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12: The legacies of the League of Nations and its first Secretary-General, Eric Drummond #Multilateralism100

12: The legacies of the League of Nations and its first Secretary-General, Eric Drummond #Multilateralism100

October 10, 2019

Welcome back to our #Multilateralism100 series, where we share conversations as part of the Centenary of Multilateralism in Geneva, and explore the issues and the people that have shaped multilateralism since the creation of the League of Nations to its transition to the United Nations. 

In this episode, we take you on a tour back to the time of the League of Nations, as we speak to John Burley, one of the authors of a book published this year called Eric Drummond and his legacies: The League of Nations and the beginnings of global governance.  

John Burley is a former UN staff member who worked for more than 30 years for different parts of the UN system. For this conversation, he shares with us his research insights on the legacies of the League of Nations and its first Secretary-General, Eric Drummond. While the term multilateralism didn’t exist yet at the time, how did the work of the League and Eric Drummond help to shape the multilateral system and the international civil service of today? John shares with us his thoughts on these questions.   

Further Resources:

Learn more at the Centenary of Multilateralism in Geneva:  & LONTAD, The Total Digital Access to the League of Nations Archives Project:

To know more about the book and Eric Drummond, visit here:  

To view some images of Eric Drummond and caricatures drawn by the well-known Derso and Kelen (mentioned in the conversation), head here: or see them below.


Speaker: John Burley. 

Host: Natalie Alexander. 

Editor & Sound Editor: Natalie Alexander.

Image: UN Library Geneva. 

Archival material: United Nations Archives Geneva.  

Advisers: Stefan Vukotic & Pierre-Etienne Bourneuf. 

Recorded and produced at the UN Library Geneva. 


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