2020 U Thant Memorial Lecture: 'Can Asia Save a United Nations in Decline?'
YANGON January 18, 2020: "Can Asia Save a United Nations in Decline?" was the title of the lecture given at U Thant House by Kishore Mahbubani on the occasion of the former Secretary-General's 111th birthday.
Kishore Mahbubani is a former President of the UN Security Council, Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore, and an acclaimed author of more than a dozen books.
The chairman of U Thant House, Dr. Thant Myint-U, said that this year's U Thant Memorial Lecture addressed a timely and important challenge for current global affairs.
"Kishore's lecture is joining two of the most pressing topics of our days: the future of multilateralism and the rise of Asia. I think it's a fitting way to commemorate the birth anniversary of Asia's first UN Secretary-General," said Dr. Thant Myint-U adding that "Kishore Mahbubani is one of the world's leading intellectuals."
The event marked five consecutive years of organizing the U Thant Memorial Lecture by U Thant House. Past lectures have been given by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore (2019), UN Under Secretary-General Noeleen Heyzer (2018), grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and West Bengal Governor Shri Gopal Gandhi (2017), and celebrated writer Amitav Ghosh (2016).
Dr. Thant Myint-U shared some of the organization's achievements over the past five years and future plans for the U Thant House.
"U Thant House is now entering a new phase. We started as a museum and then became a centre for education and for discussion. We have hosted over 4,000 young people as part of our education programme and our seminars have attached some of the very top people in international politics. Our online programmes have been visited over 1.5 million times. Going forward, we will focus on the three issues most important to Myanmar today: ending discrimination, promoting development that serves the poorest and most vulnerable, and preparing for the climate changes to come," he said.
Approximately 200 people, including government ministers, members of parliament, leading figures from politics, business, civil society, and youth as well as ambassadors and representatives of the United Nations attended the event.