The Security Council Goes Silent as the Secretary-General Opens Up

United Nations Security Council Virtual Meeting

For the coronavirus outbreak, UN-Scripted, our podcast series, is ramping up its coverage by offering a bonus episode this week. This time, we look at how the United Nations Security Council is slowly restarting its program of work but offering few details on its operations to the media and all the countries that don’t sit … Read more The Security Council Goes Silent as the Secretary-General Opens Up

The UN’s War Plan Against the Coronavirus as It Attacks the Globe

Secretary-General António Guterres holds a virtual press briefing

The coronavirus officially hit the United Nations at its New York City headquarters on March 12, when the first reported case was announced by the Philippines mission to the UN that one of its diplomats had Covid-19 and was recovering. Twenty-four hours later, the UN announced that its personnel in New York — with exceptions … Read more The UN’s War Plan Against the Coronavirus as It Attacks the Globe

In a Crisis, Does the UN Have a Leadership Succession Plan?

António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, continues to go into the UN headquarters building in New York City to work — even as Covid-19 races throughout the region. “Right now, Guterres is probably the safest man on the planet,” said a former UN official familiar with the security protocol. “He’s working at an empty UN, … Read more In a Crisis, Does the UN Have a Leadership Succession Plan?

The UN in New York Shuts Physically as Most Personnel Telecommute: Updates

The coronavirus has officially hit the United Nations at its New York City headquarters. On Thursday, March 12, the first reported case was confirmed by a diplomat with the Philippines mission to the UN, who said that a Filipino colleague had tested positive for Covid-19 and had notified the “UN medical director’s office.” The UN … Read more The UN in New York Shuts Physically as Most Personnel Telecommute: Updates

Amid the Coronavirus Threat, the UN Tries Out a (Cyber) Security Council Meeting

The United Nations Security Council ran a secret cybermeeting simulation on March 9 to prepare for a possible lockdown of the UN building and the rest of New York City, amid the coronavirus outbreak. So far, the UN is trying to address the epidemic at its headquarters by asking diplomats to meet offsite a few … Read more Amid the Coronavirus Threat, the UN Tries Out a (Cyber) Security Council Meeting

UN Chief Condemns Male Privilege as Many Nations Defy Such Bashing

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

With International Women’s Day, March 8, on the horizon, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres blasted the intractable power of patriarchy, the cause of overwhelming gender injustice and an abuse of historical proportions, in his view. “Just as slavery and colonialism were a stain on previous centuries, women’s inequality should shame us all in the twenty-first,” … Read more UN Chief Condemns Male Privilege as Many Nations Defy Such Bashing

The UN Moves Toward ‘Climate Neutrality,’ but Is It Fast Enough?

The United Nations system has instituted some important changes toward becoming what it calls climate neutral. Some employees and former employees, however, think the UN could be doing much more to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint globally and to be a stronger role model in mitigating climate change. After all, Secretary-General António Guterres recently said … Read more The UN Moves Toward ‘Climate Neutrality,’ but Is It Fast Enough?

Will the UN-75 Declaration Signify More Than a Birthday Party?

WASHINGTON, D.C. — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres used his annual State of the World speech to the General Assembly last month to outline his 2020 priorities. He stressed four threats to progress in the 21st century: growing geostrategic tensions and mass violence in fragile states, creating an unprecedented refugee crisis; the climate catastrophe; rising mistrust in … Read more Will the UN-75 Declaration Signify More Than a Birthday Party?

Melissa Fleming Wants to Change the UN’s Public Image. Can She Do It?

Melissa Fleming, the new head of the UN’s Department of Global Communications

The United Nations turns 75 this year, all year long. As its purpose is being questioned by some of its biggest donor nations, including the United States, the UN has a new person to reshape its public image through its global communications office, starting with how it presents its news. PassBlue obtained an exclusive copy of … Read more Melissa Fleming Wants to Change the UN’s Public Image. Can She Do It?

