February 2020

Battle Lines Are Drawn on Women’s Rights Before #CSW64 Even Begins

From the start, the diplomats leading the negotiations on the new political declaration for the United Nations’ women’s rights conference in March wanted to keep it short and sweet. That meant five pages maximum, one diplomat told PassBlue before the discussions began, inevitably frustrating diplomats who had hoped to produce a generous endorsement of women’s …

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How the US Enabled Aggressions by China and Russia at the UN

For the last decade, Western democracies and human-rights defenders have been locked in a tense struggle with authoritarian great powers at the United Nations. Since 2009, Russia and China have waged a highly successful campaign to dismantle the international human-rights system, particularly through the Human Rights Council. The two countries have made strides especially after …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

The UN Moves Toward ‘Climate Neutrality,’ but Is It Fast Enough?

The United Nations system has instituted some important changes toward becoming what it calls climate neutral. Some employees and former employees, however, think the UN could be doing much more to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint globally and to be a stronger role model in mitigating climate change. After all, Secretary-General António Guterres recently said …

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Will the UN-75 Declaration Signify More Than a Birthday Party?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres used his annual State of the World speech to the General Assembly last month to outline his 2020 priorities. He stressed four threats to progress in the 21st century: growing geostrategic tensions and mass violence in fragile states, creating an unprecedented refugee crisis; the climate catastrophe; rising mistrust in …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve and Stéphanie Fillion

From Five to Four: Belgium Strives to Fill the European Gap in the Security Council Left by Brexit

In Brussels, the month started with the removal of Britain’s flag from the European Union headquarters, while in New York, Belgium became rotating president of the United Nations Security Council for February, ready to fill the political vacuum left by Britain’s departure from the European bloc on the Council, thanks to Brexit. PassBlue met with …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
President Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House

Will Trump’s ‘Vision’ Shake Up the Middle East?

When is a peace plan not a peace plan? Look no further than Donald Trump’s cynically timed initiative to end the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. If a breakthrough does result, it will be in spite of itself. Released in late January after three years lurking in the shadows, it would jettison decades of …

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A Most Influential Actor: The US Ambassador to the UN

Everyone familiar with the United Nations knows that its relationship with its key member, the United States, has been and still is subject to far-reaching changes. The periods when the US administration and the Congress make use of the competencies of the United Nations in shaping their foreign policies depend on the administration and the …

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