Panel Discussions - Thursday, November 09, 2006
The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power
IPI was pleased to host the launch of a new book by James Traub entitled The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power.
Kofi Annan, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, has been heralded as a "diplomatic rock star" and as a "secular pope." Yet despite much public praise he, and the institution he has come to embody, have faced increasing public scrutiny and criticism after a series of scandals, management failures, and rifts among key UN member states. The US invasion of Iraq without Security Council approval deeply shook Annan. Critics, and even some friends, began asking whether this sixty-year-old experiment in global policing had outlived its usefulness. Do its failures arise from its own structure and culture or from a clash with an American administration determined to go its own way in defiance of world opinion?
In The Best Intentions, Jim Traub recounts the dramatically entwined history of Kofi Annan and the UN from 1992 to the present. In Annan he sees a tension between high idealism and entrenched institutional practice. On the one hand, Annan represents both a conscientious idealist given too little credit for advancing causes like humanitarian intervention. On the other hand, he represents a UN careerist who has absorbed the institution's culture and cannot, in the end, escape its limitations.
Our distinguished panel included Jim Traub, contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Simon Chesterman, Executive Director, Institute for International Law and Justice New York University School of Law, and Ed Luck, Director, Center on International Organization, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University.
Shepard Forman, Director, Center on International Cooperation, New York University served as the Chair.
The Global Observatory
Nelson Mandela: Man and Awesome Phenomenon
A former member of the South African Parliament reflects on Mandela's warmth and generosity.
Ordinary Fears, Extraordinary Man: The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
As a young South African diplomat during the apartheid-to-democracy transition, Cedric de Coning witnessed the humility and power of a flawed statesman.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 22, 2013
Can Technology Play a Role in Drafting a Constitution?
The effects that new technologies can have on constitutional processes was the topic of this November 22nd IPI roundtable discussion. Approximately five new constitutions are written around the world every year, and their legitimacy is increasingly influenced by a new level of public participation in their drafting, not merely by a plebiscite on the final text. As rapidly advancing technology changes the way that governments and citizens interact, what role are new technologies playing in constitutions?