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Ukraine and the Failure of Global Security

Tuesday 30 May 2023
Anna van Buerenplein
Anna van Buerenplein 301
2595 DG The Hague
2.21 | Auditorium

Registration is not necessary. For more information, feel free to send an email to o.spijkers@luc.leidenuniv.nl. The lecture is part of the courses on Global Security and Collective Action and Sovereignty and Statehood. All other interested persons, including all LUC students and staff, are cordially invited to join us.  

Ukraine and The Failure of Global Security

The war in Ukraine presents the gravest challenge since the Second World War to the system of maintaining international peace and security, as devised in the Charter of the United Nations. Core principles such as the territorial integrity of states, the prohibition of the threat or use of force as established in Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter, including the prohibition of the acquisition of territory by force, have been violated by Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Due to the veto power which Russia holds the Security Council is paralyzed and unable to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. Before the war, the OSCE was already unable to contribute to an effective ceasefire in the conflict in east-Ukraine as part of implementation of the so-called Minsk agreements. 

What are the consequences for the UN and other international organizations of the apparent breakdown of principles and rules governing the international security system since the Second World War? What can be expected of them when the war in Ukraine ends, and for example ceasefire arrangements will have to be agreed to make an end to hostilities sustainable and peace negotiations viable? These and other questions related to the role of international organizations in addressing the biggest conflict in Europe since 1945 will be raised during the lecture. This includes discussing some scenarios how the war could end and the role of international organizations, including NATO, therein. 

Biography of Speaker

Robert Serry is the former (first) ambassador of the Netherlands to Ukraine with extensive experience in international crisis management, having served in senior positions for NATO in Eastern Europe and for the UN in the Middle East. Before the war he moderated a quiet track-two dialogue between Ukrainian and Russian experts on behalf of the European Institute of Peace in Brussels (see: https://www.eip.org/publication/dangerous-stalemate/). He currently holds positions as chairman of Open Door Ukraine (ODU) and UPEACE Centre The Hague.

Biography of Convenor

Otto Spijkers is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs of Leiden University College. He is also university lecturer at Amsterdam University College (AUC), where he teaches a course on International Law. Before joining the LUC and AUC, Otto was professor of international law at Wuhan University‚Äôs China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies as well as its Research Institute of Environmental Law. He is still managing editor of the Chinese Journal of Environmental Law. Prior to joining Wuhan University, he worked at the Utrecht Centre for Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law and Netherlands Institute for the Law of the Sea of Utrecht University, Netherlands. He wrote his doctoral dissertation, entitled The United Nations, the Evolution of Global Values, and International Law, at the Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies of Leiden University. 

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