• Secretary-General

    Atrocity Crimes Are Being Committed by All Warring Parties in Yemen: UN Experts

    by  • August 29, 2018 • Geopolitics, Human Rights, Secretary-General, Security Council • 

    The numerous parties to the war in Yemen, which began in 2015, have perpetrated and continue to commit violations of international law by indiscriminately murdering civilians, blocking humanitarian-aid deliveries, arbitrarily detaining people and possibly torturing those imprisoned, recruiting child soldiers and raping women and men, according to a new report by a United Nations...

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    The UN Pension Board Rejects an Audit of Its Work

    by  • August 27, 2018 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, UN pension fund • 

    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...

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    Kofi Annan’s Path to Humanitarian Intervention

    by  • August 22, 2018 • Africa, Geopolitics, Secretary-General • 

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who died on Aug. 18, in Switzerland, was deeply committed to peace and the UN Charter, as well as human rights and humanitarian action. He led a debate about harmonizing these principles and rebalancing the sovereignty of countries with the rights of people within them. During his 10 years as secretary-general,...

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    Kofi Annan, 80, a Popular UN Secretary-General From Africa, Is Dead

    by  • August 18, 2018 • Africa, Secretary-General • 

    Kofi Annan, the seventh and probably the most popular and widely respected secretary-general the United Nations has ever known, died unexpectedly in Bern, Switzerland, early on Saturday morning, Aug. 18. His death, reportedly from leukemia, followed what initial reports described only as a short illness. He led the UN for two terms, from 1997...

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    Michelle Bachelet of Chile Nominated to Be Next UN Rights Commissioner

    by  • August 8, 2018 • Human Rights, Secretary-General, Women • 

    United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has nominated Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile, to become the next UN high commissioner for human rights. The nomination has been sent to the General Assembly for approval. Bachelet, who is 66, was Guterres’s top choice all along in the selection process, which began informally in the...

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    Richard Falk on Palestine, Israel and the UN in the Trump Age

    by  • July 24, 2018 • Geopolitics, Human Rights, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Secretary-General, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Richard Falk is a well-known American academic and writer who from 2008 until 2014 was the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine since 1967, a post that invariably invites controversy. For Falk, who has never been shy of taking provocative stances, the work compelled him to declare, among other things, that...

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

    by  • July 1, 2018 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    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...

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

    by  • June 26, 2018 • General Assembly, Human Rights, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 2 Comments

    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...

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    Do We Even Need the UN? An Academic’s Quest to Find the Answer

    by  • June 24, 2018 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Would the world be better off without the United Nations? The question couldn’t be more important in the age of Trump and his rejection of multilateral institutions as well as traditional allies. Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, took on this question, speaking...

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    In Hodeidah, the Norwegian Refugee Council Hangs On to Save Yemenis

    by  • June 20, 2018 • Geopolitics, Middle East, Secretary-General, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    As the attack on Hodeidah, a major port in western Yemen on the Red Sea, moves into its second week, led by the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the rest of the world seems to be sitting and watching the destruction. The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent nongovernmental organization, has...

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    The UN’s Emphasis on Prevention Could Use Lessons From the Case of Guinea

    by  • June 18, 2018 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Responsibility to Protect, Secretary-General, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Historically neglected, gender-based violence is now becoming broadly recognized as a legitimate and urgent agenda item among the United Nations member nations, notably in the UN’s most powerful forum, the Security Council. But the future of the agenda is uncertain, as priorities remain unclear and inadequate methods for preventing sexual violence against women keep...

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    The UN and #MeToo: All Forms of Abuse Must End Now

    by  • May 9, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 1 Comment

    For many years now, media attention on sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations peacekeepers cornered the UN and pushed it toward reform. Now, the #MeToo movement has put the organization — and many other major institutions across the world — on red alert. But UN insiders and supporters are wondering if the leadership’s...

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    Confronting Possible Gas Attacks in Syria, the UN Security Council Succumbs to Chaos

    by  • April 13, 2018 • Disarmament, Geopolitics, Middle East, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, Security Council, US Foreign Relations • 1 Comment

    In a week of reversals, semireversals and blatant backtracking by some of the most powerful countries on earth, diplomacy showed its head-spinning underside in the United Nations Security Council, as three Western allies — Britain, France and the United States — conveyed their outrage against Russia for its perceived role in allowing the Syrian...

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    As the UN Strives to Modernize Peacekeeping, the US Still Vows to Cut Funding

    by  • April 2, 2018 • Africa, Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    As peacekeepers sweat and toil and risk their lives in some of the world’s most lethal settings — South Sudan, Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo — it is incumbent on the United Nations and its 193 members to alleviate the suffering and deaths of troops as fatalities keep rising. In...

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    In Newark’s Portuguese Community, UN Secretary-General António Guterres Is Unknown

    by  • March 21, 2018 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 1 Comment

    NEWARK, N.J. — In the Portuguese-speaking section of New Jersey’s most populous city, virtually no one, when asked, had heard of António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations and a one-time prime minister of Portugal. At a popular restaurant on Ferry Street, the main drag nicknamed Portugal Street, one person eating his platter...

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    Who Says the UN Is Boring? Intrigue Always Abounds in Its Inner Core

    by  • March 20, 2018 • Secretary-General, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Bureaucracies do not have a great reputation, and the United Nations bureaucracy is no exception. They are seen as inefficient, cumbersome and rigid, adjectives that are also routinely associated with the UN Secretariat. At best considered a “necessary evil,” bureaucracies tend to attract scorn rather than analysis. The UN Secretariat, however, is different. Although...

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    In an Unusual Move, the UN Security Council Is Heading to Sweden for a Retreat

    by  • March 19, 2018 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, Security Council • 

    The United Nations Security Council, perhaps needing a change of scenery from its chamber overlooking the East River in New York, is traveling to the southern Swedish coast in April for an annual retreat whose theme this year is “a new narrative on peace operations.” The retreat will be held in a newly renovated...

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    The UN Secretary-General Pushes Ahead on Peacekeeping Reform

    by  • March 16, 2018 • Peace and Security, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    Responding to a December request from the General Assembly for details on how he proposes to staff and pay for sweeping changes in political affairs and peacekeeping at the United Nations, Secretary-General António Guterres has drafted a 50-page explanation for member states to consider. The General Assembly had agreed in principle to his original...

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    Women Descend on the UN, Riding on the Heels of #TimesUp

    by  • March 12, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Secretary-General, Women • 2 Comments

    As women across the world battle systemic harassment and worse abuses for merely being female, the United Nations has opened its annual gathering of women in one of its biggest conferences of the year. This time, the 12-day meeting focuses on the status of rural women, but since it follows closely on the heels...

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    A Sexual Assault Claim at Unaids Suggests a Cover-Up by Its Management

    by  • February 14, 2018 • Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General • 

    As allegations of sexual abuse and harassment in the offices, field operations and peacekeeping missions continue to plague the United Nations, a case that has recently come to light reveals that in 2016 a woman who worked for Unaids accused a high-level official of the entity of sexual assault. The woman’s claim has been...

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