Monday, Jan. 30, 7pm EDT: Mitchell’s guest this evening is internationally-renowned, icon of world peace, one of the founders of the United Nations and Assistant Secretary-General for generations of Secretary’s-General, the beloved Robert Muller.
This evening’s guest is a gentleman in his own class. Robert Muller (March 11, 1923 – September 20, 2010), founder of Better World Schools and much else, was an international civil servant with the United Nations. Assistant Secretary-General for 40 years.
Muller’s ideas about world government, peace and spirituality led to the increased representation of religions at the UN, He was known by some as “the philosopher of the U.N.
Born in Belgium, Robert Muller grew up in the Alsace-Lorraine region in France as a French citizen. Alsace-Lorraine borders Germany. As a child his home was on the border. The border issues he saw as a child had a significant impact on his life, his decision to work at the United Nations and his co-founding of the University for Peace in Costa Rica. During his youth Robert experienced constant political and cultural turmoil. He knew the horrors of World War II, of being a refugee, of the Nazi occupation in France, imprisonment and escape from prison.
During the war he was a member of the French Resistance where towards the end of the war he unsuccessfully tried to prevent the slaughter a group of captured German soldiers. This was a major life event that led to work for peace. After the war he returned home and earned a Doctorate of Law from the University of Strasbourg. In 1948 he entered and won an essay contest on how to govern the world, the prize of which was an internship at the newly created United Nations.
Dr. Muller began working at the U.N. just as it was forming. He devoted the next 40 years of his life behind the scenes there, focusing his energies on nurturing a better world, including working for the environment, economics and peace.
He was instrumental in the conception of many multilateral bodies, including the UN Development Program, the World Food Program, the UN Population Fund, and the World Youth Assembly. He rose through the ranks at the UN to the official position of Assistant-Secretary-General and served under three Secretary Generals.
Robert created a “World Core Curriculum” that earned him the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1989. The “World Core Curriculum” helped inspire the growing Global Education movement. More than 30 Robert Muller schools were founded throughout the world.
Robert Muller and Rodrigo Carazo Odio founded the University for Peace in demilitarized Costa Rica around the time Robert retired from the United Nations. Dr. Muller began his active retirement as the first Chancellor of the University for Peace.
He is the recipient of multiple awards and honors including the Albert Schweitzer International Prize for the Humanities and the Eleanor Roosevelt Man of Vision Award.
In addition to his duties at the University for Peace, he devoted time to his writings and was an internationally acclaimed, multilingual speaker and author of fourteen books published in various languages. One of his major writings came from writing one idea-dream each day for nurturing a better world. His goal was to have written 2000 ideas and dreams by the beginning of the new millennium. He achieved this and went on to write over 7000 ideas and dreams. In his speeches he spoke of these idea-dreams and over the years noted that many of these ideas were being worked on and some had been completed.
At the prompting of many of his friends, admirers and non-governmental organizations Robert Muller was a candidate as a global citizen in 1996 for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations. He was also nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Mitchell and Robert first met in Costa Rica at his home nearby the University of Peace in 1999 when Mitchell was there as a member of the Advisory Board of Radio for Peace International.
At that time, they began to get friendly which led to many visits at Robert’s home in Santa Barbara with his lovely wife Barbara and at Mitchell’s home in NYC, not far from the U.N.
Mitchell interviewed Robert on A Better World on his 82nd birthday. They shared a vision of A Better World to which both have dedicated their lives in their and respective and very related ways.