• Kofi Annan

    A Taste of Running for Political Office Has Left This UN Retiree Ready for More

    by  • April 10, 2018 • Africa, UN Careers, Women • 

    ORANGE, Conn. — Margaret Novicki is a 22-year veteran of the United Nations, having served in various regions in Africa and as the director of strategic communications at UN headquarters in New York. Upon her retirement in 2017 at age 62 from an eventful, complicated career at the UN, Novicki, an American, ran as...

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    Will Trump’s Musical Chairs Leave Nikki Haley Without a Seat?

    by  • March 23, 2018 • Nikki Haley Watch, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Nikki Haley insisted all along that she had no desire to become Donald Trump’s secretary of state. But with Mike Pompeo, the CIA director, in line to succeed Rex Tillerson as the State Department’s top dog, Haley may soon find that her thinking was a big mistake. Haley asked Trump right from the start...

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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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    Four Easy Steps to Reform the UN Human Rights Council

    by  • October 15, 2017 • Human Rights, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    Problems encircling the United Nations Human Rights Council are verging toward a major crisis. The same crisis had engulfed its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, leading the secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan, to call to replace it with the Council. But the same problems affecting the former Commission now affect its successor,...

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    Where Are the Female Leaders at the UN? Gender Bias Persists

    by  • August 28, 2017 • Secretary-General, Women • 

    The exhibition “HERStory: A Celebration of Leading Women in the United Nations” was held at the Unesco headquarters in Paris this summer, after it made its debut in New York last year. Designed to showcase the contributions of female leaders throughout the UN’s history, it featured such high-profile personalities as Margaret Anstee, the first...

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    The Syrian War and the Refugee Crisis: Spawning the Rise of the Far Right

    by  • December 21, 2016 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council, Syria, US Foreign Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    The butterfly effect teaches us that seemingly insignificant actions can have enormous future consequences. A tiny pair of fluttering wings can disturb the air in a way that helps trigger a hurricane halfway around the world. Witness Syria, where the Arab Spring made its debut in 2011 in the form of a tame wave...

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    The $64,000 Question: Can the UN Survive the Trump Era?

    by  • December 4, 2016 • Special Report, UN Agencies, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    Celebrators at the opening of the New UN House in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on Nov. 26, 2016.

    The United Nations will swear in António Guterres as its ninth secretary-general on Dec. 12, when the organization will be only weeks away from the inauguration of Donald Trump and the potentially most threatening, hostile political opposition to the UN ever assembled in Washington, D.C. The UN will have to be prepared to respond...

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    Being UN Deputy Secretary-General: Louise Fréchette Recounts Her Experience

    by  • November 12, 2016 • General Assembly, US-UN Relations, Women • 

    Louise Fréchette, a Canadian, was the first United Nations deputy secretary-general. Appointed by Kofi Annan, she took office in March 1998, bringing to the job qualifications that exceeded those of most UN secretaries-general. She had spent a quarter-century in the Canadian foreign service, including as ambassador to several Latin American counties and to the...

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    How the UN Public Information Office Works

    by  • July 25, 2016 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    BERLIN — From the beginning, the member states of the United Nations understood the great significance of efficient communication: in resolution 13(I) of Feb. 13, 1946, the General Assembly established the Department of Public Information in the Secretariat and emphasized: “The United Nations cannot achieve the purposes for which it has been created unless...

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    A New Plan to Recruit Candidates for UN Secretary-General Emerges

    by  • March 3, 2016 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, Security Council, Women • 2 Comments

    For the first time in United Nations history, officially announced candidates for the secretary-general race, underway this year, will be interviewed publicly in the General Assembly along the lines of a standard democratic election. Mogens Lykketoft, the Assembly president and a Dane, is pushing the “unprecedented transparent process,” as he put it, in selecting...

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    The Surprising Confessions of a Peacemaker

    by  • July 18, 2015 • BOOKS • 

    When war breaks out, you would think the easy answer would be to send in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, right? In fact, it is fairly rare and extraordinarily challenging to pull such a mission together. Even then, the mission can end up a flop, making little or no difference as the years crawl...

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    No Room for LGBT Rights in the New UN Development Goals

    by  • May 17, 2015 • Development, LGBT, Sustainable Development Goals • 3 Comments

    Before this year ends, the United Nations will have committed itself and its 193 member governments to a new 15-year development strategy to be hailed as a blueprint for ending poverty, expanding social justice and strengthening equality. Equality for whom is the question. Missing by deliberate design from the new plan, called the Sustainable...

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    Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video]

    by  • February 23, 2015 • Secretary-General, Security Council, US-UN Relations, Women • 6 Comments

    Convinced that after 70 years it is time to choose a woman for the United Nations’ top job of secretary-general, a new movement led by an academic spcialist on the organization has been assembled to formally support the election of a woman for the job. The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, finishes his...

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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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    Next Best in 2016? The UN Secretary-General Must Be a Reformer

    by  • December 9, 2014 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    GENEVA — For only the second time — the first was in 1996 — the electoral campaigns for the American president and the United Nations secretary-general are running in parallel. Both promise to be long and protracted. Each already has a growing slate of presumptive candidates pounding flesh and employing lobbyists. But the next...

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