Eric Drummond & his Legacies

BAFUNCS is an organization for those retired from the international civil service. For not a few, it is an organization for those who seek to retire from retirement. These include the authors of the book, Eric Drummond and his Legacies.

At the 2014 Edinburgh Annual Reunion, members were shifting in their chairs, willing the business meeting to come to a close, when a troublesome former WHO official (the present writer) posed the question, who was the most distinguished British Former United Nations Civil Servant? ‘Eric Drummond’ someone said. People wondered who he was, until a more academically-inclined member saved the general embarrassment with an amusing story about this first Secretary-General of the League of Nations. Subsequently, David Macfadyen, Michael Davies and Marilyn Carr got together to plan the aforementioned book and, in 2015, at a University of Sussex Witness Seminar, they were joined by John Burley.

Each author had followed the practice of working in teams in his or her working life. This we continued as we sought fresh information on Drummond -- in Scotland, Oxford, London, New York, Geneva and elsewhere, resulting in a breadth and depth of coverage that reviewers of Eric Drummond and his Legacies have commended.

The book appeared five years after the Edinburgh meeting, coinciding with the centennial of Drummond’s appointment on 28 April 2019 at the Paris Peace Conference. It was presented at a UN centennial event at the Palais des Nations Geneva in April and at the 2019 BAFUNCS Annual Reunion in Stratford in May. These were good beginnings. A task remains for all of us, however, to seek recognition for this forgotten pioneer of international cooperation, the architect of the impartial international civil service in which we all served.

Listed below are links to reviews, presentations and discussions on this book.  We hope you will find them interesting.  Better still, please read the book yourself, although it is still quite expensive; we are hoping to arrange a paperback edition soon.

David Macfadyen, Lead Author

1. An introduction to the book is provided by a brief contribution to UN Special, the official magazine of international civil servants, by one of the book's authors, John Burley. The content of the book, including the text of a Prologue and extracts from the first chapter, can be found under Eric Drummond and his Legacies in Google Books. It can also be bought from Amazon, in hard-copy or Kindle versions. 

2.   A Video of the authors discussing their book with Sir Adam Roberts and BAFUNCS President, Sir Kieran Prendergast

3.  The preceding Presentation by Michael Davies, one of the authors

4.  A Review by Sir Richard Jolly

5. A Review by Mary Roll-Vallanjon, BAFUNCS Newsletter Editor

6. A Podcast Interview with John Burley, one of the authors and a BAFUNCS Member, who was interviewed by the UN Library in Geneva as part of it's #Multilateralism100 series.

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