The purpose of the project's final phase was to stimulate additional exploration of the UN's record by academics and graduate students, by journalists and policy analysts, in both developed and developing countries. Details are found below; an asterisk indicates a meeting specifically organized by the UNIHP secretariat. More details of each meeting can be found by clicking on the hyperlinks. A calendar of paper presentations, lectures, and project-sponsored conferences and seminars from 2008 and earlier can be accessed at the bottom of the page. Please click here to view a pdf version of the PowerPoint presentation that was given at the worldwide meetings on UN Ideas That Changed the World.
The project's co-directors continue to make public appearances.
SEMINARS & CONFERENCES, 2009-2011
Beijing, 12 January 2011
This presentation was hosted jointly by the UNA-China and UNDP as the first of a new series of Distinguished Lectures being inaugurated on the UN. Richard Jolly gave a basic presentation of UN Voices and UN Ideas, with simultaneous translation and powerpoint screens in both Chinese and English. The UNDP Resident Coordinator, Ms. Renata Dessallien and Mr Jin Yongjian, Honorary President of UNA-China and former UN-USG made welcoming remarks and Ambassador Wang Xuexian, former deputy Chinese PR to the UN in New York offered comments before the question and answer session at the end.
Shanghai, 5 January 2011
This presentation was introduced by Professor Zhang Guihong, Executive Director of the Centre with the Dean of the School of International Studies, Shen Dingli, joining in questions and providing a vote of thanks at the end. Some 65-70 students attended and provided a lively interaction of questions and comments the lecture. There was also a chance to meet eight of the graduate students undertaking doctoral research on topics related to the UN.
New Delhi, 20-25 October 2010
Montek Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Indian Planning Commission formally launched UN Ideas That Changed the World in Delhi on October 21st. The meeting was held in the UN Conference Hall of the Lodi Estate and was attended by 65 people, including a number of journalists. Patrice Coeur-Bizot, the UN Resident Coordinator welcomed the three speakers. Montek opened the event, declaring that most UN ideas have long histories but by according legitimacy the UN has helped to popularize them and give them credibility. In today’s world of ideas, the UN must do more to lead intellectually –as it has been notably doing on the environment and human development.
After this statement and the opening presentation by Richard Jolly, Nitin Desai, the former UN USG responsible for economic and social affairs commented that the UN in recent decades had not so much generated new thinking as “provided political space for those coming up with ideas to present them internationally”. Desai expressed concern that the UN was declining as an effective political space. He stated that it was a great mistake to think of the UN as a supra national body above governments. It is more accurate to think of it as a global community organization. Discussion and questions followed.
The Delhi Special carried a front page picture the following day and Richard Jolly was interviewed for an hour on the UN by Paranjoy Guha for Lok Saba TV in a program to be shown in early November. Follow up meetings were held the next day with Richard Jolly addressing the UN country team and joining in the UN Day reception and celebrations.
The Hague, 28 June-1 July 2010
The co-directors held four conferences in the Netherlands: two in The Hague, one in Tilburg, and one in Groningen. On 28 June, the Dutch Ambassador to NATO and former Permanent Representative in New York, Frank Majoor, opened the meeting and congratulated the co-directors for having completed a project that was enthusiastically supported by the Government of the Netherlands. Louis Emmerij, Richard Jolly, and Thomas G. Weiss then presented UN Ideas That Changed the World at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague under the chairmanship of Dr. Yvonne Donders, the president of the Dutch United Nations Association and Associate Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Amsterdam. The elegant van Kleffenzaal was filled to capacity with 90-100 people from the government, NGOs, and the academy. After the presentation, Dr. Maarten Brouwer, from the Ministry, served as discussant, providing critical remarks. The discussion which followed centered on military spending worldwide, the role of religion, and global challenges. Nico Schrijver concluded the session by presenting his book, Development without Destruction: the UN and Global Resource Management, part of the UNIHP series, with commentary by Mr. Egbert Wesselink, Program Manager Economic Dimensions of Conflict IKV Pax Christi Netherlands.
On 29 June, the three co-directors attended the 10th anniversary of the Earth Charter at the Peace Palace, home of the International Court of Justice. Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, former Minister Jan Pronk, and about 400 participants joined in the celebration of this event during which Schrijver presented the key points from Development without Destruction; Weiss spoke about Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey; and Emmerij and Jolly made some remarks about UN Ideas.
On 30 June, Emmerij and Weiss proceeded to the University of Tilburg in the South of The Netherlands. Some 40-50 professors, staff, and students listened to and discussed the presentation of the two co-directors. Professor Willem van Genugten chaired the event. Bert Koenders, the Minster of Development Cooperation, acted as the discussant for UN Ideas and spoke highly of the entire project, which he saw as an attempt to do justice to contributions by the UN system. The Director of the University’s Development Research Institute, Gerard de Groot, made closing remarks.
