Reform or Dissolve: Ukraine’s Challenge to the United Nations

Event Video 

On April 14th, IPI hosted a conversation among three former UN senior officials entitled “Reform or Dissolve: Ukraine’s Challenge to the United Nations.”

Speaking to the Security Council on April 5th, President Zelensky of Ukraine delivered a blistering critique of the UN peace and security architecture. “It is now clear,” he said, “that the goals set in San Francisco in 1945 during the creation of a global international security organization have not been achieved. And it is impossible to achieve them without reforms.”

It is hard to disagree with this statement, but is real reform possible? Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine represents a seismic event in the global system that has shaken the foundations of the global peace and security architecture. Has the international rule of law been damaged beyond repair? Or does the war present an opportunity to change the system for the better? If not now, then when? If now, then how?

In the second of a series of events on the situation in Ukraine, three former high-UN officials addressed these difficult questions and more in conversation.


Mark Malloch Brown, President of the Open Society Foundations, former UN Deputy Secretary-General and Administrator of the UN Development Programme

Karin Landgren, Executive Director of Security Council Report, former UN Under-Secretary-General and Head of three UN Peace Operations

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, IPI President and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights