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General Assembly

  •  September 24, 2013 
Hassan Rouhani
The annual United Nations debate of the 68th General Assembly got off to a contentious start on Sept. 24 with pointedly worded but divergent speeches by Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, and Barack Obama, the president of the United States. The two countries traditionally kick off the annual debate, held every September in New York …
  •  April 4, 2013 
Vuk Jeremic, president of UN General Assembly, left; Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata, Italy's foreign affairs minister; Cesare Maria Ragaglini (center), ambassador of Italy to the UN.
Last week, former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced plans to move to New York to head the International Rescue Committee, a leading humanitarian organization. In his new position, Miliband is likely to be a powerful voice in debates over crises such as that in Syria. His decision may have inspired some envy at …
  •  April 3, 2013 
Peter Woolcott, Australia ambassador to the UN
The momentous adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations has been greeted with much enthusiasm worldwide but also strong skepticism as the reality of carrying out its aim — regulating international transfers of conventional arms — sets in. “Effectiveness will be slow as it comes into force,” Peter Woolcott, the permanent …
  •  February 25, 2013 
Ireland's representatives at IPU Main Assembly meeting 2012
Armed with a five-year strategy to strengthen the influence of national legislatures around the world, the Inter-Parliamentary Union is supporting international gatherings of legislators to discuss their role in fostering democracy, good government and effective development policies beyond the 2015 target date of the Millennium Development Goals. The next meeting, with parliamentarians from Asia, …
  •  February 19, 2013 
The Mitrovica Bridge in North Kosovo is an iconic symbol of Kosovo's division. South of the Ibar River live Albanian Kosovars, while the land north of the Ibar is occupied by Serbian communities.
Thousands of people packed the streets of Pristina this past weekend, celebrating as Kosovo marked five years of independence. But in the municipalities of northern Kosovo, few people were rejoicing. Thirteen years after Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader whose nationalist crusade set off the Balkan wars, withdrew his army from Kosovo, and three years …
  •  December 23, 2012 
Young girls in Sierra Leone about to be circumcised
Only four days before Christmas, when many minds were fixated on the year-end holidays, two important steps were taken almost unnoticed to combat female genital mutilation globally, raising hopes that millions of girls might be spared the excruciatingly painful and harmful yet persistent practice. In what Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called “historic” UN action, the …
  •  December 14, 2012 
Ban Ki-moon of the UN
This year, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has so far appointed 55 people to high-level positions. Twelve of the appointees, nearly 22 percent, are women, filling roles like the special representative for children and armed conflict and the executive director of the World Food Program. Some of the people Ban appointed include Zainab Hawa …

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