GOINGS-ON

Three World Bank Nominees, Including an American

World Bank nominee

With only hours to spare before the deadline on Friday for nominating the next president of the World Bank, President Obama announced a surprise choice: Jim Yong Kim, the 52-year-old president of Dartmouth College and a global expert on HIV-AIDS. The World Bank is part of the United Nations system and its members have until April … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Annan Assembles a Veteran Team for Syria

Guehenno

Kofi Annan, with the Security Council now fully behind his mediation mission in Syria, has gathered a group of experienced former United Nations officials and diplomats to work with him as he seeks the end of hostilities and, ultimately, a political settlement in Damascus. The latest addition to the former secretary-general’s team is Jean-Marie Guéhenno, … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Ban’s Latest High-Level Appointments

head of UN disarmament

Three new UN under secretaries-general have been chosen by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his reshuffling of top posts for his second five-year term: Maged Abdelaziz, Egypt’s UN ambassador since 2005, as special adviser on Africa; Angela Kane of Germany as high representative for disarmament affairs; and Sven Alkalaj, a former foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Jan Eliasson Named Deputy Secretary-General

Jan Eliasson Addresses Security Council Meeting on Sudan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has chosen Jan Eliasson, a former Swedish foreign minister with years of experience as a key United Nations mediator and humanitarian relief director, to be his new deputy secretary-general. Eliasson, 71, was twice ambassador to the United States and is well known is Washington. He takes office on July 1. Eliasson’s appointment … Read more

 

GOINGS-ON

Proposed US Foreign Aid Shows Slight Increase

UN and guinea-bissau

In his recently released 2013 budget proposal, President Obama has increased funds for foreign aid to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development, but the 1.2 percent rise over 2012 figures is still less than 1 percent of the entire federal budget. The total amount proposed for foreign aid is $51.6 … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Graziano da Silva, New in Post, to Focus on Hunger and Rural Poor

FAO chief

José Graziano da Silva took up his three-year post as the new director-general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, based in Rome, in January. The agency, which was founded in 1945, is tasked with eradicating hunger worldwide, particularly in rural areas. Graziano da Silva was the agency’s assistant director-general and regional representative for … Read more

GOINGS-ON

New Judges and a Presidential Vote at The Hague

ICC fact-finding mission

The International Criminal Court will swear in six new judges on March 9 and elect, by absolute majority, a new president of the court and two new vice presidents. The court’s 18 judges will vote in the election, with several most likely to run for the three-year presidency themselves, though the incumbent, Judge Sang-Hyun Song … Read more

GOINGS-ON

In Their Own Words: A UN Oral History Project Moves Online

What goes on inside the United Nations as important issues are hashed out by officials and diplomats is rarely seen or heard by outsiders – consider the tense negotiations on Syria right now, done behind closed doors. But earlier this month, the opening of an archive of interviews with both insiders and others who have … Read more

 

GOINGS-ON

Changes at the UN’s Upper Levels

The United Nations World Food Program has named Ertharin Cousin of the United States to replace Josette Sheeran, also American, when Sheeran’s five-year term as executive director ends in April. And Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, based in Geneva, has been nominated for a second five-year term by the agency’s … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A Slovakian in the Economic and Social Council Presidency

Milos Koterec, permanent representative of Slovakia to the United Nations, was elected president of the Economic and Social Council earlier this month in its first organizational meeting this year. Koterec, 39, succeeds Lazarous Kampambwe of Zambia, after serving as the senior vice president of the council last year. The council is the main forum in … Read more

GOINGS-ON

R2P Monitor, a New Digest, Details Populations in Danger

The Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect has released its first issue of a bimonthly digest, the R2P Monitor, reporting on populations in countries that could be at risk to mass-atrocity crimes. The mission of the center, part of the CUNY’s Ralphe Bunche Institute for International Studies, is to enable the responsibility to protect … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Getting to Know the Persian Gulf

American officials now rank Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz as dangerous to American interests — or even more so in the short term — than Iran’s nuclear program. Where is this place, and why has it risen to the top of Washington’s concerns? Answers to such questions can be found in a … Read more

 

GOINGS-ON

The International Court’s New Prosecutor

Fatou Bensouda has been named the new prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, nominated by consensus by the Assembly of States Parties, which manages the court. She begins her nine-year term on June 16, 2012. Bensouda replaces Luis Moreno-Ocampo, an Argentine who seeks the spotlight and has served as the court’s first and only prosecutor, … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Top US Official at the UN to Leave Post

B. Lynn Pascoe, an American diplomat who has served as under secretary-general for political affairs during Ban Ki-moon’s first term, is leaving that key position early in the new year, as the secretary-general reshapes his senior team for his second five-year term beginning on Jan.1. The first announcement of pending changes at the top of … Read more

GOINGS-ON

A New Envoy, Slovakian, Heads to Afghanistan

Jan Kubis, a 59-year-old former Slovakian foreign minister, has been named the UN’s new special representative to Afghanistan in an appointment announced Nov. 23 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Kubis replaces Staffan de Mistura, an Italian-Swedish diplomat whose term began in March 2010 and ends on Dec. 31. Kubis will also be head of the UN … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Unesco Honors Five Women for Scientific Research

Scientists from Australia, Mexico, South Africa, Britain and the United States working in research fields connected to health issues have been chosen the 2012 winners of the Women in Science Award given jointly by Unesco and the L’Oreal cosmetics company. The scientists who were chosen, each to receive a $100,000 prize, were selected by an … Read more

 

GOINGS-ON

There’s Another Court in The Hague

Government suppression of revolts in several Arab nations and violence and rights abuses in some parts of Africa have drawn increased attention to the International Criminal Court, the first such permanent tribunal created to try individuals for war crimes, genocide and other gross violations. Less attention is paid to another permanent court in The Hague, … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Tibetan Buddhists Mistreated by Chinese, Rights Experts Say

Six United Nations experts on human rights issues have faulted China for what they call “severe human rights restrictions” on Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in Sichuan Province, where monks and nuns have been protesting, some setting themselves on fire. The monasteries are outside Tibet proper, where Buddhist opposition has simmered for decades after a Chinese military … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Thailand Gets UN Help in Tracking Flood Crisis

For decades, Southeast Asia has been seeking better systems to monitor and deal with natural disasters, a subject that got a lot of renewed attention after the Asian tsunami in the waning days of 2004 caused more than 275,000 confirmed deaths in the Indian Ocean region, 4,800 in Thailand alone, including a grandson of the … Read more

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