Head of UN Liaison Office for Peace and Security kicks off GPSSS 2024

Global Education and Innovation
Brussels -
June 2024

Last week saw the kick-off of the 6th Edition of the Brussels Summer School in Global, Peace, Security and Strategic Studies (GPSSS), co-organized by the Global Governance Institute and the Belgian Royal Military Academy. The  intensive summer school delves deeply and comprehensively into the processes, policies and core political actors related to the most pressing peace, security and strategic challenges faced by European and Global policy-makers. This year once again a group of 20 participants from all around Europe and other regions joined the GPSSS summer school to be trained by think tankers, leading scholars and senior policy-makers from the United Nations, NATO, European Union and NGOs.

Dr. Rory Keane, Head of the United Nations Liaison Office for Peace and Security (UNLOPS) delivered the kick-off practitioner keynote session on Day 1, providing participants with frank and thoughtful insights into recent, current and future global challenges. Dr Keane outlined that the most enduring challenges remains the break-down of trust in many corners and fabrics of the global order, which -once lost- is difficult to restore. Global Governance has also been confronted with a vast onslaught against international law, the rules and conventions of international humanitarian law and a sharp rise in the number of internal and internationalised conflicts.

According to Dr. Keane, the United Nations Summit of the Future will be a crucial occasion to re-affirm a global commitment towards collective solutions and an effective, networked multilateralism that actually works and delivers for all. “This might sound loftier and vaguer than it is actually is”, he underlined. States, diplomats, civil society and the UN institutions are actively working towards reinforcing multilateralism at a time of multifaceted geopolitical strain.  

The session continued with a lively and rich Q&A session, covering a broad range of topics, from renewed action on climate change, conflict prevention, the re-assertion of the UN Charter, humanitarian action, financing, the prevention of mass atrocities and the future of global governance in an age of rapid technological change.

Participants were left with a sense of urgency when it came to the array of challenges that needed attention around the globe, but also with concrete, practical insights on how various solutions could be found at UN, regional and member state levels. In this sense, Dr Keane’s kick-off session laid the ideal foundation for the various deep-dive sessions that participants will immerse themselves further in during the 10-day summer school.

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