustrate the indispensable connections between peace, development and human rights.
Whether the future challenge is to secure continued development funding in a climate of austerity, the enforcement of the responsibility to protect (R2P) in Syria or the global implementation of better environmental protection measures, the UN ought to address and operationalize these critical intersections in order to be effective. Another key to success, Eliasson argued, is to persuade its 193 member states that it is in their very own national interest to support its efforts in tackling these current and future challenges.
A lively question and answer session focused on the convening power of the UN in a changed geopolitical environment, the reform of the UN Security Council, the rise of non-state actors and how it impacts effective multilateralism.
For more information download at the right Mr. Eliasson’s Dag Hammarskjöld lecture which he delivered in Uppsala in 2011.