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China remembers former UN Secretary-General Hammarskjold

Mr. Bonian Golmohammadi, Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Association (WFUNA) (People`s Daily Online/Wang Jinxue)

Mr. Bonian Golmohammadi, Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Association (WFUNA) (People`s Daily Online/Wang Jinxue)

Beijing, Dec. 1 (People`s Daily Online) – The Dag Hammarskjold Symposium 2011 was held at Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) today to commemorate former Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold’s contribution to conflict prevention and reflect on his vision for the United Nations.

The symposium was hosted by the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Beijing, Research Center of the United Nations and International Organization at BFSU and United Nations Association of China. More than one hundred people attended the meeting, including experts, scholars and diplomats from thirty-five countries, eight international organizations and also domestic universities.

Dag Hammarskjold was born on July 29, 1905 in Jonkoping in south-central Sweden. He was secretary-general of the United Nations from April 10, 1953 until Sept. 18, 1961 when he died in a plane crash while on a peace mission in the Congo. As secretary-general, Mr. Hammarskjold used his high office in a range of situations to prevent war and serve the other aims of the U.N. Charter. He was posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize for his efforts to create peace and goodwill among nations and men.

During the symposium, the participants mainly focused on three topics: "The Responsibility to Protect (R2P)," "Conflict Prevention, Early Warning and Capacity Building," and "Hammarskjold`s Legacy - The three principles of peacekeeping." Moreover, people also talked about recent case studies – Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Libya and Syria.

In the conclusion part, Swedish Ambassador to China, Lars Freden gave an overview of the life of Dag Hammarskjold. He was a firm advocate of the absolute sovereignty of states.

Hammarskjold rejected the idea that great powers could enforce peace or settle political disputes and instead favored peacekeeping in the form of mediation and conciliation which respected equal sovereignty of states.

Hammarskjold believed U.N .presence was to prevent war breaking out, or being renewed by placing a peacekeeping force between warring factions. The principles Hammarskjold established for a U.N. peacekeeping force were that it could only be deployed with consent of the parties, it could not intervene in the internal affairs of the country, and force must only be used in self-defense or in defense of the U.N. mandate.

Date:2011-12-1 21:08:41     
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