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 lasts a few weeks, starts on Sept.17; the general debate begins on Sept. 24. With most member states … 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

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Peru’s Security Council Presidency: Watching Over Latin America

Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru's ambassador to the UN

Peru, the second country after Colombia to accept the most refugees from Venezuela, has so far taken in 800,000 Venezuelans escaping their nation’s crushing economic and political crisis. But the Peruvian government has recently changed its travel requirements, asking migrants and refugees to have a humanitarian visa and a passport to enter the country. Despite the change, Peru … Read more

Trump’s Pick for UN Diplomat in Geneva Vows to Oppose Reproductive Rights and Put America First

Andrew Bremberg

“I am pro-life, I believe that all human life is sacred, and that human life begins at conception,” Andrew Bremberg told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently. Asked if rape victims should have access to abortion, he replied, “I don’t believe that abortion is a moral solution to any problem.” Nominated by President … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Calling All Women’s Groups: Help Shape the Beijing+25 Agenda

Women in Uruguay preparing to participate in an International Women's Day march, 2019

Twenty-four years ago, the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, yielded a bold declaration from 189 countries calling for improving the rights of women across the globe. Now, plans to mark the 25th anniversary of Beijing are forging ahead, as organizers decide on themes of conferences taking place in 2020 while managing pushback … Read more

 

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Kuwait’s Priority for the UN Security Council Presidency: Iraq and the Mideast

Still, this small oil-rich Arab country has an agenda of its own that it wants to fulfill as it ends its last presidency on the Council — in probably decades — on a strong note. For June, Kuwait plans to work on the topic of missing persons in armed conflict, an issue that touches its own … Read more

English-Speaking Ghana May Adopt French as an Official Language: Why?

Ghana, one of the few English-speaking holdouts in Francophone-heavy West Africa, is suddenly talking about adopting French as an official language. How come? In 2017, Emmanuel Macron became the first French president to visit this former English colony in 60 years. At the time, Nana Akufo-Addo had been president of Ghana only a few months and … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

The UN Security Council’s New President: An Indonesian Economist and ‘Peace Broker’

Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous country, just held what its top United Nations ambassador, Dian Triansyah Djani, calls the “world’s largest election ever held” for a presidency in such a short period of time. While ballots are still being counted and the next government prepares to take shape in May, Indonesia’s work at the UN … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

UN Security Council Presidency: Two Old Friends Share an Office, Part 2

To try to show European unity before a key parliamentary election for the European Union in May, France and Germany teamed up for the United Nations Security Council presidencies in March and April, respectively. After the first stint by France — including a Council trip to Mali and Burkina Faso in the Sahel region of … Read more

 

Canada, Ireland and Norway, Now Vying for the 2020 UN Security Council Vote

Jockeying for a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council starts early — way early. Three countries are already vying for the two open seats in the regional group known as Weog — Western Europe and Others — for the 2021-22 term. The election is June 2020, and the “others” are Australia, Canada, Israel and … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Security Council Presidency: Two Old Friends, France and Germany, Now Share an Office

As a united front in the fight to preserve the European Union, France and Germany are about to gain a global audience. During March and April, their top United Nations ambassadors, François Delattre and Christoph Heusgen, will take turns — in alphabetical order — presiding over the Security Council, marking the first time for twin Council … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Equatorial Guinea’s Priority in the UN Security Council: Stability in West Africa

A trip by the United Nations Security Council to the Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau in West Africa to promote state sovereignty; a visit to the UN from one of Africa’s longest-serving head of state, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo; and discussions on arms and piracy: these are the big items on Equatorial Guinea’s menu this … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Dominican Republic’s Priority in the UN Security Council: Climate Change

Although the Dominican Republic has been a member of the United Nations since 1945, the country is making its debut on the Security Council this month — starting big, as the president in the rotating seat. It is the country’s first strike out of two presidencies as an elected member with a two-year term, representing … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

The US, Reversing Course on Cluster Bombs, Is Testing New Ones in Israel

TEL AVIV — Every day in some provinces of Vietnam, the simple act of walking can be deadly, as people risk stepping on unexploded ordnances, remnants from America’s war there that ended more than 40 years ago. The United States dropped 14 million tons of explosive devices during the war in Vietnam as well as … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Ivory Coast’s Priorities in the UN Security Council: Postwar Peace

The Ivory Coast holds the rotating presidency in December in the United Nations Security Council at a pivotal point in its membership in the world body. The West African country was elected to its current term in the Council just as the last peacekeeping troops left in 2017, ending the UN’s presence there after a … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The US Is Driving the New Talks on Western Sahara, Involving Morocco and Algeria

Horst Koehler, a former German president who has been the United Nations special envoy for Western Sahara since last year, is bringing the parties to the longstanding conflict over that region to a roundtable meeting in Geneva soon. Koehler expressed his intent last summer to bring all the relevant players together by the end of … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

China’s Priorities in the UN Security Council: Peacekeeping

Ma Zhaoxu, China's ambassador to the UN

Welcome back to our monthly column, Security Council Presidency, providing insight into the United Nations Security Council member sitting in the rotating seat of the presidency every month and featuring a capsule of the country itself. The column kicked off in July when Sweden was president, led by the country’s ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog. … Read more

 

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Bolivia’s Priority in the UN Security Council: Why Conflicts Begin

Welcome back to our monthly column, Security Council Presidency, providing insight into the United Nations Security Council member sitting in the rotating seat of the presidency every month and featuring a capsule of the country itself. The column began in July, when Sweden was president, led by the country’s ambassador to the UN, Olof Skoog. … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Europe and Others Help Fund the UN Palestinian Agency, Filling US Void

The European Union, Germany, Norway, Ireland and Kuwait stepped in this week to donate a total of $118 million in financing to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (Unrwa), after the United States cut $304 million of its annual support to the agency for this year. The … Read more

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