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Paideia Trustee, Ambassador Jan Eliasson, appointed Deputy Secretary-General to the UN

Ambassador Eliasson, who serves on Paideia’s Board of Trustees and who together with former Prime Minister Göran Persson held aAmbassador Eliasson at Paideia key position in the creation of Paideia in 2000, has been appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Eliasson is no stranger to the United Nations, having served as the President of the 60th session of the General Assembly, the first Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Darfur.

“The appointment is a great honor,” says Eliasson, who every year tries to meet with the Paideia fellows.

- I have had the joy and privilege to meet with at least half of the Alumni of Paideia during the last 10 years. These encounters have been a great inspiration for me, an exciting interaction with remarkable groups of students.

At the Paideia Decennial Conference in Uppsala, Sweden in August 2011, Eliasson emphasized the importance of Paideia in the realities of migration and integration in Europe today.

-Globalization is basically positive and beneficial for our continent. However, there are reactions among many that it is evolving too fast. The outside world, “otherness” and foreign cultural or religious influences are by many seen as problems and perils – not as possibilities and potential for positive change. In such a political climate, xenophobic and racist forces are sadly thriving, fishing in murky waters.

In today’s Europe, Paideia is more important than ever.