Former UN ambassador at Festival of Chichester

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Sir Jeremy Greenstock, previously British Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and currently chairman of United Nations Association – UK, will celebrate 70 years of United Nations’ achievements in a special talk for the Festival of Chichester on Friday, June 26 at 7pm.

Sir Jeremy will also discuss the future challenges across the world when he takes the platform in The Showroom, University Of Chichester, College Lane in a session organised by the United Nations Association, Chichester And District Branch.

Sir Jeremy

Sir Jeremy

Branch spokesman Viv Williams promises an authoritative session at a crucial time for the United Nations - a time when, in Viv’s view, revolution is needed within the organisation if it is to adapt to changing

times.

His view is that the next UN secretary general needs to be elected in a completely-transparent fashion - a view which is reflected in the popular One for Seven Billion Campaign.

The campaign argues the UN secretary general plays a crucial role in tackling global challenges and improving the lives of seven billion people. It is therefore vital that the best person is chosen for the job.

However, the current selection process - the campaign argues - is secretive and outdated. Just five countries hold sway over a decision that affects us all. The next secretary general will be appointed in 2016, and Viv hopes things will change in time.

“Both the security council and the running of the UN need to be revolutionised really,” Viv says. “It goes quite deep.”

Also key is the conflict at the heart of the UN, its belief that states are sancrosanct these days sitting awkwardly alongside its belief in human rights. In other words, how can you intervene if you hold maintain a belief states are themselves inviolable? As Viv says, it is a clash: “If there is genocide, what can you do? At the moment the organisation is conflicted.”

Against that need to be weighed the UN’s undoubted successes, Viv says: “It’s the only international forum for discussion and debate, primarily to avoid conflict. It has had many failures, but it has also done brilliantly. There are fewer conflicts going on in the world than at almost any time in its history. The UN has played its part. Not to have such a forum would be unthinkable.”

Tickets £5; seniors £4; students £3; children £3.

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