Despite Common Rejection of Trump’s Mideast Plan, Some Hope to Restart Talks

A few days after Jared Kushner, President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, met with United Nations Security Council members offsite in New York to sell the United States’ Mideast deal for peace, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came to the Council to vehemently oppose it. While Abbas’s criticisms were echoed by most members of the Council, the … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

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

Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve and Stéphanie Fillion

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 … Read more

Melissa Fleming Wants to Change the UN’s Public Image. Can She Do It?

Melissa Fleming, the new head of the UN’s Department of Global Communications

The United Nations turns 75 this year, all year long. As its purpose is being questioned by some of its biggest donor nations, including the United States, the UN has a new person to reshape its public image through its global communications office, starting with how it presents its news. PassBlue obtained an exclusive copy of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The UN Unveils 6 Themes in a Big Year Pushing for Women’s Rights

As the countdown to this year’s main events celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women has begun, UN Women has announced six themes to anchor the two Generation Equality forums to be held in May and in July. While many women’s groups applaud the broad themes, some have serious qualms about one topic … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Vietnam’s Pivotal Month as Leader of the Security Council and of Asean for 2020

With tensions becoming more and more serious in the Middle East and with two crucial leadership roles to play internationally, diplomats in Hanoi are probably working hard to make sure Vietnam’s big diplomatic month of January is a success. Vietnam’s diplomacy has arrived at a critical moment, as it presides over the United Nations Security … Read more

Destination Kentucky: An Unusual Choice for Kelly Knight Craft’s Security Council Trip

While most countries use their presidency in the United Nations Security Council to visit war zones and pivotal peacekeeping missions around the globe, the United States ambassador, Kelly Knight Craft, is taking her counterparts to her home state of Kentucky in December. The Security Council will be traveling to what is often called the “Horse … Read more

China Flexes Its Economic Might More Openly on Uighurs Issue

Twenty-three nations, including Britain, the United States, Germany, France and Japan, slammed China at the United Nations recently, citing its persecution of Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang province. “We call on the Chinese government to uphold its national laws and international obligations and commitments to respect human rights, including freedom of religion or belief, … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Britain’s Plan for the UN Security Council Presidency: Forget About Brexit

Karen Pierce of Britain and Riyad Mansour of Palestine at the UN

While Britain struggles to find an orderly way to exit the European Union after several years of attempting to do so, the country will highlight how other world problems affect ordinary people in its role as Security Council president in November. That focus definitely means avoiding the subject of Brexit! Britain, which has been in … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Moment to End Turkey’s Other War, in Cyprus, Is Fading Fast

Anywhere from the capital of Nicosia, day and night, Greek Cypriots can see a giant flag painted into the mountains in the north, in a separate region that calls itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is an area that is recognized only by Turkey and isolated internationally. From the Greek side of the … Read more

The Cold War Returns as Russia and Iran Disrupt UN Work to Protest Visa Denials by the US

Russia and Iran are disrupting the new cycle of United Nations committees’ work to pressure the United States to stop denying visas to their diplomats from attending the meetings in New York. While Russia often brings up visa issues to try to hold up work at the UN, such actions are no déjà vu for … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Africa Will No Longer Be Sidelined: South Africa’s Goal on the UN Security Council

Jerry Matthews Matjila, South Africa’s point man at the United Nations, took the hot seat on the Security Council as its president for October with busy days now in sight. “There are 40 meetings already planned before we start the month,” he told the press, noting the month covers five weeks. “It’s going to be … Read more

The UN Can Do Much More to Resolve Khashoggi’s Murder, Says Agnès Callamard

Agnès Callamard

Exactly a year after Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi-born, American-based journalist, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnès Callamard, remains categorical: UN Secretary-General António Guterres can and should do more about the murder, and so should member states. “I am asking the secretary-general … Read more

O, Canada, Where Are You at the #UNGA?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a point of bringing Canada back to the international stage at the United Nations to win a coveted nonpermanent seat on the Security Council for the 2021-22 term. But amid Trudeau’s re-election campaign and an international scandal around his use of blackface, Canada has sent a low-level delegation to … Read more

Globalists vs. Patriots at the UN: A ‘Great Fracture’ Revealed

After most of the world leaders spent a day teaming up to fight climate change at the Climate Action Summit, the next day strongmen opened the high-level debate of the United Nations General Assembly, showing a growing split between nationalist and globalist leaders. “I fear the possibility of a great fracture,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres … Read more

By Using an Overseas Territory, France Tries to Save the Amazon

President Emmanuel Macron of France is using one of its overseas territory and a former colony, French Guyana, to reinforce France’s intervention in the region to save the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon. The move by France reflects its increasing efforts to expand its influence internationally in highly visible ways. That includes trying to rescue … Read more

Strongmen to Kick Off the UN General Assembly Session in September

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil with President Donald Trump

Donald Trump will shake hands with Emmanuel Macron, Jair Bolsonaro and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. But will Benjamin Netanyahu; Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel be there, too? The 74th opening debate of the United Nations General Assembly, which starts on Sept.17 and ends on Sept. 30; the general debate begins on Sept. 24. With most member … Read more

A Tapestry About Chernobyl and the UN’s Bungled Response to the Nuclear Disaster

The third floor of the United Nations headquarters in New York is coveted real estate for member states that have donated art to the organization. Not far from the Security Council Chamber and near the social hangout Express Bar, a giant tapestry hangs on a wall. A quick look reveals angels and demons, lightning bolts … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Russia Is Busy as Security Council President, but Putin Is Staying Home

Russia is president of the United Nations Security Council in September just as nearly 200 heads of state and government and even a prince or two will soon travel to New York City to attend the opening session of the General Assembly. President Vladimir Putin will not be taking part in any event this month … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Why Poland Could Master Mideast Issues in the UN Security Council

Joanna Wronecka, Poland's ambassador to the UN

Even though many people think of August as vacation time, Joanna Wronecka, Poland’s ambassador to the United Nations, is not taking off anytime soon, as she is presiding over the Security Council for the month. As the Security Council is going to tackle issues affecting the Middle East and other parts of the world, the … Read more

Will Democrats Stall Trump’s Nominee for the UN Indefinitely?

After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to place 13 Trump administration nominees across diverse positions in the State Department, Senate ranking member Robert Menendez is using another nomination as a negotiating chip to demand details on two controversial White House migration pacts with Guatemala and Mexico. Senator Menendez (D-N.J.) is blocking the candidacy … Read more

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