“Saving More People from the Scourge of War?”, a Conversation with Mr Edward Mortimer

  • DATE / TIME:
    2015•11•27    18:30 - 19:30

    On 27 November 2015, UNU will host “Saving More People from the Scourge of War?”, a conversation with Mr Edward Mortimer, Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. This event will start at 6:30 p.m. on 27 November at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo.

    In June 1945 the founders of the United Nations proclaimed their determination, in the opening words of its Charter, “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, which twice in their lifetime had brought “untold sorrow to mankind” (and that was before atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki: few if any of those present in San Francisco, when those solemn words were first read out, were even aware that such terrible weapons existed).

    Edward Mortimer will join UNU Rector David M. Malone for a conversation exploring how far, in the last seven decades, the world organisation has fulfilled the hope thus placed in it, and how it might do better in the next 70 years, especially in light of the dramatic diplomatic failures to date, to stem the fighting in Syria. As an adviser to The Elders — a diverse and independent group of global leaders working to promote peace and human rights, currently chaired by Kofi Annan — Mr Mortimer helped draft the proposals for strengthening the United Nations which they put forward at the beginning of this year.

    The discussion will consider what chance these proposals have of being adopted and how far they or others could render the UN, and especially the Security Council, more effective in fulfilling its responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and what alternatives may exist.

    The UNU Conversation Series aims to foster audience participation: you are encouraged to engage with the speakers during the conversation and at the reception that will follow, where all audience members are invited to enjoy the food and drinks that will be served while exchanging ideas and making new contacts.

    Please note that this event will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration (by 26 November) is required. Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.

    About the Speaker

    Edward Mortimer is a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and President of the British Association of Former UN Civil Servants. His publications include Faith and Power: the Politics of Islam (1982); The World that FDR Built (1989) and; People, Nation and State: the Meaning of Ethnicity and Nationalism (1999). Most recently, he collaborated with Timothy Garton Ash and Kerem Oktem on Freedom in Diversity: Ten Lessons for Public Policy from Britain, Canada, France, Germany and the United States (2013).

    Formerly a journalist and leading columnist on The London Times and The Financial Times, Mr Mortimer served from 1998 to 2006 as Chief Speechwriter and Director of Communications to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He then spent five years in Austria as Senior Vice-President and Chief Program Officer of the Salzburg Global Seminar. He is now Chair of the Children’s Radio Foundation UK, and sits on the board of the Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice, which he chaired from 2009 to 2015.


    2F Reception Hall
    United Nations University
    53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
    Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925