The Topic Was the UN Charter, but the Backdrop Was a Just-Averted US-Iran War

Six days after the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani of Iran by the United States and high-wire threats sent between President Trump and top officials of Iran, the 15 members of the United Nations Security Council and other nations finally had a chance to speak about the fight in an open forum. As fears … Read more The Topic Was the UN Charter, but the Backdrop Was a Just-Averted US-Iran War

The Moment to End Turkey’s Other War, in Cyprus, Is Fading Fast

Anywhere from the capital of Nicosia, day and night, Greek Cypriots can see a giant flag painted into the mountains in the north, in a separate region that calls itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is an area that is recognized only by Turkey and isolated internationally. From the Greek side of the … Read more The Moment to End Turkey’s Other War, in Cyprus, Is Fading Fast

The $67 Billion UN Pension Fund: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Since 2014, when staff members of the United Nations Pension Fund blew the whistle on serious mismanagement in its secretariat, a change in leadership has been made on both sides — assets and liabilities — of the $67.4 billion fund. Yet the turmoil persists. Stabilizing the fund’s management and investment decisions has been mandated by … Read more The $67 Billion UN Pension Fund: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Stalling the UN Report on Dag Hammarskjold’s Death Is Regrettable

Fifty-eight years ago, Dag Hammarskjold, the United Nations secretary-general at the time, set off on a perilous journey across the African heartland. Taking off at 4:51 P.M. from Léopoldville, in the capital of the newly independent Congo, he was due to meet the leader of the secessionist Katanga province. The venue chosen was Ndola, a … Read more Stalling the UN Report on Dag Hammarskjold’s Death Is Regrettable

Where’s Kelly Knight Craft? She Is Neither in Ottawa Nor at the UN

Donald Trump must have known just what he was getting into when he named Kelly Knight Craft to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations. But does Knight Craft understand the humiliating position the president is putting her into? Knight Craft, the soft-spoken wife of a billionaire coal executive from Kentucky, demonstrates scant … Read more Where’s Kelly Knight Craft? She Is Neither in Ottawa Nor at the UN

Kashmir May Be an Old Crisis at the UN, but the World Is Now Riveted

A familiar refrain often heard when the burgeoning crisis in Kashmir rises to the top of the news is that this is an old story from long ago; we have moved on. The United Nations is discovering, however, that there is less tolerance for indifference since India’s decrees on Aug. 5-6 to singlehandedly remake the … Read more Kashmir May Be an Old Crisis at the UN, but the World Is Now Riveted

Kashmiri Muslims in Danger as Hindu Politicians Cancel Their Rights

It has always been relatively easy for Indian governments from both the political left and right to keep Kashmir from the eyes of the world. At no time has this been more obvious than now. Landlocked, under the guns of half a million Indian troops and paramilitaries, cut off sporadically from all modern communications and … Read more Kashmiri Muslims in Danger as Hindu Politicians Cancel Their Rights

The UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Is in Hot Water, Again

Pierre Krahenbuhl

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which has been undermined by a sharp cut in United States contributions, has been embroiled in a scandal that threatens to jeopardize its very future. A report from the agency’s Ethics Office has found “credible and corroborated” evidence that the senior management of Unrwa engaged in “sexual misconduct, … Read more The UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Is in Hot Water, Again

The Goal of Gender Parity in the UN: Proving That Women Are Equal to Men

Ana Menéndez is a former Spanish diplomat who oversees the gender parity strategy at the United Nations, working directly for Secretary-General António Guterres for a year and a half now on one of his main priorities at the institution. Menéndez is tasked with the role — besides being responsible for overall UN policy — after a … Read more The Goal of Gender Parity in the UN: Proving That Women Are Equal to Men

The Elusive Truth About the Death of Dag Hammarskjold and My Father

My clock radio clicked on. The morning news bulletin announced that United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane was missing. It was Sept. 18, 1961. I was 16. Over the next hours, my mother and sisters and I learned that Mr. Hammarskjöld, accompanied by Dad and 14 others, had flown from Leopoldville, in the Congo, to … Read more The Elusive Truth About the Death of Dag Hammarskjold and My Father

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 The UN’s Gender Parity Goals: The Backlash Begins

Don't Miss a Story:

Subscribe to PassBlue

Sign up to get the smartest news on the UN by email, joining readers across the globe.​

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously​