On May 19th, the International Peace Institute hosted an all day symposium on “Reducing Global Insecurity” at its new state-of-the-art conference facility, the Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. Leading international policymakers, academics, and UN ambassadors gathered to inaugurate IPI’s new space and reflect on the legacy of the United Nations’ first Secretary-General, Trygve Lie. Symposium participants engaged in forward-looking discussions on how best to strengthen multilateral capacities and institutional architectures to address emerging security threats and global challenges.
The day’s events commenced with a keynote address by Thorbjørn Jagland, Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament, who paid tribute to the work of Trygve Lie, and was followed by a multimedia visual presentation by IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen, “Coping with Crisis, Conflict, and Change—Global Perspectives.”
After a morning panel on the challenges of managing international peace processes and peace operations, a formal luncheon was held with guest of honor British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Rt. Hon. David Miliband, who delivered keynote remarks on “Conflict and Responsible Sovereignty.” He observed that while the international system remains one of sovereign nation-states, today rising interdependency means that sovereignty entails responsibilities as well as rights; and this raises tough questions for the international community, questions that make the work of an institution like IPI all the more important.
The afternoon featured panels on “Global Security Governance” and “Managing Global Economic Change,” which was introduced and chaired by UN Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro.
The symposium closed with a cocktail reception featuring guest of honor Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Secretary-General delivered keynote remarks at the evening reception congratulating IPI on the opening of the Trygve Lie Center, and praising its ongoing work on the diverse and often overlapping challenges of contemporary international affairs.
With a cross-section of the international community present––including representatives of missions to the UN, academics, international journalists, NGO staff, and other civil society members––the events of the day allowed for robust discussions and networking on a range of current and recurring issues. It is hoped that the Trygve Lie Center will continue to thrive as a forum for fresh thinking and policy-relevant discussion for many years to come.