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Stephen Schlesinger is the author of three books, including "Act of Creation: The Founding of The United Nations," which won the 2004 Harry S. Truman Book Award. He is a senior fellow at the Century Foundation in New York City and the former director of the World Policy Institute at the New School (1997-2006) and former publisher of the quarterly magazine, The World Policy Journal. In the 1970s, he edited and published The New Democrat Magazine; was a speechwriter for the Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern; and later was the weekly columnist for The Boston Globe's "The L't'ry Life." He wrote, with Stephen Kinzer, "Bitter Fruit," a book about the 1954 CIA coup in Guatemala.

Thereafter, he spent four years as a staff writer at Time Magazine. For 12 years, he served as New York State Governor Mario Cuomo's speechwriter and foreign policy adviser. In the mid 1990s, Schlesinger worked at the United Nations at Habitat, the agency dealing with cities.

Schlesinger received his B.A. from Harvard University, a certificate of study from Cambridge University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He lives in New York City.

  •  October 11, 2022 
António Guterres and Vasily Nebenzya
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres started out wobbly on the Ukrainian crisis. In the days leading up to the Feb. 24 Russian attack on Ukraine, he remained on the sidelines. He was apparently unconvinced that the Russians would invade the country. Had he taken the threat of Russian troops assembled on Ukraine’s borders seriously, …
  •  June 7, 2022 
Anthony Blinken at UN Conference on Food Security
If there is a mantra for United States foreign policy under the Biden administration, it is the idea of a “rules-based international order.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a major speech delivered at the Asia Society on May 26 on US-China relations, cited the phrase or variations of it 16 times in his …
  •  May 10, 2022 
Joseph Stalin and Franklin Roosevelt at the Tehran Conference
Vladimir Putin published an essay last year stating that Russians and Ukrainians were “one people.” He wrote: “I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia.” Thirteen years earlier, in a 2008 meeting with President George W. Bush, Putin went further, telling Bush that Ukraine was “not a …
  •  April 18, 2022 
Vassily Nebenzia, Russian Ambassador to the UN
The United Nations has been widely criticized for failing to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Critics point out that Russia has vetoed every action in the Security Council to stymie or end the Russian attack. Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky even told the Council earlier this month that given its many standoffs, it might …
  •  January 25, 2022 
President Joe Biden has brought back an era of diplomatic normalcy to the United Nations in his first year in office. After the often-raucous and unpredictable four years of the Trump administration’s relations with the UN, Biden and his administration have re-embraced the organization in a concerted and measured — albeit, low-key — way. …
  •  April 11, 2021 
While the United Nations focuses fitfully on its own long string of refugee problems, President Joe Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to resolve the problems of migration at the United States-Mexico border. There are legitimate reasons for Americans to be concerned about the flood of migrants, mostly coming from Central America. But …
  •  December 16, 2020 
Joe Biden Video Address
As President-elect Joe Biden finds his footing in foreign affairs, one of his foremost challenges will be re-engaging with the United Nations. So far, he has said little about the organization, but he has just appointed a new UN envoy-in-waiting, an experienced and articulate diplomat, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and …
  •  May 6, 2020 
This fall, the United Nations will celebrate its 75th anniversary. This is a notable occasion. Most global security bodies have had short shelf lives. But the UN has shown an extraordinary durability — a tribute to how this body was conceived and fashioned during World War II by one of America’s great presidents, Franklin …

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