2020 SAIL


Amb. Won-soo Kim

Chair Professor of Incheon National University, former Under Secretary-General of the UN

Ambassador Kim Won-soo, former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations, has four decades of diplomatic career both as a Korean diplomat and an international civil servant. Over the decade from 2007 to 2017, he served at the senior-most level of UN, including the Under Secretary-General as the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and Assistant Secretary-General as the Deputy Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary-General. For three decades before joining the UN, he worked as the Korean diplomat including as the Secretary to the President of the Republic of Korea for Foreign Affairs and Trade as well as for International Security at the Blue House (Korean Presidential Office), and the Director General for Policy Planning and Ambassador for Regional Security in the Foreign Ministry. He also served in several overseas postings in Washington, DC of the USA, New Delhi of India and the UN in New York. After retirement from the UN in 2017, he has taught at several higher education/academic institutions in Korea including Yonsei University, Incheon National University and Korea National Diplomatic Academy. He serves as the Chair of the International Advisory Board for the Future Consensus Institute (Yeosijae) in Korea. He is also an Eminent Person for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) and a Board Member for the Ban Ki-moon Center for Global Citizens in Vienna, Austria. He graduated from the Seoul National University of Korea (Bachelor of Law). He holds the Master of Arts degree from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University as well as the Master of Laws degree (doctoral candidate) from the Law School of Stanford University of the USA.

He was also a visiting fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) as well as Asia-Pacific Research Center (APRC) of Stanford University.

The UN and International Law

This course will examine where we stand in international law and norm making at the United Nations, how it is made or evolves and where it will and should go. For the past 75 years since its inception, the UN has not only led the norm making in key aspects of international relations, but also has expanded its role as an normative custodian and even an enforcer in international justice and accountability.

This examination of the UN’s normative work will be focused on three pillars of the core mandates of the UN: 1) peace and security, 2) development and 3) human rights and justice.