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This fifth and final event in the Lectures and Conversations Series concludes the commemoration of the centenary of the birth of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. Under-Secretary-General
Shashi Tharoor will interview
Sir Brian Urquhart former UN Under-Secretary-General
and Jan Eliasson
President of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
is expected to open the event which will be held at UN Headquarters on 2 February 2006, Conference Room 3, from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
Dag Hammarskjöld exemplifies the model international civil servant.
He served as Secretary-General of the United Nations
from 10 April 1953 until 18 September 1961 when he lost his life in a plane crash while on a mission to bring an end to fighting in the Congo. He made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace.
The words of Kofi Annan, Secretary-General attest to the high regard for Dag Hammarskjöld's outstanding qualities as an international civil servant:
"His life and his death, his words and his actions, have done more to shape public expectations of the office, and indeed of the Organization, than those of any other man or woman in its history.
His wisdom and his modesty, his unimpeachable integrity and single-minded devotion to duty, have set a standard for all servants of the international community – and especially, of course, for his successors – which is simply impossible to live up to.
There can be no better rule of thumb for a Secretary-General, as he approaches each new challenge or crisis, than to ask himself, 'how would Hammarskjöld have handled this?'...
Kofi Annan, "Dag Hammarskjöld and the 21st Century", Uppsala, 6 September 2001. (SG/SM/7941)
On 22 July 1997, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of peacekeeping, the Security Council held a meeting to honour the over 750 000 men and women who served in United Nations peacekeeping operations. At that meeting, by resolution 1121 (1997), the Security Council established the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Medal as a posthumous award to members of peacekeeping operations "as a tribute to the sacrifice of those who have lost their life as a result of service in peacekeeping operations under the operational control and authority of the United Nations".
Useful links and background documents
Dag Hammarskjöld made major contributions to the independence of the international civil servant and to the development of personnel policies which shaped the Organization.
708(VII) (1953) Report of the Secretary-General on
The General Assembly invited the Secretary-General to submit a report to its
8th session on progress made in the conduct and development of the personnel
policy of the United Nations.
Annual report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization, 1 July 1952-30 June 1953.
Dag Hammarskjöld outlined a plan for a more efficient and economical structure
and underlined the necessity to give the Secretary-General certain clearly
expressed powers. He drafted amendments to the Staff Regulations and revisions
of certain Articles in the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal. More...
A/4800 and Add.1 Annual report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization, 16 June 1960-15 June 1961.
Introduction is considered a "magisterial work". Dag Hammarskjöld
showed that the Charter clearly implied the existence of “an international
community, for which the Organization is an instrument and an expression”.
He stated that the overriding purpose of this community was to save succeeding
generations from the scourge of war, and outlined certain key principles. (SG/SM/7941,
"The International Civil Servant in Law and in Fact". Lecture delivered by Dag Hammarskjöld at Oxford University, 30 May 1961.
Standards of conduct for the international civil service. New York :UN, 2002.
Remembering Dag Hammarskjöld (1905 - 1961) on the centennial year of his birth. AFICS(NY) Quarterly Bulletin, vol. 36#4, Oct. 2005.
International Civil Service Commission
Reform at the UN
UN System Staff College
Recent titles on the international civil service from UNBISnet.