Finally on 1 July, Emmerij, Weiss, and Schrijver made a joint presentation at the University of Groningen, in the North of the country, in the beautiful Senaatskamer. About 30 students and faculty members participated in this lively discussion. Professor Marcel Brus acted as discussant for UN Ideas and Professor Joop de Wilde for Development without Destruction.
New York, 21 April 2010
Before 35 young business executives gathered by the UNA of New York City, Weiss presented “How UN Ideas Change the World,” an article based on the project’s experience that will be published in Review of International Studies in late 2010.
Singapore, 12-13 April 2010*
Jolly and Weiss gave two presentations on UN Ideas one at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in the National University of Singapore, organized by the Centre on Asia and Globalization, and the second in the historic auditorium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The former presentation had about 60 participants and the latter 70, including a number of ambassadors and ministry officials. With Professor Ann Florini from the Centre on Asia and Globalization in the chair, Tommy Koh, ambassador at large of the ministry and closely involved for many years with the UN as Singapore's permanent representative and as a key negotiator of the Law of the Sea Convention, spoke after Weiss and Jolly and gave his own account of the evolution of UN ideas in the areas of gender equality, environment, and human development. The Singapore Straits was also present and conducted a detailed interview with Jolly, as well as a subsequent interview with Weiss.
Earlier, Weiss gave a well-attended lecture at the Nanyang University’s Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies on the latest thinking in relation to the responsibility to protect, under the title "Misrepresenting Norms." Situating the evolution of the responsibility to protect norm within the project’s larger findings, he discussed how ideas can advance by misrepresentation in bad cases as well as by success stories.
Seoul, Korea, 8-9 April 2010*
Jolly and Weiss presented UN Ideas for some 50 participants, mainly government officials and senior academics who gathered at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security. Along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the event was co-sponsored by the Korean Academic Council on the UN System, Seoul National University (SNU), and the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA). Several former UN ambassadors were present, including the chair - Amb. Sun Houng-Yung, the CEO of UNA-ROK. Also present for the introductions were Judge Paik Jin-Hyun (International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and also SNU), Ambassador Park Soo-Gil (president of WFUNA), and Ambassador Lee Soon-Chun (chancellor of the IFANS). Discussants were Prof. Park Heung-Soon (Sunmoon University), Prof. Lee Shin-wha (Korea University), and Paik Jia (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The conversation began the previous evening with the briefing of Cho Hyun, deputy minister in charge of multilateral and global affairs.
On Friday, 9 April, Jolly and Weiss made separate presentations at the two most well regarded of Korea's nine English-speaking graduate schools of international studies, where approximately one-third of the MA students are also from outside Korea. In the morning at Korea University, Prof. Lee Shin-wha and several other faculty members were joined by 50 students. In the afternoon at Seoul National University, some 100 students and several faculty members were present including Dean Bark Taeho (who is also an economic adviser to the government) and Judge Paik Jin-Hyun.
Ithaca, New York, 1 April 2010
Jolly gave a presentation to some 120 faculty and students on UN Ideas at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs.
New York, New York, 25 March 2010
Weiss presented UN Ideas at Baruch College of The City University of New York for 45 non-US students majoring in international business who are part of a UN club.
Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 23 March 2010
Jolly gave a public lecture for 70 students and faculty at Swarthmore College on UN Ideas. He also gave a follow-up lecture on Thursday, 25 March, on human development, one of the nine key ideas in the capstone volume.
Costa Rica, 17-19 March 2010*
Jolly gave his first presentation on Wednesday, 17 March, in the Costa Rican Congress in the presence of Nobel laureate President Óscar Arias. There were 80 invited guests, including several ministers, a number of deputies, and 12 ambassadors. Jolly emphasized Costa Rica’s strong support for the UN and highlights Latin American personalities and ideas in his presentation, which included a portrait of Raúl Prebisch and a collage of the Latinos interviewed for UNIHP’s oral history.
Afterwards President Arias made a presentation on disarmament and development that also praised the Human Development Report and the UN and called for more attention to human security.
On Thursday, 18 March, Jolly was interviewed by La Nación, the main Costa Rican newspaper, which was followed by a presentation of UN Ideas at UN House and afterwards a presentation at the University of Peace, with a few faculty and some 60 international MA students.
On Friday, 19 March, Jolly lectured in the University of Costa Rica to about 70 persons, including the university president, the vice dean, and directors of two economic research institutes.
Cairo, Egypt, 8-17 March 2010*
On Monday, 8 March, Weiss discussed lessons from ten years of research by the United Nations Intellectual History Project and the UNIHP's capstone volume, UN Ideas, before some 50 students at an event on 8 March at the American University in Cairo sponsored by the Model United Nations Club (see photo on the right). On Wednesday, 17 March, Weiss addressed a much larger audience at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at an event chaired by Ambassador Nabil Fahmy, the dean of the School of Public Policy at American University. Among the 75 participants were several younger and retired members of the Foreign Service.
