At the end of January 2011, Lord Hannay of Chiswick reached the end of his remarkable five-year term at the helm of UNA-UK. It is in large part thanks to his inspirational leadership that the Association has been transformed into an influential advocate and critical friend of the UN.
His in-depth knowledge of all things (and people) UN and deft political positioning have helped UNA-UK to make targeted, timely and incisive interventions with the UK government and diplomatic missions, whether lobbying for an international convention banning cluster munitions or pushing for reform of the Human Rights Council.
In Parliament, Lord Hannay has been a tireless champion of UN causes, instigating and participating in debates, tabling questions, contributing evidence and galvanising the UN All-Party Parliamentary Group and the APPG on Global Security and Non-proliferation.
He has also been an indefatigable supporter of UNA-UK's grassroots: criss-crossing the country to address local branches and university groups, delivering countless lectures and interviews, and advising members on policy issues.
The UNA-UK Board and staff too have greatly benefitted from Lord Hannay's guidance. Over the past five years, his negotiation skills, well-honed in the Security Council, have been put to the test at lively UNA-UK conferences and Board meetings, and his stewardship on both policy and governance matters has been invaluable.
While we will sorely miss him, we are delighted that he has been succeeded by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, and that he will continue to be an active member of our UN APPG.
Below, we feature Lord Hannay's valedictory:
Lord Hannay's valedictory
I am sad to be standing down as Chair of UNA-UK at the end of January; but term limits are there to be obeyed and not evaded. It has been a busy five years and, I think, broadly positive. UNA-UK has overcome severe financial difficulties and undergone a process of rejuvenation, and is now a respected voice in the dialogue about international developments.
2011 looks set to be a challenging year both for the UN and for UNA-UK. But there are opportunities out there too. The Cancun conference just before Christmas has put the climate change negotiations back on the rails and made some real progress - over deforestation, technology transfer, green investment in developing countries and international monitoring. Now we need to push further towards the goal of lower carbon emissions set in a legally-binding framework; and to rebuild public support for radical measures at the national and European Union level.
As the year opens, the UN faces two major peacekeeping challenges - in Cote d'Ivoire and in Southern Sudan. The UK government needs to be playing a leading role in supporting the UN as it faces up to these challenges; and we at UNA-UK need to be keeping them up to the mark on that.
And the Christmas season brought the welcome news of ratification by the US Senate of the New Start agreement on reductions in US and Russian strategic nuclear weapons. The wider nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation agenda should now be pushed forward vigorously; and we should be pressing the UK government on that too.
I could go on. But then I would be taking up most of this issue of New World. Rather, I would like to conclude by thanking all those at UNA-UK who made this revival in the Association's
fortunes possible, former Executive Director Sam Daws in particular; and to wish my successor, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, and Executive Director Phil Mulligan and his team, the very best of luck. I will not be giving up on my advocacy of UN causes in Parliament.
Lord Hannay of Chiswick
Chair of UNA-UK (January 2006 - January 2011)