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Sonah Lee-Lassiter is a Korean-American freelance writer based in Brooklyn, who grew up across many US states. In her contributions to PassBlue, she has covered a wide range of topics, including Afghanistan’s migrant crisis, digital harassment at the UN and how the airline industry affects climate change. She has a degree in international management fromt the University of Vermont and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and works in the civil service as well.

  •  April 13, 2021 
In 2010, Maria Victoria (Mavic) Cabrera-Balleza founded an organization to help and advocate for the rights of women and girls globally, but it was her childhood experiences that first politicized her. Martial law was declared by the dictator President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines in 1972, when she was in fourth grade. Born in …
  •  March 24, 2021 
Incoming Secretary-General Takes Oath of Office
Unless a strong candidate backed by an influential member state comes forward soon, it looks unlikely that Secretary-General António Guterres will be denied a second term and that a woman could be elected to succeed him, starting in 2022. Any challengers for the United Nations’ top leadership post will need to step up in …
  •  September 23, 2020 
A pre-recorded statement from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s President Sefik Dzaferovic kicked off Day 2 of the 75th General Assembly, and like many other world leaders, he called for heightened multilateralism amid today’s pandemic and global conflicts. Simultaneously, for the first hour of the day, a Unicef-sponsored virtual event about protecting future generations from the …
  •  March 6, 2020 
Nearly 700 people, many of them young adults and students, flocked to the United Nations recently to attend an all-day gathering on “War No More.” Who were they eager to see and hear? The global feminist icon Gloria Steinem and Leymah Gbowee, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who led her fellow countrywomen to help …
  •  December 28, 2019 
“A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood Made Olympic History,” unfolds like the cinematic story of Disney’s 1992 hit “The Mighty Ducks,” except in Seth Berkman’s debut book this team of hockey players —South Korean, North Korean, American and Canadian, all female and of Korean descent — don’t win a single game. …
  •  October 30, 2019 
Before the teenage activist Greta Thunberg made headlines with her scathing speech at this year’s United Nations Climate Action Summit, she crossed the Atlantic Ocean by sailboat and entered New York Harbor in lower Manhattan. “I have, since a few years, stopped flying because of the enormous impact aviation has on the climate,” she …
  •  September 23, 2019 
The United Nations Climate Action Summit kicked off in New York with powerfully direct statements by Secretary-General António Guterres and several youths invited to speak in a panel set up in the vast General Assembly Hall. They faced an audience of national leaders gathered from across the world at a conference that was not …
  •  September 20, 2019 
New Yorkers know full well to avoid East Midtown Manhattan around mid-September. During those few weeks, when the United Nations General Assembly opens its annual session, multiple street blocks go into a major security gridlock in this part of town. Despite the increase in crowds and traffic, the world leaders, diplomats and international policy …
  •  May 14, 2019 
UN women's conference in March 2019
While Koki Muli Grignon was working as the facilitator during the most intense week of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, a prominent annual women’s rights conference at the United Nations, she received an odd email. It was the middle of nearly round-the-clock negotiations on the conference final summary document. …
  •  February 18, 2019 
Kabul Afghanistan bazaar
After fleeing violence and unemployment in their home country for the relative stability of neighboring Iran, hundreds of thousands of undocumented Afghans are now returning home. The mass reverse migration is taking place just as the United States, eager to withdraw from Afghanistan, holds its most concerted peace talks with the Taliban in years. …

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