Visioconférence avec Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th Anniversary

On October 8, 2020, The Aspen Institute France, in partnership with EY, had the pleasure of hosting an exceptional conversation as part of the « Zoom sur » webinar series with Fabrizio Hochschild, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Commemoration of the United Nations 75th anniversary and assistant UN Secretary-General for Strategic coordination on the theme “The UN at 75: (Re)inventing international cooperation”.

On its 75th anniversary, the United Nations can be proud of its important role in preventing disputes, moderating conflicts and helping restore peace across the globe. It had an important role on promoting inclusiveness in international negotiation and diplomacy. Its General Assembly granted small countries the right to be represented and to defend their own interests when faced to big countries, regardless of their military power. It is one of the biggest conquests in the path to international peace and collaboration.

Nevertheless, the pandemic showed us the weaknesses of our current multilateral institutions and the difficulty on solving international problems. The decision taking processes are outdated and must be reshaped to continue to face the XXIst century challenges.

The five permanent members used to account for more than 50% of the world’s population in the 40’s, but today they constitute only 26% of the globe’s population. More representativity is asked by emerging countries like India, Brazil and Nigeria and these demands are backed up by well-consolidated international powers like Germany and Japan. Expanding the Security Council could be one of the biggest challenges for the institution but also a solution to its legitimacy crisis and for obtaining wide international support.

But how can we reform the United Nations given the escalation of tensions in a chaotic, multipolar world? The answer is the same as 75 years ago: with patience, multilateralism and negotiation.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 18 April 2019 the appointment of Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond of Chile as his Special Adviser on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary at the Under-Secretary-General level.

Mr. Hochschild who has been serving as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General since 2017, will support the Secretary-General in coordinating the preparation for the commemoration of the 75th  anniversary of the United Nations in 2020 and related celebrations, through a system-wide process of consultations and reflections on the role of the United Nations in advancing international co-operation and in supporting Member States’ ability to respond to emerging challenges and frontier issues. Volker Türk of Austria will succeed Mr. Hochschild as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. The effective handover will be during the month of July.

The Special Adviser will liaise and work with Secretariat entities in support of the inter-governmental consultations on the commemoration of the 75th anniversary led by co-facilitators appointed by the President of the General Assembly and future inter-governmental processes. He will also draw on expertise within the Secretariat and wider United Nations system to further develop proposals for the Secretary-General on themes and events allowing for reflection on the contribution the Organization can make to the future that we aspire to based on the goals enshrined in the Charter. To this end, he will facilitate consultations with civil society, youth representatives, academia and the private sector. In the capacity of Special Adviser, Mr. Hochschild will also continue to support the Secretary-General on issues related to frontier technologies to ensure the follow-up to the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation.

Mr. Hochschild brings diversified United Nations senior leadership experience at headquarters and the field, having served as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) in 2016, UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Colombia from 2013 to 2016, Director of the Field Personnel Division in the United Nations Department of Field Support, New York from 2010 to 2012; and as Chief of Field Operations and Technical Cooperation in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Geneva from 2005 to 2009.

He began his United Nations career in 1988 with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan and served in subsequent postings with UNHCR, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and in peacekeeping.  He was posted in Sudan, Jerusalem, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Geneva, New York, Timor-Leste, Serbia and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Mr. Hochschild is a graduate of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

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