22/03/2022 – Studium Generale Lecture on the “War in Ukraine”

In the 1990s, Robert Serry was the first Dutch ambassador to Ukraine, which had just become independent. In early March 2014 he was sent to Crimea as Special Envoy to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to mediate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He was held up by armed guards and finally was forced to abandon his mission.

Tonight Robert Serry will give a lecture about the role diplomacy might (still) play in resolving this conflict. About the relationship between the Ukrainian and the Russian people, and how these countries have intertwined and interacted with each other throughout history. Can Putin’s behavior somehow still be “read” and interpreted rationally? What does the (geopolitical) future look like? What will the future of Ukraine look like?

Robert Serry was the first Dutch ambassador to Kyiv, Ukraine. Following his Ukrainian posting he wrote a book about his experiences as an ambassador there, titled Standplaats Kiev, available in the Dutch and Ukrainian languages. In early March 2014 he was sent to Crimea, Ukraine, to mediate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He also served as the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the UN Secretary-General’s Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority from 2007 to 2015. He was the Dutch ambassador to Ireland and has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary-General for Crisis Management and Operations at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He has been posted to Moscow and New York (United Nations).