• Secretary-General

    In Hodeidah, the Norwegian Refugee Council Hangs On to Save Yemenis

    by  • June 20, 2018 • Geopolitics, Middle East, Secretary-General, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    As the attack on Hodeidah, a major port in western Yemen on the Red Sea, moves into its second week, led by the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the rest of the world seems to be sitting and watching the destruction. The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent nongovernmental organization, has...

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    The UN’s Emphasis on Prevention Could Use Lessons From the Case of Guinea

    by  • June 18, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Responsibility to Protect, Secretary-General, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Historically neglected, gender-based violence is now becoming broadly recognized as a legitimate and urgent agenda item among the United Nations member nations, notably in the UN’s most powerful forum, the Security Council. But the future of the agenda is uncertain, as priorities remain unclear and inadequate methods for preventing sexual violence against women keep...

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    The UN and #MeToo: All Forms of Abuse Must End Now

    by  • May 9, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    For many years now, media attention on sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations peacekeepers cornered the UN and pushed it toward reform. Now, the #MeToo movement has put the organization — and many other major institutions across the world — on red alert. But UN insiders and supporters are wondering if the leadership’s...

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    Confronting Possible Gas Attacks in Syria, the UN Security Council Succumbs to Chaos

    by  • April 13, 2018 • Disarmament, Geopolitics, Middle East, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, Security Council, US Foreign Relations • 1 Comment

    In a week of reversals, semireversals and blatant backtracking by some of the most powerful countries on earth, diplomacy showed its head-spinning underside in the United Nations Security Council, as three Western allies — Britain, France and the United States — conveyed their outrage against Russia for its perceived role in allowing the Syrian...

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    As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

    by  • April 2, 2018 • Africa, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    As peacekeepers sweat and toil and risk their lives in some of the world’s most lethal settings — South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo — it is incumbent on the United Nations and its 193 members to alleviate the suffering and deaths of troops as fatalities keep rising. In...

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    In Newark’s Portuguese Community, UN Secretary-General António Guterres Is Unknown

    by  • March 21, 2018 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    NEWARK, N.J. — In the Portuguese-speaking section of New Jersey’s most populous city, virtually no one, when asked, had heard of António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations and a one-time prime minister of Portugal. At a popular restaurant on Ferry Street, the main drag nicknamed Portugal Street, one person eating his platter...

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    Who Says the UN Is Boring? Intrigue Always Abounds in Its Inner Core

    by  • March 20, 2018 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Bureaucracies do not have a great reputation, and the United Nations bureaucracy is no exception. They are seen as inefficient, cumbersome and rigid, adjectives that are also routinely associated with the UN Secretariat. At best considered a “necessary evil,” bureaucracies tend to attract scorn rather than analysis. The UN Secretariat, however, is different. Although...

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    In an Unusual Move, the UN Security Council Is Heading to Sweden for a Retreat

    by  • March 19, 2018 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, Security Council • 

    The United Nations Security Council, perhaps needing a change of scenery from its chamber overlooking the East River in New York, is traveling to the southern Swedish coast in April for an annual retreat whose theme this year is “a new narrative on peace operations.” The retreat will be held in a newly renovated...

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    The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

    by  • March 16, 2018 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    Responding to a December request from the General Assembly for details on how he proposes to staff and pay for sweeping changes in political affairs and peacekeeping at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres has drafted a 50-page explanation for member states to consider. The General Assembly had agreed in principle to his original...

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    Women Descend on the UN, Riding on the Heels of #TimesUp

    by  • March 12, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Secretary-General, Women • 2 Comments

    As women across the world battle systemic harassment and worse abuses for merely being female, the United Nations has opened its annual gathering of women in one of its biggest conferences of the year. This time, the 12-day meeting focuses on the status of rural women, but since it follows closely on the heels...

