A Duty to Shout? A debate on international civil servants in today's world

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Young UN Talks aims to spark an open and honest debate on what it means to be international civil servants in today's political environment

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Young UN and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation are joining forces in a three-part Young UN Talks series to spark a debate in the UN system on what it means to be an international civil servant in today’s turbulent world and political landscape. This topic has recently been brought into focus in the context of the #BlackLivesMatter, Fridays for Future, and #MeToo protests, strikes and social movements when UN sources conveyed mixed messages regarding how personnel should balance the responsibility to uphold the Organization’s values with the duty to remain impartial in the face of controversial matters.

How can the perceived conflicts between impartiality and other UN values and principles be resolved? What are the criteria that the UN applies when determining its position and that personnel could use to assess their own actions in complex situations? What innovative ways can UN employees act as a leader in advocating for the promotion of human rights in and outside of the UN in line with the UN Charter and its values?

The debate is expected to increase awareness about the need for the UN (and its personnel) to better define what it means to be impartial international civil servants in different contexts while defending the values enshrined in the UN Charter and international human rights conventions. The discussion aims to highlight new tools and ideas that could guide UN senior management in designing and implementing policies (at the institutional level) and UN personnel in assessing their application (at individual level).

Come and join us for this interactive and provocative debate and have your voice heard in shaping the role of international civil servants in the 21st century!

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