HLAB Impressions on the legacy of Dag Hammarskjöld

In September 2023 the United Nations will host the Summit of the Future as one of the central ways to move the Our Common Agenda forward. It is expected that those gathering would want to advance ideas for governance arrangements in areas to be considered as global public goods and or commons such as climate and sustainable development beyond 2030, peace, the international financial architecture, the digital space, major risks, and the agenda of future generations.

As a key input to that Summit, the Secretary-General established the High-Level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Effective Multilateralism that is chaired by Stefan Löfven of Sweden and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. The HLAB is tasked with making concrete suggestions for more effective multilateral arrangements across a range of key global issues ahead of the summit and have regular virtually and in-person meetings to explore findings that can support Member States at the Summit of the Future.

The Foundation hosted one of the in-person meetings at our office in Uppsala and Dag Hammarskjöld’s Backåkra, a unique meeting place and nature reserve in southern Sweden. Beyond the Co-Chairs the members of the board and who joined the meetings in Sweden or virtually online are: Xu Bu (China), Poonam Ghimire (Nepal), Jayati Ghosh (India), Donald Kaberuka (Rwanda), Azza Karam (Egypt), Nanjala Nyabola (Kenya), Tharman Shanmugaratnam (Singapore), Anne-Marie Slaughter (United States), Ilona Szabó de Carvalho (Brazil), and Danilo Türk (Slovenia). The United Nations University Centre for Policy Research serves as the Secretariat for the High-Level Advisory Board.

We took the opportunity to invite HLAB members to give us their impressions of Dag Hammarskjöld and what his leadership meant to them.