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    A Sexual Assault Claim at Unaids Suggests a Cover-Up by Its Management

    by  • February 14, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General • 

    As allegations of sexual abuse and harassment in the offices, field operations and peacekeeping missions continue to plague the United Nations, a case that has recently come to light reveals that in 2016 a woman who worked for Unaids accused a high-level official of the entity of sexual assault. The woman’s claim has been...

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    How Stormy Was It? The First Year of Trump, Haley and Guterres at the UN

    by  • January 28, 2018 • Nikki Haley Watch, Nuclear Disarmament, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    LONDON — President Donald Trump marked a year at the helm of the United States on Jan. 20. Secretary-General António Guterres marked a year at the helm of the United Nations on Jan. 1. How has their first year gone relative to the UN? The short answer is: not as badly as you might...

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    Words Ring Hollow From the UN After Attacks on Peacekeepers

    by  • December 27, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The horrific attack on United Nations peacekeepers from Tanzania in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in early December and the ensuing hours-long battle was a severe blow to one of the UN’s more prized forces, leaving 15 soldiers dead. But the UN was already so concerned with a rise in peacekeeper fatalities —...

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    Sexual Harassment at the UN Is Alive and Persistent

    by  • December 22, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Secretary-General, UN Diplomats, Women • 4 Comments

    As its people of the year, Time magazine recently named the Silence Breakers — people who have spoken against sexual harassment and launched the hashtag #MeToo into an international phenomenon with more than seven million hits on social media. Just before the announcement, more than 230 women who work in national security for the...

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    The UN Secretary-General’s Disappointing Peace-Building Proposal

    by  • December 11, 2017 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Since the end of the Cold War, a diverse group of countries at low levels of development emerged from intrastate conflicts and embarked on a complex transition to peace, stability and prosperity. All aspects of such transitions are closely interrelated and reinforce each other. Simultaneous security, political, social and economic activities compete for scarce...

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    António Guterres, Please Reform the UN’s Human Rights Tools

    by  • November 20, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    When recently asked what keeps him up at night, António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, gave a straight answer: bureaucracy as well as “fragmented structures, byzantine procedures, endless red tape.” Such flaws also apply to UN human-rights mechanisms, and Guterres should ensure that his UN-wide reform agenda prioritizes strengthening such tools, which can be...

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    Long Overdue: A New Boss at the UN Pension Fund and a Reformed Board

    by  • November 15, 2017 • Secretary-General, UN pension fund, WORLDVIEWS • 

    An important change was made to the United Nations pension fund last month, when Secretary-General António Guterres announced he was appointing Sudhir Rajkumar of India to succeed Carol Boykin as his representative for investments of the $61.5 billion fund. Guterres needs to make another major change, however, to address serious problems at the joint...

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    Judging the UN in Haiti: ‘We Let the Haitians Down’

    by  • November 9, 2017 • Caribbean, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 1 Comment

    The population it serves can misunderstand a United Nations peacekeeping mandate. In the host country, with people’s lives, infrastructure and administrative systems often rendered dysfunctional by conflict, the population expects peacekeepers to restore order, build roads and other essentials, provide work, render justice and make life like it was before if not better. They...

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    A New Index Rates the Well-Being of Women in 153 Nations and US Ranks 22d

    by  • October 31, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, Women • 

    A new women, peace and security index was unveiled at the United Nations recently. At its core, the WPS index, as it is known, provides evidence for what advocates have been saying all along: that the active and equal participation of women in all aspects of society is critical for peace and security, especially...

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    Guterres’s Grand Plan to Remake the UN’s Peace and Security ‘Pillar’

    by  • October 20, 2017 • General Assembly, Geopolitics, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    António Guterres, the UN secretary-general

    Considerable restructuring of the peacekeeping, political affairs and peace-building departments of the United Nations is being proposed by Secretary-General António Guterres as he continues to embark on reforming the world body, which contends with increasingly complex crises and conflicts each year. In a 16-page document obtained by PassBlue and to be submitted soon to the UN’s...

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