‘Insights, inspiration and breaking down stereotypical barriers’

What is it like working as an international civil servant? Per Knutsson, Programme Director and Deputy Executive Director at the Foundation answered this question, sharing his experiences as well as his work during a lecture organised by the student organisation, the Association for Peace and Conflict Studies (FFK) at Lund University.

During the second week of November, Per Knutsson, Programme Director and Deputy Executive Director at the Foundation gave a lecture on the work of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and the role of an international civil servant to the student Association for Peace and Conflict Studies (FFK) at the Department of Political Science at Lund University.

He shared stories from his own life working in the UN, along with the Foundation’s projects on Sustaining Peace, UN Finance, UN Leadership, Human Rights and Inclusivity and Multilateralism.

In response to the students’ question about how he viewed the need for the reform of the UN he said:

‘We talked about it [UN Reform] in two ways. One; how we utilise the decisions and institutions already in place (like the UN Funding Compact) and second; how the Foundation supports international dialogue and analysis on reform through our support to the High Level Advisory Board’.

Hannes Romare (Lecture and Marketing Coordinator, FFK), Per Knutsson and Carl Ågård (Treasurer, FFK) after the lecture. Photo: Hugo Wikholm.

The newly established host organisation was created with the aim of sharing knowledge about opportunities for a future working life. A purpose that seemed to have been fulfilled with this introductory lecture, as it was well attended and allowed for questions that in turn opened up for new insights:

‘The reason why we chose to invite Per Knutsson is because of his solid experience in the field, from his work in the Swedish anti-Apartheid movement to his current work at the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. His lecture was very educational and exciting’, says Hannes Romare, Lecture and Marketing Coordinator for FFK.

Benjamin Tar Bengtsson, Editor of the student magazine Appell, was especially pleased with the eye-opening effect it had on him:

‘It’s easy to get a stereotypical idea of what an international civil servant should be, and I think this can put a spanner in the works for many otherwise brave and strong-willed people with their hearts in the right place. You provided insight, inspiration and broke down stereotypical barriers’.