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U.N. Spokesman, New SFS Dean Address Global Governance

September 10, 2015 – The spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Joel Hellman, the new dean of the Walsh School of Foreign Service, engaged in a conversation about global governance yesterday in the university’s Gaston Hall.

Joel Hellman

Hellman, who began serving as dean July 1, called for a new global governance architecture that prioritizes fragile states, a group of 33 nations that yield 84 percent of the world’s refugees and is projected to make up 37 percent of the world’s extreme poor by 2030.

“How do we rethink development and the global governance architecture in a world in which extreme poverty is largely concentrated in fragile states, states that are affected by conflict?” asked Hellman, formerly the World Bank’s first chief institutional economist and director of the World Bank’s Fragile and Conflict Affected States Division.

Rethinking Global Governance

Shifting attention andassistance from countries such as India, Brazil and Turkey to fragile states is a complicated process, he said, as fragile nations are defined by deep security problems, weak institutions and fewer resources.

“In my past 15 years of front-line development work in mostly fragile states, the biggest problem was that we had yet to find real solutions for is how we can address these key challenges,” Hellman said.

The new dean hopes to leverage his new role at Georgetown to take make use of the university’s resources, including its Jesuit organization network, and to think creatively about new models of assistance in conflict-ridden states.

Woefully Underfunded

Stéphane Dujarric

Following the dean's remarks, U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric (SFS’88) joined Hellman on stage for a conversation about challenges to global governance. 

Dujarric, also a former spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan, spoke in an unofficial capacity in response to a question from GU-Q students about Syrian refugees.

“[The UN’s] humanitarian work in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq is woefully underfunded,” Dujarric said. “The World Food Programme just this week had to cut food rations to refugees in Jordan and Turkey. If people aren’t fed, they are going to move.”

Hellman added that in addition to immediate assistance, the development community needs to support host countries and their ability to absorb migrants and refugees.

Global Futures

The event began a semester-long conversation about “The Global Future of Governance,” convened by Georgetown’s Global Futures Initiative.

“Challenges such as violent extremism, refugee crises, global climate change and pandemics have affected communities across the globe,” said President John J. DeGioia before introducing the new dean. “At Georgetown, the Global Futures Initiative offers us a framework to bring together the best of our tradition and our many undergraduate and graduate programs to engage more deeply in the work of understanding these challenges and in imaginingbetter, more inclusive solutions.”

Last semester, the Global Futures Initiative addressed “The Global Future of Development” through a series of lectures with world leaders, including World Bank Group President Jim Kim and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair.