100 Years of International Civil Service

This paper series commemorates 100 years of international civil service, which originated in 1919 with the birth of the League of Nations.

This series features inspirational and reflective think pieces on the concept of the international civil service by former and present United Nations officials, as well as representatives from civil society and academia.

The series echoes the Foundation’s work on leadership, which strives to kindle a constructive dialogue on how to foster and secure visionary and principled leadership in the UN.


6 May 2020

Turning Points: Defining Moments for the International Civil Service at the United Nations

This paper by Alanna O’Malley explores how certain turning points since 1945 influenced, both directly and indirectly, the development of the international civil service.

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10 December 2019

Without Fear or Favour?

in this paper, Kate Gilmore talks about a set of dynamics that across the UN can contribute to a climate of fear, where there should be confidence.

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10 October 2019

On Leadership: The Art of Creating Public Value in the United Nations

In this paper, Bruce Jenks looks at what leadership means in the highly complex environment in which the United Nations operates.

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ISC 100 5

3 October 2019

The International Civil Servant in Law and in Fact

This is a reprint of the lecture delivered by Dag Hammarskjöld at Oxford in May 1961 featuring Hammarskjöld's original footnotes, a new introduction and a note on the text.

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11 September 2019

From the League of Nations to the United Nations: Milestones for the International Civil Service

In this paper, Karen Gram-Skjoldager charts six crucial milestones in the early history of the International Civil Service and argues its fundamental cornerstones were internationality, independence, and loyalty.

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20 May 2019

Restoring the Values and Spirit of the International Civil Service

In this paper, Mona Ali Khalil explains why the UN must undertake three crucial actions regarding respect for the law and the truth: redefining impartiality, upholding integrity and protecting independence.

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24 April 2019

Courage and Integrity in UN Leadership

In this paper, Fabrizio Hochschild argues that moral courage, as revealed by Dag Hammarskjöld both in his words and deeds, is essential in upholding the principles and norms of the UN.

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