The UN in times of Global challenges

Spring Meeting 2019 on 18 April

the Netherlands United Nations Association (NVVN)
Leiden University Governance and Global Affairs
The Hague University of Applied Sciences (HHS)

The UN in times of Global challenges

Insights from the Security Council

Keynote Speakers

Ambassador Karel van Oosterom
Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of The Netherlands to the United Nations

Ambassador Peter Wilson
British Ambassador to the Netherlands and UK Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)


dr. Susanne Schmeier
Senior Lecturer in Water Law and Diplomacy IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

dr. Jaïr van der Lijn
Director of the Peace Operations and Conflict Management Programme of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

Kirsten Meersschaert, M.A.
Director of Programs of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect of the World Federalist Movement Institute for Global Policy

MEETING jointly organised by

the Netherlands United Nations Association (NVVN)
the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law
The Hague University of Applied Sciences (HHS)
Leiden University

to be held on
Thursday 18 APRIL 2019 at 17:30 Hrs.
Room 2.02 (Klein Auditorium), Wijnhavengebouw,
Campus The Hague, Leiden University
Turfmarkt 99, 2511 DP The Hague

In 2018, The Netherlands was a – very active – elected member of the United Nations Security Council. The Netherlands had the privilege of spending a full calendar year in the heat of the organisation’s kitchen, dealing with the conflict in Yemen and the situations in Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, alongside a host of other issues, including, for example, the renewed discussion on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The changing dynamics among the five Permanent Members and the fickle leadership of a range of key UN Member States made 2018 in many ways a special year.

With that in mind, the Netherlands United Nations Association (NVVN), the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law (KNVIR), the The Hague University of Applied Sciences (HHS) and Leiden University decided to organise a meeting to discuss the question of to what extent the United Nations are ready and well-equipped to deal with a variety of substantive key problems of today’s world, in a context where political leaders question multilateralism and emphasize nationalism and protectionism.

The meeting will start with two keynote lectures by (1) drs. Karel van Oosterom, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the UN, and in this capacity, during 2018, Head of the Dutch delegation to the Security Council, and (2) the Hon. Peter Wilson CMG, who was deputy Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017. Their introductions will be followed by brief interviews with the two Keynote Speakers and the three Commentators. Before and afterwards, the audience will be able to vote electronically on a number of issues in order to stimulate discussion. There will also be ample opportunity to participate in the debate.

Set-up of the event:

  • Introductory remarks by prof. dr. Willem van Genugten, President of the Royal Netherlands Society of International Law
  • Keynote lecture by drs. Karel van Oosterom on “The Kingdom of the Netherlands in the UN Security Council in 2018”
  • Keynote lecture by the Hon. Peter Wilson CMG on “Working on the UN Security Council – a practical view for a Permanent Member”
  • Interviews with the three Commentators, conducted by prof. dr. Alanna O’Malley, Chair UN Studies in Peace and Justice (HHS and Leiden University) and dr. Otto Spijkers, University Lecturer of Public International Law (Utrecht University) and Board Member of the NVVN
  • Debate with the audience, moderated by dr. Otto Spijkers and prof. Alanna O’Malley
  • Closing remarks by prof. Van Genugten.

The evening will start at 17:30 hrs, with sandwiches and tea/coffee. The substantive part of the programme starts at 18:30 hrs and finishes around 21:00 hrs, followed by drinks.

Attendance is free of charge. Registration is obligatory. Please register no later than 15 April by sending an e-mail message to gro.r1718438747ivnk@1718438747ofni1718438747. In case you are unable to attend despite your registration, you are required to cancel by e-mail no later than 16 April.