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The UN’s 75th Birthday Is Here; Trump’s Not Coming to UNGA; What He Might Say Virtually

The most important week of the year at the United Nations has arrived, though expectations are low, given that the annual opening debate of the General Assembly is being held virtually because of Covid-19. No global leaders are coming to the debate; no wine-laden luncheons or “bilateral” meetings for them are scheduled; and no reporters…

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Cooperate on Climate Now or We’re Doomed, UN Secretary-General Warns

The United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres, spoke extensively with Covering Climate Now, a consortium of hundreds of international media, including PassBlue. This interview, held recently with Agence France-Presse, focuses on the dangers of major countries and investors clinging to the use of fossil fuels and not moving fast enough toward renewable energy, as well as…

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Beijing, 25 Years Later: Are Women Better Off?

Twenty-five years ago, the United Nations hosted the largest gathering of women (and more than a few good men) in its 50-year history. Some 17,000 participants — among them, official government delegates, representatives of accredited nongovernmental organizations, international civil servants and members of the press — registered for the Fourth World Conference on Women in…

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The Unifil Peacekeeping Mandate: Kicking the Southern Lebanon Can Down the Road

On Aug. 28, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to renew its peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, called Unifil, for another year. This unanimity, however, masked what had been a series of heated informal discussions on the nature of Unifil and the interpretation of its mandate. The United States, essentially representing Israel, threatened to…

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India’s Reliance on Fossil Fuels, Casting Light on UN Counterterrorism Ops, US Asylum Seekers Stuck in Mexico

US asylum seekers pushed back into Mexico in unprecedented numbers amid Covid-19; an investigation into the mysterious work of the richly financed UN counterterrorism operations; chastising India for its support of fossil fuels; and a UN envoy’s assessment of the new United Arab Emirates-Israeli pact. Greetings from This Week @UN, our summary highlighting the most important…

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Throwing Light on the UN’s Counterterrorism World, Funded Mainly By the Saudis and Qataris

For years, Saudi Arabia has been playing a heavy-handed role in the work of United Nations counterterrorism through its financial contributions, even as the country’s own history of funding of terrorism is problematic. Some officials who work or have worked in the UN’s counterterrorism operations denounce their lack of transparency and shudder at how the…

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