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Renewing Peace: Governance Befitting an Evolving World

by Baha'i International Community, Global Governance Forum

“A Governance Befitting”, the Baha’i International Community’s statement on the 75th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations, has at its heart the principle that cooperation between nations must deepen significantly if the world is to meet its pressing challenges in the years ahead.

Our roundtable discussion on this statement, held with economist Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros, international lawyer Maja Groff, and environmental sciences expert Dr. Arthur Dahl, from the Global Governance Forum, explores the oneness and interdependence of the human family that is essential to global progress. Their discussion, with Simin Fahandej, Representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva, promotes an appreciation of diversity as the underpinning of unified action, the ability for the international community to learn together without fear of failure, the need to prioritise the common good over particular interests, and the moral assumptions that must be considered with every policy decision.


Simin Fahandej, Representative, Baha’i International Community, UN Office (Geneva). Simin Fahandej is a Representative of the Bahá’í International Community’s United Nations Office in Geneva, having joined the Office in 2011. Her work focuses primarily on human rights, peace and security and migration. Ms. Fahandej has served as a Baha'i International Community delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She has also been involved with the Major Group for Children and Youth, including as editor-in-chief for the 7th Annual Youth Assembly at the UN. Ms. Fahandej has conducted research consultancies for various organizations such as Amnesty International, Nobel Women Initiative and Centre for Defenders of Human Rights.

Dr. Arthur Lyon Dahl. Dr. Arthur Lyon Dahl is President of the International Environment Forum and a retired senior official of UN Environment, with over 50 years experience in sustainability, international environmental assessment and governance, and systems science, including more than 20 years in intergovernmental organisations. A biologist by training (AB, Stanford University; PhD, University of California, Santa Barbara), specializing on small islands and coral reefs, he lived and worked for many years in the Pacific Islands and Africa before settling in Geneva, Switzerland. He has participated in UN Conferences on environment, sustainable development and climate change, including Stockholm 1972, Johannesburg 2002, Copenhagen 2009, Rio 2012 and Paris 2015, and was in the secretariat for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro 1992).

Maja Groff. Maja Groff is an international lawyer based in The Hague, who has assisted in the development and servicing of multilateral treaties, also working at various international criminal tribunals and teaching regularly at the Hague Academy of International Law. She has worked on existing and potential global treaties addressing, inter alia, areas of child law, issues disproportionately affecting women, persons with disabilities, access to legal information and a range of other topics, as well as on the pioneering International Hague Network of Judges. She has regularly conducted liaison work with international organisations (including various UN bodies), international professional associations, NGOs and has played a key role in the convening of a range of international legal expert groups. She has drafted international legal policy documents for inter-governmental processes and published academically on private and public international law, human rights and global governance (e.g., Cambridge University Press, Edward Elgar, Hart, Intersentia).

Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros. Augusto Lopez-Claros is Executive Director of the Global Governance Forum. He is an international economist with over 30 years of experience in international organizations, including most recently at the World Bank. For the 2018/2019 academic years Augusto Lopez-Claros was on leave from the World Bank as a Senior Fellow at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously he was chief economist and director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, where he was also the editor of the Global Competitiveness Report, the Forum’s flagship publication. Before joining the Forum he worked for several years in the financial sector in London, with a special focus on emerging markets. He was the IMF’s Resident Representative in Russia during the 1990s.

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