Conversations with History: Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley

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The United Nations After 9/11: Conversation with Sir Brian Urquhart, Former Under Secretary General of the United Nations; February 23, 2004, by Harry Kreisler

This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Welcome. Our guest today is Brian Urquhart, a soldier, an international civil servant, a biographer, and a commentator on international affairs. Brian Urquhart was Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, the author of biographies of Hammarskjöld and of Ralph Bunche. His autobiography is called A Life in Peace and War, and he's a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

  1. Ralph Bunche ... qualities and accomplishments ... if he were around today ... his thoughts on preemption ... comparing his generation of leaders with today's crop ... participatory leadership
  2. The U.S. and the United Nations ... unilateralism and isolationism ... the case of the International Criminal Court ... moral leadership ... changing U.S. attitudes
  3. Empire ... is the U.S. an empire? ... the problem of preemption ... the need for cooperation ... legitimacy through the UN
  4. The United Nations ... can do versus should do ... false assumptions ... great powers and keeping the peace ... Security Council as "museum piece" ... Secretary-General and quiet diplomacy ... unforeseen changes ... 9/11 ... sovereignty ... nongovernmental organizations
  5. Twenty-First Century Global Problems ... nation building ... rogue states ... what the UN gets right ... handling post - Cold War crises ... Bosnia ... Iraq-Iran war ... second Iraq war ... UN did its job ... inspectors ... post-Iraq transition ... international military force
  6. Intelligence ... tampering with intelligence to support foregone conclusions ... ignoring intelligence: "A Bridge Too Far" ... stick with the facts

See the Brian Urquhart page with links to other interviews, internet "chats" with high school and college students, biography, and more.

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