Berlin and Bonn, Germany, 15-18 March 2010*
Louis Emmerij and Nico Schrijver discussed UNIHP’s major findings as well as UN Ideas and Schrijver’s forthcoming book Development Without Destruction: The UN and Global Resource Management. The Berlin event was co-sponsored by the German UN Association and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Bonn event by the European Association of Development Institutes (EADI). Please click here to read the summary of the two conferences. Pictured above, from left to right: Louis Emmerij, Nico Schrijver, Dagmar Dehman, Volker Hoeff, and Klaus Toepfer at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Geneva, Swizerland, 2-3 March 2010*
Jolly and Weiss presented UN Ideas. and discussed UNIHP’s decade-long research endeavor before two audiences. The first event was attended by some 150 people, who were mainly academics and some retired UN officials and sponsored by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Prof. Thomas Biersteker moderated a session that included comments by ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. Please click here to listen to an interview with Jolly and Weiss. A second event was organized at the Palais des Nations for some 150 diplomats and serving UN officials that was moderated by UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, who previously was WTO director-general (pictured at the right). Click here for brief video excerpts from the session.
Brussels, Belgium, 2-3 December 2009
Weiss gave a presentation titled, "Obama's UN Policy and Transatlantic Relations," before 125 faculty, students, EU officials, and diplomats at the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts and the Catholic University of Leuven's Center for Global Governance Studies. He drew lessons from UNIHP for the future of US and EU foreign policy. (click here for the text of his remarks).
Bangkok, Thailand, 23-26 November 2009*
On 23 November Jolly and Emmerij arrived at Culalongkorn University for the first of three major dissemination conferences, this one organized by the Chula Global Network and the International Institute for Trade and Development. They introduced UN Ideas to an audience of some 75 persons, including many prominent professors and civil society and media representatives. References to Asian policies, past and present, were woven into the presentation, and a lively discussion developed. Following the presentation on the capstone volume, Roger Normand, co-author of the UNIHP volume Human Rights at the UN: The Political History of Universal Justice, gave a summary of his book.
On 24 November, Emmerij and Jolly delivered their second dissemination conference at the headquarters of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) before an enthusiastic audience of some 200 people, including ambassadors, participants in the Committee on Macroeconomic Analysis, staff members of ESCAP, and the media. The conference was chaired by Noeleen Heyzer, executive secretary of ESCAP (pictured on the left). The introduction of the capstone volume by the two UNIHP co-directors was followed by a vivid discussion. Ambassador Manaspas Xuto, the president of the United Nations Association of Thailand, thanked the authors and hosted a reception that gave participants an occasion to speak further with Emmerij and Jolly.
On 26 November, Emmerij gave a third dissemination conference at the Ministry of Finance in the form of a seminar before an audience of 35 who were mainly from the Ministry of Finance. The discussion centered on the 1997 crisis and its response, the reaction to the present crisis, the rapid response reaction of the Thai authorities, and what to do to avoid future disasters of that kind.
Hanoi, Vietnam, 27 November 2009*
Jolly presented UN Ideas to an audience of over 100 persons that included many from the UN and local community, as well as the ambassadors of Australia, Canada, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Jesper Morch, acting UN resident coordinator, chaired the event.
Brighton, United Kingdom, 29 October 2009
At the University of Sussex, Jolly gave a presentation on UN Ideas before an audience of 115 graduate students and faculty as the Dudley Seers Memorial Lecture, which was chaired by Carlos Fortín, former officer-in-charge of UNCTAD.
London, United Kingdom, 19-21 October 2009
On 19 October, Emmerij and Jolly gave an informal presentation before a select group of 35 Commonwealth Secretariat staff members, which was chaired by the former permanent representative of India to the UN, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma. On 20 October, Prof. Robert Wade chaired the conference where Emmerij and Jolly presented UN Ideas at the London School of Economics. The 175 participants included the Honorable Clare Short, former UK minister of overseas development, and Minister Mark-Malloch Brown, former UN deputy secretary-general and UNDP administrator. A final seminar was held on 21 October in collaboration with Prof. Mary Kaldor. Graduate students and professors participated in this useful exchange of ideas on topics, including the Third UN, a central theme from UN Ideas, and improving the condition and accessibility of the UN archives.
Geneva, Switzerland, 16 October 2009
Weiss Weiss gave a presentation on UN Ideas as part of a round-table titled, “The Case of the UN: Fit for Global Governance?” This discussion was attended by some 150 persons from the private and public sectors and held at the International Labour Organization; it was sponsored by the Davos International Economic Forum and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.
