British contribution to the re-establishment of multilateralism in 1945

Two of our members, John Burley and Michael Davies, have jointly written a 30-page monograph The Early Contributions of British Nationals to the Post-War International Organisations.

Their paper recalls those British officials and others who helped bring about the new generation of international organisations after the Second World War.  This work grew out of the earlier work done by them as co-authors, together with David Macfadyen and Marilyn Carr, of the 2019 book on the League of Nations first Secretary-General, Sir Eric Drummond.

Their monograph describes:

  • The key officials in the Foreign Office who made significant contributions to the drafting of the UN Charter in 1943-1945 – Alexander Cadogan, Gladwyn Jebb and Charles Webster
  • The work of the UN Preparatory Commission which established the UN in London in September 1945 – January 1946
  • The early British staffing of the UN and agencies: David Owen, Brian Urquhart, John Boyd-Orr, Julian Huxley and many others. Some of the staff subsequently joined BAFUNCS.

The paper concludes with some comments on the British government’s attitude to the UK staffing of the multilateral system in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

A version of the monograph was presented to the recent Edinburgh University on-line Conference on “Britain, the League of Nations and the New International Order” that David Macfadyen helped to organise. Click Here to see their PowerPoint Presentation to the Conference.

Members may also be interested to read a recent article on Eric Drummond in the Scottish Review, written by David Macfadyen

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