Coronavirus, Global Governance, Power & Security Past successes, future questions as United Nations turns 75

October 12, 2020
By Kristen de Groot and Erica K. Brockmeier | Penn Today

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, an organization forged in the rubble of World War II to prevent future global conflict. The milestone comes at a deeply troubled time, as the increasingly polarized world battles the coronavirus pandemic, tensions between the United States and China are on the rise, and the planet continues to warm. 

Perry World House hosted its annual Global Order Colloquium with the theme “The U.N. at 75: Coronavirus and Competition,” welcoming nearly 1,000 people to a series of virtual talks with global leaders looking at the organization’s current efforts, ongoing struggles, and what the future holds.

“The international cooperation that created the United Nations is strained to say the least,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann as she introduced Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., on the second day of the colloquium. “These strains put important global coalitions at dire risk. ... A strategic Penn priority is global engagement, and during these virtual times Penn and Perry World House now convene a ‘Who’s Who’ of global leaders, policymakers, and scholars to focus on the biggest problems facing the global order.”

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