• Dag Hammarskjold

    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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    Has Anyone Seen the UN Secretary-General’s Human Rights Agenda?

    by  • August 22, 2017 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Secretary-General António Guterres has set about modernizing some sectors of the United Nations and made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But beyond rhetoric, so far there has been no indication of his modernizing the human-rights sector. We have seen this before. Dag Hammarskjold, a previous secretary-general, undoubtedly believed in human...

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    Civil and Polite, Nations Participate in First-Ever UN Security Council Election Hearings

    by  • May 25, 2016 • General Assembly, Security Council • 1 Comment

    Thailand said it had no enemies, while Kazakhstan pointed out it had voluntarily given up the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world more than two decades ago. Sweden emphasized it was militarily nonaligned. Italy, the only Mediterranean candidate, said it could ensure geographic balance because it sits at the crossroads of the east and...

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    Special Envoys: Viceroys of the UN

    by  • July 21, 2015 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    SYDNEY, Australia — As with most innovations at the United Nations, the genesis of the concept of the special representative, or special envoy, of the secretary-general can be traced back to Dag Hammarskjold, the UN secretary-general. Special envoys were dispatched earlier than the Hammarskjold era; they included Folke Bernadotte, a Swede, and his successor,...

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    What Matters Most in Choosing the Next UN Chief? Politics, Geography and Maybe Gender

    by  • January 21, 2015 • Secretary-General, Security Council, US-UN Relations • 

    The post of United Nations secretary-general may or may not be “the world’s most impossible job,” as its first occupant, Trygve Lie, a Norwegian, once described it. In any case, UN members must choose a successor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon well before the close of 2016. Some potential candidates are already campaigning for the...

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    Kofi Annan: The Back Story

    by  • January 28, 2013 • Africa, BOOKS, Secretary-General • 

    Kofi Annan

    Frederic Eckhard, the United Nations spokesman for eight and a half of Kofi Annans 10 years as secretary-general, was certainly well placed to write a tell-all account of that action-packed era. But readers of Eckhard’s new book, “Kofi Annan: A Spokesperson’s Memoir,” get that and something more. Along with the insider accounts, there’s the...

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    What the General Assembly Wants From the Secretary-General

    by  • August 13, 2012 • General Assembly, WORLDVIEWS • 2 Comments

    General Assembly president and Ban Ki-moon

    BERLIN — When the United Nations has been fortunate to have a secretary-general who has great charisma and skills in settling conflicts, the world tends to consider him a figure with his own political status and powers. People like this idea because in difficult times they want to have an authoritative mediator, a moral...

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