GOINGS-ON

A UN Ensemble Whose Music Radiates Peace

The quiet work of diplomacy at the United Nations headquarters often makes for a dry atmosphere. But after sundown, it’s a whole different scene, thanks to a robust after-work culture of clubs — much as you would find at an American high school — under the umbrella of the UN Staff Recreation Council. Staff members … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Heather Nauert, State Dept. Spokesperson, May Be Next UN Ambassador

President Trump has apparently offered Heather Nauert the United States ambassadorship to the United Nations, according to numerous media reports. She would succeed Nikki Haley, who announced her resignation in early October, saying she wanted to work in the private sector. Trump said this week that he would announce Nauert’s nomination soon. Nauert, 48, is … 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

GOINGS-ON

A German Diplomat, Wolfgang Ischinger, Is Honored for Disarmament Work

A prestigious prize related to nuclear disarmament that has been given to Americans and Russians in the past has been awarded to a German, Wolfgang Ischinger, for the first time. The Nunn-Lugar Award for Promoting Nuclear Security honored Ischinger, a 71-year-old former diplomat, at the annual Munich Security Conference this month. The prize “recognizes individuals … Read more

GOINGS-ON

The Academic Council on the UN System Moves to Britain

The Academic Council on the United Nations System, founded in the United States in 1987 and housed in a series of North American universities since then, announced on June 15 that it would move in July from its current base in Canada to the Center for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University in … Read more

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The UN Formalizes Its Partnership With Sant’Egidio, the Rome-Based Mediator

The United Nations has formalized its relationship with the Community of Sant’Egidio, the highly regarded Catholic membership organization based in Rome that has been focusing on conflict prevention and resolution, primarily in Africa, for 30 years. A community of 60,000 laypeople founded in 1968, Sant’Egidio has been working with the UN on mediation prospects in … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Head Since 2011, Dies Suddenly at 68

The death on June 4 of Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, and a Nigerian, was not only a personal tragedy and a shock to the staff of the fund but also another blow for an agency that had recently lost all its United States financial support. Osotimehin, a physician, … Read more

GOINGS-ON

The New Spokesman for Nikki Haley, US Envoy to the UN, Comes From Fox News

Jonathan Wachtel is the new director of communications and spokesman for Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations. Wachtel will be working with Haley and the rest of the US mission on its policy issues, among other activities. That includes social media outreach. Haley’s Twitter page, where she has posted news on … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Filippo Grandi of Italy to Lead the UN Refugee Agency Amid Continued Crisis

Filippo Grandi of Italy has been selected by Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, to become the 11th UN High Commissioner for Refugees, a post based in Geneva. Grandi will be officially voted into office by the UN General Assembly next week. Grandi replaces António Guterres of Portugal, 66, who has been high commissioner of … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Gender Balance Improves in Latest Major Staff Appointments at UN

New high-level appointments made by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reflect more influence by Denmark in the world body, including the recent election of a Dane, Mogens Lykketoft, as the next president of the General Assembly, starting in September for one year. Two other Danes are taking prestigious posts: Michael Moller will lead the UN … Read more

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Recent Senior Appointments at the UN Show Stubborn Gender Gap

A roundup of new high-level appointments announced by the United Nations in the last three months runs the usual gamut from special envoys to new heads of agencies. These new senior appointments, made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, show a continuing preponderance of men over women, with the latest roundup revealing a startling ratio of 18 to … Read more

GOINGS-ON

West and Central Africa Bureau Chief for The New York Times Heads to Paris

The New York Times is sending its bureau chief for West and Central Africa, Adam Nossiter, to the Paris bureau. Nossiter, who has been based in Dakar, Senegal, since 2009, is heading to France soon. His replacement in Dakar has not been announced. West and Central Africa play a major role in the field operations … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Angela Kane Is Leaving the UN in a Political Shuffle

Angela Kane, one of the United Nations’ most respected and experienced officials and the lead negotiator in 2014 in persuading Syria to give up its chemical weapons, has announced unexpectedly that she will be leaving the organization. She has been the UN’s High Representative for Disarmament since March 2012. Reports are circulating around the UN … Read more

GOINGS-ON

New UN Senior Personnel Appointments Show Gap in Gender Parity

Important new senior personnel appointments announced so far in 2015 by the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, range from peacekeeping operations to trade and development, with other candidates named to deal with preventing tuberculosis worldwide and eradicating Ebola in West Africa. The nationalities of the new appointees include an Indian, a Bulgarian, three Americans, a … Read more

GOINGS-ON

The US Names a Negotiator for the Next Set of Development Goals

Tony Pipa has been named the principal United States negotiator for the United Nations post-2015 development agenda, also known as the Sustainable Development Goals, which are being written and finalized this year to replace the soon-expiring Millennium Development Goals. The appointment reflects US efforts to become more fully engaged in the process of UN member … Read more

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A Haitian-Canadian to Lead Global French-Speaking Group

Michaëlle Jean, a former governor-general of Canada and chancellor of the University of Ottawa, has been named the first Canadian and the first woman to lead the Francophonie, an association of countries where French is a national language or is widely spoken. Canadian media reported that Jean was supported actively for the position by Prime … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Another Veteran UN Diplomat, Staffan de Mistura, Is Named Syrian Envoy

Staffan de Mistura is the new United Nations special envoy for Syria, replacing Lakhdar Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat who resigned in May after nearly two years of rising frustration trying to broker a peace deal between the Syrian government and the main opposition group in the country. Despite formal negotiations that were convened by the … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Major New Staff Appointments at the UN and Departures

Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary-general, has appointed at least a dozen new people to high-level positions — including five women — primarily in Africa in the last few months, while the organization also loses some executives. Three new force commanders have been named for various peacekeeping missions as well. At Unicef, Anthony Lake, an … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein of Jordan Nominated for Top Human-Rights Job

The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has told the UN General Assembly that he intends to appoint Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan as the next UN high commissioner for human rights, replacing Navi Pillay, whose term, her second in the post, ends Aug. 31. The General Assembly must approve the nomination with a … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A Norwegian Is Appointed the First Woman to Lead a UN Peacekeeping Force

General Kristin Lund of Norway

A Norwegian, Maj. Gen. Kristin Lund, has been named the force commander of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus. General Lund is the first woman to serve in the force commander position in a UN peacekeeping operation. She replaces Maj. Gen. Chao Liu of China in August 2014. The operation in Cyprus is considered … Read more

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