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

Pulling Back the Curtain on the US Mission to the UN

Vice President Pence at the United Nations Security Council on April 10, 2019

The next United States ambassador to the United Nations, which could be Kelly Knight Craft, will arrive at a US mission to the UN that is far diminished in size and stature than the one her immediate predecessor, Nikki Haley, inherited. In the last month, numerous former staff members and high-level personnel from the US … 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

WORLDVIEWS

How Will Britain’s Role Change in the UN as Brexit Brews?

Vassily Nebenzia, Russia's ambassador to the UN, and Karen Pierce, the British ambassador, right, in the Security Council

LONDON — The looming departure of Britain from the European Union will have a significant effect on the country’s influence as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Even with a possible delay in the final Brexit move, Britain will have to navigate the 15-member Council in a new way that could increasingly … Read more

 

GOINGS-ON

Ambassador Kelley Currie Is Leaving the US Mission to the UN

Kelley Currie, an ambassador who represents the United States on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and is the alternate representative of the US to the General Assembly, is leaving her post at the US mission to the UN in New York, she told people at a reception on Jan. 31, 2019. … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s Gender Parity Goals: The Backlash Begins

One year into the United Nations’ new strategy for gender parity among staff members at all levels, a gendered backlash has emerged, even as parity has been achieved at the highest echelons of the world body. Political will from UN leaders beyond the secretary-general and member states is needed to ensure that where the UN … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Trump Names a UN Critic to the Organization’s Crucial Contributions Panel

Brett Schaefer, a fellow in international regulatory affairs at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative policy research organization in Washington, D.C., has been nominated by the White House to serve as a member on the United Nations committee on contributions, which advises the General Assembly on apportioning dues that countries pay to the UN’s budget. The … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Reviving Multilateralism on the Road to 2020

As humanity struggles with mass violence, mass migrations and the widening effect of climate change, the international system inaugurated nearly 75 years ago to manage such global problems seems to be crumbling. Over the last year, the United States has turned its back on the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Paris climate accord. Last … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

Nations Face an Era of Chaos as Trump Offends the World at the UN

The UN audience could only gasp when Donald Trump made his stormy debut in the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 as president of the United States. This year they laughed in his face. The gap between the US and the rest of the world has demonstrably widened under the Trump administration, and this phenomenon … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

At the UN, Trump Declares: America Embraces ‘Patriotism’

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, arrived late for the opening day of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25. His speech began on an awkward note as he elicited laughter from the world audience for boasting about his accomplishments. During his speech, he also aggressively rejected the global approach to … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Why Isn’t Canada’s Trudeau Speaking at the Main UN Forum This Year?

MONTREAL — When he took office in 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised, among other things, to bring Canada back as a leader on the world’s stage. “Canada is back,” he said after signing the Paris accord on climate change, in 2016. He addressed the last two United Nations General Assembly since then, but he … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The UN Shudders as ‘Trump Week’ Closes In

A year after his bombastic debut at the United Nations as president of the United States, Donald Trump returns on Monday, Sept. 24, to lead a US effort to spur global action to stem the narcotics and opioid plagues. Could the US be asking the UN for help this time? The morning meeting on drugs … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

Kashmir’s Long Tragedy Rears Its Head in the News and at the UN

In his final months in office as United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the outspoken Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein did what no former holder of that office would or could do: he issued a blistering report on Indian abuses in the disputed territory of Kashmir. It is a story that Indian governments have long tried … Read more

The UN Pension Board Rejects an Audit of Its Work

The United Nations Pension Board’s recent meeting in Rome ended with a record number of disagreements and much acrimony. The chief cause of distress was the results of the internal governance audit requested last December by the General Assembly. At the meeting, held July 29 to Aug. 3, board members directed much of their angst … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Once Again, Haley Accuses Others for US Failure at Rights Council Reform

In the middle of last week, when the Trump administration was still unable to say how it “lost” more than 2,500 children torn from their asylum-seeking parents at the border with Mexico, Nikki Haley, the United States envoy to the United Nations, was telling a different story to a sympathetic group in Washington, D.C. “We … Read more

UN Budget Committee O.K.’s Major Reform of the UN, as Peacekeeping Is Squeezed

The United Nations has been given the green light from its 193 member nations to embark on a major overhaul of its operations, based on a trio of reform proposals put forth by Secretary-General António Guterres in the last year and recently agreed on by delegates. The changes — primarily affecting the world body’s peace … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Secretary-General’s Human-Rights Crisis Can Be Solved

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organization. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realizing … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Why Israel Dropped Out of the UN Security Council Race: Not Enough Votes

From the start, it was a closely watched contest pitting Germany, Belgium and Israel against one another for their regional bloc’s two seats in the next term on the United Nations Security Council. Israel has never held a seat on the Council, and as it celebrates its 70-year membership in the UN in 2018, the country … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

Much ado — during 25 years of fruitless negotiations — has been made about the need for the United Nations General Assembly to achieve more equitable geographical representation in the UN Security Council. Article 23(1) of the UN Charter, however, also requires the Assembly, in electing the nonpermanent members of the Council, to pay due … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley’s Trip to Central America: Moving Closer to US Friends but Not on Migration

Guatemala and Honduras were two of the nine countries that Nikki Haley invited to her “friends of the US” party in January for casting a no vote on a United Nations resolution negating the decision by President Trump to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. (The resolution was passed overwhelmingly, but countries that abstained from … Read more

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