The 70-year anniversary of London hosting the first meeting of the United Nations Security Council will be marked at Church House Conference Centre later this week, with a special event involving UN diplomats past and present.
On 17 January 1946 the first meetings of the UN Preparatory Commission and Security Council were held in the Hoare Memorial Hall in Church House, Westminster. To mark the anniversary, former and current diplomats and UN civil servants will convene in the same room on 13 January 2016 to discuss their own experiences at the UN, and provide recommendations for how the UK Government can be more effective on issues relating to international peace and security.
The series of panel discussions is a rare opportunity to hear the personal testimony of British citizens who have worked to uphold international peace and security through the UN system over the course of its lifetime. Speakers include ambassador Matthew Rycroft, the UK’s permanent representative to the UN, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the UK’s national security adviser and Edward Mortimer, former speechwriter to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and current president of the British Association of Former UN Civil Servants (BAFUNCS).
The panel discussions will be followed by an evening reception hosted by Lord Malloch-Brown, former UN deputy secretary-general.
The event is being organised by the United Nations Association – UK (UNA-UK) in collaboration with BAFUNCS and King’s College London. During the event, archival photos and video footage of the first meeting will also be available through British Pathé.
Alexandra Buskie, peace and security programmes Officer, UNA-UK said: “This is an exciting opportunity to hear first-hand from British people who have been involved in the work of the United Nations throughout its lifespan.”
Robin Parker, general manager of Church House Conference Centre, added: “It is a great honour to be hosting a special meeting to mark the 70th anniversary of the UN Security Council’s first meetings. It provides an opportunity to bring together high ranking individuals in the same room as their predecessors and capture their experiences to create a record of how the Organisation has developed and tackled major issues surrounding international security.”