Dakar, Senegal, 4-6 October 2009
Weiss presented a concluding keynote titled, “Decolonization, Idea or Event? What We Learned from UNIHP.” Some 150 individuals, mainly from African universities, attended this conference organized as part of the UNESCO history project at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Sénégal.
Stockholm, Sweden, 1 October 2009*
Jolly, Emmerij, and Weiss discussed lessons from ten years of UNIHP research and UN Ideas before some 40 selected participants. The meeting was organized by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and opened by Henning Melber, executive director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. Lennart Bage, former president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) chaired the meeting, and comments were given by Anders Nordstrom, director general of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). Among the distinguished guests were Lisbet Palme and Bengt Save-Soderbergh.
Uppsala, Sweden, 30 September 2009*
Jolly, Emmerij, and Weiss introduced their capstone volume UN Ideas before a select group of some 35 scholars at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS). Henning Melber, executive director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, provided welcoming remarks and Björn Wittrock, professor at Uppsala University and principal of the SCAS, moderated the seminar. In addition, Olav Stokke introduced his volume The UN and Development: From Aid to Cooperation. Two SCAS fellows, Philipp Lepennies and Seteney Shami, acted as discussants.
Oslo, Norway, 28-29 September 2009*
Two private meetings were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and separately at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), both with time for discussion with some 25 staff after brief presentations by Emmerij, Jolly and Weiss. A separate meeting took place with the deputy foreign minister and his staff. The public meeting took place earlier in the day at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), which was chaired by NUPI Director Jan Egeland, who was previously UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs. Former NUPI director Sverre Lodgard introduced the presentations, which included an initial presentation by Olav Stokke on the history of development assistance from his The UN and Development: From Aid to Cooperation, followed by Jolly, Weiss and Emmerij presenting UN Ideas.
Washington, D.C., 17 September 2009*
Jolly, Emmerij, and Weiss presented lessons from ten years of UNIHP research and UN Ideas . The launch, held At Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was co-sponsored by the UN Foundation and was introduced by former US senator Tim Wirth, the president of the UN Foundation.
New York, New York, 14 September 2009*
The first official launch event after the publication of the capstone volume was at UN headquarters in the Trusteeship Council Chamber. Some 300 participants from all sectors attended the discussion of lessons from ten years of UNIHP research, which was welcomed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and introduced by the authors of UN Ideas That Changed the World—Jolly, Emmerij, and Weiss. UNDP Administrator Helen Clark moderated the discussion, and the discussant was José Antonio Ocampo, former under-secretary-general for economic and social affairs, now professor at Columbia University and director of the Program in Economic and Political Development (see photo on right).
Rio de Janeiro , Brazil, 13-17 July 2009
Weiss presented, "People Matter, Ideas Matter: Findings from the United Nations Intellectual History Project" at a panel titled "The United Nations Breeding Ideas" during a conference organized jointly by the International Studies Association and the Brazilian International Relations Association with some 500 participants mainly from the Americas.
Vienna, Austria, 4-5 May 2009
Based on findings from the UNIHP experience, Weiss gave a talk titled, "What's Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It" at the One Knowledge Café organized by the UN Office in Vienna, the UN Industrial Development Organization, the City of Vienna, and the University of Vienna. Several senior participants from UN organizations and governments were in attendance, including the head of the UN Office in Vienna and the Austrian prime minister.
Cambridge, United Kingdom, 6-7 April 2009
Weiss presented one of the central findings of UNIHP, the Third UN, at the "Transnational History of International Organizations" at King's College, Cambridge University. This first conference of the UNESCO history was attended by some 100 senior scholars from around the world.
Geneva, Switzerland, 3 April 2009
Weiss gave a talk titled, "What's Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It," at the Graduate Institute for International Studies. The audience included some 40 individuals of an informal discussion group composed of senior UN staff in Geneva-based UN agencies.
New York, 4 March 2009
Drawing on her UNIHP volume titled Women and the UN: A Sixty-Year Quest for Equality and Justice Devaki Jain presented a paper on women, development, the UN, and the global economic crisis at this meeting sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme. Please click here to see her remarks, as published in the South Bulletin.
New York, 16-19 February 2009
Weiss gave the Presidential Address to some 700 scholars at the 50th Convention of the International Studies Association, “What Happened to the Idea of World Government?” The full version was published in International Studies Quarterly, 2009. At a well-attended conference panel, the UN Intellectual History Project explored four ways by which ideas gain impact and achieve clout: by changing how issues are perceived, by framing agendas for action, by mobilizing coalitions of support, and by becoming embedded in institutions that sustain interest and action in the ideas. This panel was composed of four UNIHP authors: Emmerij presented "Basic Needs in the 1970s"; Jolly presented "Human Development in the 1990s"; Ramesh Thakur presented "The Responsibility to Protect after 2001"; and S. Neil MacFarlane presented "Human Security."