Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture – a hybrid event this year

3 September 2021

Portraits of Agnès Callamard and Christiana Figueres in Aula Magna.

Agnès Callamard and Christiana Figueres will give the Dag Hammarskjöld Lectures of 2021 and 2019

Are you curious about Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard or the chief architect of the 2015 Paris Agreement, Christiana Figueres? You now have the chance to hear them both deliver lectures in memory of Dag Hammarskjöld on 17 September.

Agnès Callamard’s lecture “A global compact for a world beyond COVID-19”, to be held in Uppsala University’s Grand Auditorium (Aula Magna), will be livestreamed. As Secretary General at Amnesty International, an appointment she took up in March this year, Callamard is the organisation’s foremost spokesperson. She heads its work for human rights, and has been an outstanding figure in this endeavour for decades. Previously, in 2016, she was appointed the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extralegal, summary and arbitrary executions. Alongside her UN work, Callamard was also Director of the Global Freedom of Expression project at Columbia University in Manhattan, New York.

Christiana Figueres was invited to give the Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture in 2019, but the event was then cancelled. Her lecture, ”Leadership for the decisive decade”, at this year’s hybrid event will be held digitally.

During her time at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Figueres brought together governments, companies, activists, financial institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to deliver the historic Paris Agreement. As many as 195 nations agreed to keep the average global temperature rise well under 2 °C and strive to ensure it stays below 1.5 °C to protect the most vulnerable. As principal architect of the Agreement, Figueres inspired a new form of diplomacy based on cooperation, for which she has received many awards and honours.

After their appearances, both lecturers will take part in a discussion moderated by Peter Wallensteen, Senior Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University.

Annual event

The Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture is an annual event held to commemorate Dag Hammarskjöld, the second UN Secretary-General, and in recognition of the values – compassion and humanity – that inspired him personally and in his UN role. It is jointly arranged by Uppsala University and the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation. Those invited to speak are outstanding people who, in significant, innovative ways, are contributing to a “more just, peaceful and environmentally sustainable world through valuable achievements in politics or research.”

Sixty years ago this year, Dag Hammarskjöld died when his aircraft crashed in what is now Zambia, but was then Northern Rhodesia. He grew up in Uppsala and took three degrees at Uppsala University between 1925 and 1930.