This booklet is published in commemoration of the second Secretary-General of the United Nations half a century after his untimely death in a plane crash in Ndola, Northern Rhodesia on 18 September 1961. It sets out to highlight some of the values and approaches Dag Hammarskjöld adopted in his norm-setting period of office. The booklet comprises the two keynote addresses delivered in July 2011 to the seminar entitled ‘The UN and Regional Challenges: Africa 50 Years After Hammarskjöld’ and held at the University of Pretoria, and the opening remarks made at the seminar by Sweden’s ambassador to South Africa. The full set of seminar papers will be published later in a separate volume.
The international seminar was organised jointly by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria from 13 to 15 July 2011 and was attended by over 120 participants from countries in Africa and Europe. We are grateful to Maxi Schoeman and her team at the Department for Political Sciences for co-organising this event and for taking care of all the local arrangements.
We are especially grateful to the Department of Security Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Sweden for granting the funding necessary to turn this seminar project during 2011 recalling Dag Hammarskjöld’s legacy into reality. The Swedish embassy in South Africa provided much appreciated additional support.
This booklet complements the earlier compilation of speeches entitled The Ethics of Dag Hammarskjöld, which was published in early 2010 and is also available in both hard copy and on the Foundation’s web site. The reliable support of both Mattias Lasson and Peter Colenbrander in addressing the design and editorial elements during the few weeks between the seminar and the anniversary of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death is much appreciated, as is the constant commitment of the other staff in the secretariat of the Foundation, without whom such initiatives and publications would not be possible.