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Irpin, Ukraine, March 4, 2022. Marcus Yam, LA Times/Shutterstock. CC 2.0 license

James N. Mattis Lecture

War, Peace, and the International System after Ukraine

Though the UN Security Council remains paralyzed on issues related to Russia’s war on Ukraine, the institution as a whole has so far not descended into the irrelevance of the 1930s League of Nations. Still, the promise of the UN Charter’s language “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war” did not protect Ukraine from Russia’s invasion—a blatant violation of the UN’s purpose to prevent military aggression. In this talk, Jeffrey Feltman asks if this moment has prompted sufficient international support for the evolution of the UN and the broader postwar multilateral architecture. Drawing on his experience as UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, he also discusses the UN and multilateralism against the backdrop of an increasingly polarized environment in which autocratic and populist leaders are threatening to upend the liberal values long ensconced in today’s overarching multinational system.

Jeffrey Feltman is the John C. Whitehead Visiting Fellow in International Diplomacy in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution and a senior fellow at the UN Foundation. He is a member of the board of advisers to the Dialogue Advisory Group, a member of the advisory council of the Berghof Foundation, and a senior advisor to the European Institute of Peace. Feltman also sits on the board of governors of the Middle East Institute and serves on the board of directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Feltman was appointed as the first US Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, a position he held from April 2021 until January 2022. From July 2012 until his April 2018 retirement, he served as United Nations Under Secretary General for Political Affairs. From 2009 until 2012, he was the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. Prior to his 2004-2008 tenure as US ambassador to Lebanon, he served as a US diplomat in Erbil, Baghdad, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Amman, Budapest, and Port-au-Prince.

Feltman has an MA in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a BA in history and art from Ball State University.

22 Feb 23
International Relations
19:30 - 21:00
American Academy in Berlin
Am Sandwerder 17-19
14109 Berlin-Wannsee

This event took place on February 22, 2023.

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