LIMUN invites high profile speakers on an annual basis to deliver a keynote address to all of our participants and guests. In the spirit of this year's theme "Sustainable Development and Human Rights in the Digital Era", our speakers will address the various challenges we face in light of technological advances.
H.E. Sir Stephen O'Brien: Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
The Rt Hon Sir Stephen O’Brien is a British statesman who has served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
Born in what is presently Tanzania, Sir Stephen was educated in Kenya and the United Kingdom, where he attended the University of Cambridge and qualified as a lawyer. He thereafter practiced as a solicitor and was a senior executive at a building materials company in Mexico.
In 1999 he was first elected to Parliament as a member of the Conservative Party. While his party was in opposition he served in various shadow cabinet roles, including as Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills from 2003 to 2005, and as Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care from 2005 to 2010. He became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development in 2010 following his party’s electoral success.In 2012, he was appointed Special Envoy of the United Kingdom to the Sahel, working for peace in the region.
During his parliamentary career, Sir Stephen has moreover been a strong advocate for global health. In 2004 he founded, and then served as first chairman, of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. He has also been chairman of the Malaria Consortium, a non-governmental organisation, and a Global Advocate for the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, a UN inter-agency initiative, among other similar roles.
In 2015 Sir Stephen was appointed UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, leading the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. His responsibilities included oversight of all UN humanitarian operations, and leadership of coordination mechanisms between UN agencies and other partners. Sir Stephen’s term has coincided with grave humanitarian crises worldwide, including famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. He completed his term in September 2017.
H.E. Dr. Srgjan Kerim: President of the 62nd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations
A seasoned diplomat, economist, scholar and businessman, Dr. Kerim brings with him a wealth of experience in international political and economic affairs and extensive knowledge of the United Nations system. From 2000 to 2001, Dr. Kerim was Foreign Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in which capacity he also served as Chairman of the South-East European Cooperation Process. He then became his country's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, from 2001 to 2003, during which time he served as vice-chairman both of the International Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey, 2002) and of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002). In addition, he was a member of the group of facilitators of the President of the fifty-sixth UN General Assembly, focusing on UN reform, and was a co-organizer of the Regional Forum on Dialogue of Civilizations (Ohrid, 2003).
Over the course of his distinguished career spanning more than three decades, Dr. Kerim also represented his country as Ambassador to Germany, from 1994 to 2000, and to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, from 1995 to 2000. During this period, from 1999 to 2000, he served as Special Envoy of the Coordinator of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe. Earlier, during his political career in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), Dr. Kerim held the posts of Assistant Minister and Spokesperson in the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from 1989 to 1991. Before that, he was Minister for Foreign Economic Relations of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia (SFRY), from 1986 to 1989.
In the field of academia, Dr. Kerim was a professor of international economic affairs with the Faculty of Economics of the University of Belgrade. In addition, he was a visiting professor at the University of Hamburg (Germany) and at New York University. He has lectured widely on Balkan issues, is the author of nine books dealing with international politics, economics and youth, and has written more than 100 scholarly papers, many of which have been published in countries across Europe. He holds a doctorate in international economics from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Belgrade and is fluent in English, French and German as well as Serbian, Croatian and Bulgarian.
Since 2003, Dr. Kerim has been General Manager of Media Print Macedonia in Skopje, and in 2004 he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Politika Newspapers and Magazines in Belgrade. He has been serving as General Manager for South-Eastern Europe of the WAZ Media Group, based in Vienna, since 2006.