The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
In discussion with Future of Diplomacy Faculty Director, R. Nicholas Burns, Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations will discuss multilateral responses to the crises dominating the international agenda today.
On 2 March 2012, Ambassador Jan Eliasson was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He took office as Deputy Secretary-General on 1 July 2012. Ambassador Eliasson was Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Darfur from 2007-2008. Prior to this, Jan Eliasson served as President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly.
He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the US from September 2000 until July 2005. In March 2006, Mr. Eliasson was appointed Foreign Minister of Sweden and served in this capacity until the elections in the fall of 2006.
Ambassador Eliasson served as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 2000, a key position in formulating and implementing Swedish foreign policy. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the UN in New York 1988-92, and also served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Iran/Iraq.
Mr. Eliasson was the first UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and was involved in operations in Africa and the Balkans. He took initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention and humanitarian action. 1980-1986, Mr. Eliasson was part of the UN mediation missions in the war between Iran and Iraq, headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme.
In 1993-94 Mr. Eliasson served as mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He has been a Visiting Professor at Uppsala University and Gothenburg University in Sweden, lecturing on mediation, conflict resolution and UN reform.
Ambassador Eliasson has had diplomatic postings in New York (twice) Paris, Bonn, Washington (twice) and Harare, where he opened the first Swedish Embassy in 1980.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson also served as Chair of Water Aid/Sweden and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advocacy Group of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).