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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester’s Thirteenth Annual International Roundtable
“The United Nations Organization: What Future?”
October 12 - 14, 2006

St. Paul, Minn. - Macalester College presents its 13th annual International Roundtable titled, “The United Nations Organization (UNO): What Future?” Thu. – Sat., Oct. 12 – 14, 2006, in Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel, 1600 Grand  Ave., St. Paul, Minn.

The name "United Nations" was first used during the Second World War, when representatives of 26 nations pledged their governments to continue fighting together against the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy and Japan).

In 1945, representatives of 50 countries met in San Francisco at the United Nations Conference on International Organization to draw up the United Nations Charter. The United Nations officially came into existence on October 24, 1945, when the Charter had been ratified by China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and a majority of other signatories.

Despite numerous conflicts and four decades of a balance between two nuclear-armed countries, the United Nations is celebrating its 60th year. However, a combination of old and new doubts continue to linger.

The broad questions that will guide the 13th International Roundtable include:  Are the founding principles and arrangements still valid? What are some of the concrete accomplishments of the UN? What are some of the major failures? Is there still a need for the existence of the UN? If worthy of preservation in a world at once globalizing and disorderly, what rethinking ought to be done and what specific reforms must be undertaken in order to make the UN more effective?

This year’s participants include:
Janice Gross Stein, director of the Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, Canada, whose keynote address is titled “Late for a Very Important Date: The United Nations in Wonderland.”   (4:30 p.m., Thu., Oct. 12).

Nile Gardiner, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, Heritage Foundation,  Washington, D.C., whose talk is titled “The Decline and Fall of the United Nations: Why the U.N. has Failed and How it Needs to be Reformed.”   (9:30 a.m., Fri., Oct. 13).

Francis M. Deng, distinguished visiting scholar at the Kluge Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; research professor of International Politics, Law, and Society, and director of the Center for Displacement Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., whose talk is titled “Divided Nations: The Paradox of National Responsibility.”  (1:30 p.m., Fri., Oct. 13).

The Roundtable will conclude with a discussion featuring Janice Gross Stein, Nile Gardiner, and Francis M. Deng.   (10 a.m., Sat., Oct. 14).

The roundtable begins at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, October 12, with opening statements from Macalester’s Ahmed I. Samatar, James Wallace professor and Dean of the Institute for Global Citizenship, and Macalester College President Brian C. Rosenberg

The Macalester International Roundtable is held every October on campus. A community-wide intellectual forum, the roundtable explores crucial global issues with prominent international scholars who are also commissioned to write major papers that are presented at Macalester and published in the Macalester International journal. Previous roundtables have featured:

• 1994              The International Community and the Emerging World (Dis) Order
• 1995              Literature, the Creative Imagination, and Globalization
• 1996              The Divided Self: Ethnicity, Identity, and Globalization
• 1997              Nature, People, and Globalization
• 1998              Globalization and Economic Space
• 1999              Contending Gods: Religion and the Global Moment
• 2000              International Feminisms: Divergent Perspectives
• 2001              The Body: Meditations on Global Health
• 2002              Prometheus’s Bequest: Technology and Change
• 2003              Complex Contradictions: African, American, and Middle Eastern Perspectives           
• 2004              America and Global Power: Empire or . . . ?
• 2005              Quixotic Offspring: The Global Legacy of Don Quixote

Macalester is a private, national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 1,884 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, diversity and civic engagement.