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May 08, 2020

Simon Institute to host former U.N. and Swedish diplomat in virtual talk next week

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will participate in a virtual discussion next week hosted by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

janeliasson-sm.jpgEliasson will join the virtual conversation from Stockholm, Sweden and share his insights on Sweden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the response to the crisis by other European nations and the international community. The online event begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 14.

The free event is open to the public but registration is required and closes when the event starts.

Continuing series of conversations

The discussion with Eliasson is part of the Institute’s series called “Understanding Our New World” with historians, political analysts, and state and national leaders discussing how the pandemic is reshaping the world.

The Institute will host conversations with former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at 10 a.m. June 4 and with former U.S. deputy secretary of state and U.S. Ambassador to Russia William J. Burns at 1 p.m., June 18. Burns is now the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Diplomatic career spans more than five decades

An internationally respected diplomat, Eliasson served as Sweden’s Ambassador to the United Nations and later as his country’s Ambassador to the United States. He is an experienced mediator and has worked to resolve conflicts between Iran and Iraq and in Darfur, Sudan. Eliasson was elected President of the United Nations General Assembly for its 60 th session in 2005-2006. He served as U.N. Deputy Secretary-General from 2012 to 2017 and has been the chairman of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute since 2017.   

“Ambassador Jan Eliasson is one of the most respected diplomats in the world,” John T. Shaw, Institute director said. “He has held positions at the highest level of Swedish and international diplomacy and has been consistently successful.  The ambassador has a deep understanding of the United States and of the United Nations. It’s difficult to imagine anyone who is better equipped to assess how the international community has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Registration open for Eliasson’s conversation

Registration for the free ZOOM meeting is available in advance. After completing registration, participants will receive an email confirmation with information about joining the meeting, along with the meeting ID and password.

Participants have an opportunity when they register to submit a question to Eliasson by email at or by including it in the “Questions and Comments” section on the registration form.