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Deputy Secretary-General of U.N. Talks About Importance of Rule of Law in Promoting Peace

Jan Eliasson, a former special envoy to Darfur, says rule of law is 'anchor' of international peace and security

Media Contact: Public Affairs, 212-854-2650 or publicaffairs@law.columbia.edu

New York, December 3, 2012—Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, spoke at Columbia Law School on Nov. 27 about the U.N.’s use of the rule of law in promoting peace, development, and human rights. 

His lecture was the latest event of the Center on Global Governance, which addresses the legal issues of globalization through diverse interdisciplinary research and scholarship. Eliasson spoke after a brief introduction by Professor Michael W. Doyle, the Harold Brown Professor of International Affairs, Law, and Political Science and co-chair of the Center on Global Governance. Eliasson’s talk described the importance of the rule of law at the international and national level.
 
Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson
“When adhered to, the rule of law at the international level makes the conduct of member states predictable and legitimate and provides a means to peacefully resolve any disputes,” Eliasson said in his talk, titled “Strengthening Peace, Development and Human Rights through the Rule of Law.” “It is the anchor and foundation of international peace and security.” 
 
After the lecture, Eliasson answered questions from students on extreme poverty and its effects on the rule of law, and the recognition of Palestine as a nonmember state of the U.N.
 
As part of an extensive career in diplomacy and foreign affairs, Eliasson served as the special envoy of the U.N. Secretary-General for Darfur from 2007 to 2008 and as the president of the 60th Session of the U.N. General Assembly. In his role as the first U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Eliasson pursued initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention, and humanitarian action in Africa and the Balkans. Eliasson has lectured on mediation, conflict resolution, and U.N. reform as a visiting professor at Uppsala University and Gothenburg University in Sweden.
 
Professor Michael W, Doyle
After the event, Doyle said both international and domestic legal systems are crucial to development around the world.
 
“The rule of international law serves to coordinate state actions and reduce unintended clashes; while the rule of domestic law both promotes human rights and economic development,” he said.  
 
A copy of Eliasson’s remarks can be found here.

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