November 2011

Regional Partners Lighten the UN’s Burdens

Since the founding of the United Nations more than 65 years ago, groups of regional nations – in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas – have become the organization’s political, peacekeeping and development partners. While some of these groups have kept a low profile, several now find themselves in the international spotlight as crucial issues …

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Congo Elections, Hardly a ‘Hinge Moment’

One of Africa’s largest, poorest and most violent countries will have its second election – presidential and parliamentary – on Nov. 28, after overcoming a dictatorship, a coup and two brutal civil wars. The Democratic Republic of Congo, independent since 1960 from Belgium, remains a glaring paradox, however, with enormous mineral wealth plumbed alongside extreme …

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A New Envoy, Slovakian, Heads to Afghanistan

Jan Kubis, a 59-year-old former Slovakian foreign minister, has been named the UN’s new special representative to Afghanistan in an appointment announced Nov. 23 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Kubis replaces Staffan de Mistura, an Italian-Swedish diplomat whose term began in March 2010 and ends on Dec. 31. Kubis will also be head of the UN …

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More Refugees Flee the Horn of Africa for Yemen

In the Horn of Africa, where drought and political violence have already cost thousands of lives this year, desperate people are turning to the sea to escape intolerable conditions all around them. They are landing by the thousands in the dangerous chaos of Yemen. In October alone, more than 12,000 people, mostly from Somalia and …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Unesco Honors Five Women for Scientific Research

Scientists from Australia, Mexico, South Africa, Britain and the United States working in research fields connected to health issues have been chosen the 2012 winners of the Women in Science Award given jointly by Unesco and the L’Oreal cosmetics company. The scientists who were chosen, each to receive a $100,000 prize, were selected by an …

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There’s Another Court in The Hague

Government suppression of revolts in several Arab nations and violence and rights abuses in some parts of Africa have drawn increased attention to the International Criminal Court, the first such permanent tribunal created to try individuals for war crimes, genocide and other gross violations. Less attention is paid to another permanent court in The Hague, …

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A Man for the Moment in the Middle East

Nabil Elaraby is a name to remember as crisis builds in Syria and citizens in other countries in the Arab world worry about where their hard-won revolutions are taking them. Elaraby, a 76-year-old Egyptian diplomat, is secretary-general of the Arab League, a position he has held for less than five months. But his impact on …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

A UN Perk, an Autumn Pick-Me-Up

One of the greatest unsung pleasures of working at UN headquarters is the marvelous greenmarket that springs up on 47th Street east of Second Avenue every Wednesday year round. Over the years the market, known officially as the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza Greenmarket (http://www.grownyc.org/daghammarskjoldgreenmarket), has gotten better and better, stretching closer and closer to First Avenue …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

Peace May Be More Elusive but Not Impossible

As you may have suspected, the world is becoming less peaceful. This marks the third year in a row that rising social and political turmoil has pushed indicators higher in assessing the lack of safety worldwide. New hot spots, as in the Middle East and North Africa, joined the list of old hot spots that …

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Counting the Nuclear Weapons of US and Russia

A fact sheet about the New Start treaty of strategic arms between the United States and Russia was released recently by the US State Department as part of the pact’s requirements of data exchange. New Start was ratified in December 2010 by the US Senate to reduce nuclear arsenals in both countries and allow for …

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