On 30 May 1961, Dag Hammarskjöld delivered a notable lecture in the Sheldonian Theatre at the University of Oxford.
In the lecture, Hammarskjöld detailed the legal principles for the international civil service and underscored the importance of its international character and independence.
He warned that if these principles were compromised, internationalism would in effect be abandoned, and concluded that ‘the price to be paid may well be peace’.
The lecture, Hammarskjöld’s last major public speech, was the culmination of years of reflection on the topic of the international civil service.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the lecture, the Foundation has reissued the text, including the original footnotes from the 1961 Oxford University Press edition, together with a new introduction and a note on the text.
In doing so, we hope that it reaches the international civil servants of today, and that Hammarskjöld’s precise and meaningful words will inspire a new generation committed to the cause of peace.