Centre for United Nations Studies - University of Buckingham

Lord Mark Malloch Brown and Sir Anthony Seldon announce the launch of new Centre for United Nations Studies

7 March 2019

Europe’s first Centre for United Nations Studies, based at the University of Buckingham, has been launched.

It will aim to highlight the importance of the UN among students globally and aid the peacekeeping body as it adapts to ongoing ever-changing demands, including Brexit.

The new centre, which was launched by former UN Deputy Secretary General Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Sir Anthony Seldon, at a gala dinner, will also conduct research and develop links with UN agencies, other universities and relevant organisations around the world. Priorities for the Centre are the UN reform and development agenda, global security and health and the challenges of new technology.

A Masters (MA) degree in United Nations and Diplomatic Studies is also on offer at the centre. The degree combines high level analysis with practical professional training. The degree provides a grounding in diplomatic theory, the causes of conflict and strategies for conflict resolution, the nature of international organisations, including the UN, the development of supranational organisations, especially the EU, global political communication, including the media, and great power politics.

Leading the establishment of the Centre is Mark Seddon, former speech writer to UN Secretary General, Ban ki-moon and a former UN and Diplomatic Correspondent for Al Jazeera English . He is assisted by Economics lecturer Dr Paul Graham, of the University of Buckingham.

Sir Anthony Seldon said: “The United Nations was born out of the ashes on the Second World War. It now needs to adapt to the demands placed on it. The UN needs partners to help provide answers to issues such as climate change, intense conflict, migration and global sustainable development as well as dedicated recruits to serve it from across the world. These partners include our great seats of learning. With more than 90 different nationalities, the University of Buckingham has phenomenal reach and I believe we can help develop new ways of thinking and become a respected centre for learning, research and reflection on the UN.”

Lord Malloch-Brown added: “I welcome the University of Buckingham’s new programme. There is plenty for students and professors to get stuck into as under the winter frost the shape of a very different kind of UN is emerging. The old big state monopolies are being broken; the UN is becoming more an actual club of smaller states threatened by trends towards bilateralism and transactional politics. But it is also, as an issue like Climate Change shows, becoming multi stakeholder. Business and civil society are becoming more prominent as the UN becomes more a platform for coalitions of the willing than the old secretariat are major state leadership and agenda setting of the past.”

In a special message to mark the launching of the new centre and degree course the President of the General Assembly of the UN, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, said: “As one of the founder members of the UN, the UK continues to play a very important role, especially now in a deeply uncertain world. I hope there will be lots of support for this ground-breaking new centre.”

Find out more about the course.