WATERLOO, CANADA — April 25 — Leading international academics on the United Nations (UN) system will convene this June at Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier) and The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada to discuss the future of multilateralism.

The discussions, which will focus on “new forms of multilateralism” and the role of the UN within an increasingly complex global governance system, are the central focus of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), which takes place June 2-4, 2011.

“ACUNS is very pleased to hold its meeting in Waterloo to coincide with Wilfrid Laurier University’s centennial year celebrations,” said Alistair Edgar, Executive Director of ACUNS. “The excellent partnership with CIGI, as well as US counterpart The Stanley Foundation, allows us to bring leading experts from the academic and practitioner communities here to discuss critical issues in contemporary global governance, and to host a meeting of 300 innovative researchers together to exchange their ideas and experiences.”

ACUNS will host its events at Laurier, except for the morning of June 4 when ACUNS’ partner CIGI will sponsor and host a plenary roundtable.  The Stanley Foundation also is sponsoring a plenary roundtable to be held at CIGI. The three-day event will also include an evening reception as well as the following:

  • Ideas that Matter: Governance, Security, and Development roundtable featuring Thomas Tieku (CIGI), Thomas G. Weiss (Ralph Branch Institute), Hugh Dugan (United States Mission to the UN), Lorraine Elliott (Australian National University)
  • The New Geometry of Summitry: Universal versus Functional Issues Management roundtable featuring Barry Carin (CIGI Senior Fellow), Shin-wha Lee (Korea University), Gregory Chin (CIGI Senior Fellow and Acting Director of Development Program) and Sam Daws (University of Oxford)
  • Adaptive Leadership and Values for Global Citizenship roundtable featuring David Shorr (The Stanley Foundation), Ted Piccone (Brookings Institution) and Maria Rublee (University of Auckland)
  • The United Nations and Public-Private Partnerships roundtable featuring Roger A. Coate (Georgia College and State University), Melissa Powell (UN Global Compact) and Catia Gregoratti (Lund University), Maher Nasser (Director, Outreach Division, UN Department of Public Information)
  • The Kofi Annan Papers luncheon featuring Louise Fréchette (CIGI), Jean Krasno (Yale University) and Jean-Marie Guéhenno (Director, Center for International Conflict Resolution, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University)
  • John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture by Bruce W. Jentleson (Duke University)

“The recent example of multilateral, humanitarian action in Libya, and the intricate diplomatic process which led to a no-fly zone and its implementation illustrates the relevancy of the conference’s theme,” said Madame Fréchette, CIGI Distinguished Fellow and former UN Deputy Secretary-General. “The roundtables slated will generate significant discussions as well as useful findings for improving the UN system as a whole.”

“In a period of rapid change, it’s so important to take stock of the health of the international system,” said Stanley Foundation program officer David Shorr. “The foundation takes a keen interest in how multilateralism must adapt to global power shifts and gauging the current strength of key human rights and security norms. We’re delighted to bring such experts as Bruce Jentleson as well as Theodore Piccone of the Brookings Institution and University of Auckland’s Maria Rublee to share their insights at ACUNS.”

Event sessions are open to ACUNS members as well as non-members, but require registration through ACUNS’s website: www.acuns.org. The annual meeting’s sessions being held at CIGI on June 4 will be webcast, at no cost, to a global audience via registration with ACUNS.

For further details, please visit http://www.cigionline.org/project/multiple-multilateralisms or www.acuns.org.


Kevin Dias, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 238, Email: [email protected]

Brenda Burns, Co-ordinator, ACUNS
Tel: 519.884.0710, ext. 2766, Email: [email protected]

Kevin Crowley, Director: Communications & Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University
Tel: 519.884.0710, ext. 3070, Email: [email protected]

The Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) is a professional association of educational and research institutions and individual scholars, teachers, and practitioners active in the work and study of multilateral relations, global governance, and international cooperation. Through its core activities ACUNS stimulates, supports, and disseminates research and analysis on the United Nations, multilateralism, and international organization. ACUNS also promotes teaching on these topics, as well as dialogue and mutual understanding across and between the academic and practitioner communities. A special effort is made to ensure that advanced research conducted in universities finds its way into the programs of the UN system. For more information, please visit www.acuns.org.

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading Canadian university specializing in arts and social sciences, business and economics, music, science, education, social work and theology.  Tracing its roots to 1911, Laurier now has nearly 17,000 students studying at campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, and at related sites in Kitchener and Toronto. Laurier is a founding partner in the Balsillie School of International Affairs and has hosted the Academic Council on the United Nations System since 2003. For more information, please visit www.wlu.ca.

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.

The Stanley Foundation seeks a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on world citizenship and effective global governance. It brings fresh voices, original ideas, and lasting solutions to debates on global and regional problems. The foundation is a nonpartisan, private operating foundation, located in Muscatine, Iowa, that focuses on peace and security issues and advocates principled multilateralism. Online at www.stanleyfoundation.org.

The opinions expressed in this article/multimedia are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of CIGI or its Board of Directors.