WORLDVIEWS

Advice to António Guterres: A Leaner UN Could Be a Better UN

GENEVA — Whether or not he is a fan of Chinese characters, António Guterres will have to discover the double meaning of a crisis as opportunity. United Nations corridors on First Avenue in New York are buzzing with anxiety about the possibility of impending cuts in funding from the United States, with hints from a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

UN Secretary-General Guterres: Please Protect Our Pension Fund

United Nations staff members and retirees, concerned for many years about low-investment performance by our $54 billion pension fund and unprecedented delays in benefit payments, welcomed the adoption last December of a General Assembly resolution that allayed worries about attempts to privatize the fund. The resolution reaffirmed that UN financial rules and regulations remain the governing … Read more

How’s He Doing? António Guterres’s First Month as UN Secretary-General

António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general

Thirty-two days in office as United Nations secretary-general, António Guterres spoke extensively to the media for the first time at UN headquarters, on Feb. 1. Indicative of the chaos gripping many parts of the world as a result of new White House actions, Guterres might be forgiven for waiting a month to address the media … Read more

The UN’s Ninth Secretary-General Takes Office Amid Loud Calls for Change

António Guterres, the new United Nations secretary-general, was chosen on merit and takes over the UN during an especially turbulent period and after a decade of low-key leadership and low staff morale. The “first” UN of governments includes the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council (P-5) that are stoking conflict, flouting international humanitarian law, … Read more

António Guterres, Sounding Priestlike, Arrives for Work as UN Secretary-General

He is no longer the “next SG,” as Twitter posts have been referring in the last few months to António Guterres, the man who was selected by the United Nations Security Council in October to lead the world body as the ninth secretary-general. Guterres, a 67-year-old former prime minister of Portugal who also managed the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At Swearing-In, António Guterres Pledges Gender Parity at the UN

António Guterres was sworn in as the ninth United Nations secretary-general on Dec. 12 in a low-key ceremony played out in the General Assembly Hall, featuring moving tributes by ambassadors to the 10 years that Ban Ki-moon has led the UN, a job he hands to Guterres on Jan. 1. Among other remarks, Guterres pledged … Read more

António Guterres, 67, Picked to Become the Next UN Secretary-General

António Guterres

António Guterres, a former Socialist prime minister of Portugal and until recently head of the United Nations refugee agency, has been selected by the Security Council to become the next secretary-general of the UN, starting a five-year term on Jan. 1. The decision is subject to two formal votes: one confirming acclamation in the council … Read more

UN’s Newest Vote to Pick the Next Secretary-General? Guterres Wins Again

António Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal who most recently was the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, once more dominated the latest straw poll held by the UN Security Council on selecting the next secretary-general. The five-year term starts Jan. 1, 2017, when Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, leaves office. The fifth poll, an … Read more

Ban Ki-moon’s Turbulent UN Years, in His Own Words

Ban Ki-moon receives the Seoul Peace Prize in South Korea on Oct. 29, 2012, with his wife, Yoo Soon-taek.

With a cease-fire in Syria collapsing around him and bombs destroying precious relief supplies intended for the hungry, traumatized survivors of relentless government attacks on the once grand city of Aleppo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used his last speech to open a UN General Assembly debating season to lash out at the government of … Read more

Guterres Leads Latest Poll for UN Secretary-General Again, but It May Not Matter

The latest Security Council straw poll pointing to the selection of the next secretary-general of the United Nations happened on Sept. 9, with the results leaving António Guterres of Portugal still the front-runner ever since the informal, anonymous balloting began in the Security Council in July. The latest poll is the fourth such vote; the … Read more

What Do UN Staff Members Want From the Next Secretary-General?

While the United Nations approaches a major change at the top in selecting a new secretary-general for the next five years and conflicts across the globe continue to erupt, criticisms of UN management seem only to grow. The topic of management skills of the next secretary-general came up repeatedly during the public hearings held by … Read more

Only 1 Woman in Top-3 Winners Again in UN Secretary-General Vote

With 11 candidates left in the race this year for United Nations secretary-general, the Security Council held its second straw poll on Aug. 5, showing a slight shift in levels of support by the council’s 15 members, but placing António Guterres of Portugal at the top again. Yet once more, only one woman, this time … Read more

Men Voting for Men: UN Security Council Holds Its First Straw Poll to Pick a Secretary-General

United Nations Secretary General Straw Poll Webcast

The first straw poll to test the support of Security Council members for candidates vying to become the next United Nations secretary-general occurred Thursday morning. The vote took place amid strong interest by global media who report on the world body as well as the dozen candidates, the UN’s 193 member states and people who … Read more

Getting to Know the UN Secretary-General Candidates Better: A Wrap-Up of Two New York Forums

When it comes to the United Nations, the word “debate” takes on a civilized bearing, with no relation to heated contests among many sides. Over two nights this week at different settings in New York, UN secretary-general candidates campaigning to fill the shoes of Ban Ki-moon in January 2017 debated publicly. One event, held at … Read more

Less Politics and More Transparency: What New Leadership Will Mean for the UN

In a year when people who follow the United Nations are focusing on the election of the next secretary-general, the center of early action in that election has moved for the first time in history from the secretive deliberations of the Security Council to an unprecedented open campaign in the General Assembly, which normally has only … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

A Woman, a Bombast and a Socialist: The UN and US Elections

The major contenders for one of the highest public offices in the world include the first possible female candidate for the position; a slightly aggressive (and that’s what his friends say about him) surprise candidate; and a socialist who’s not really supposed to be there but has garnered enough support to possibly be a contender. … Read more

New Candidates for Secretary-General Make Their Cases at the UN

The field of nine candidates campaigning formally to become the next United Nations secretary-general grew by two on June 7, when Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia’s foreign minister, and Susana Malcorra, who holds the same position in Argentina, spoke in public sessions lasting more than two hours each, taking questions from UN member delegates and civil society … Read more

The Field Grows and Shifts in the Race for UN Secretary-General

The second crop of campaigners making a pitch to replace Ban Ki-moon in January is now being assembled, and it looks like the first declared candidate on the list may well shake up the race. She is Susana Malcorra, Argentina’s foreign minister and a well-respected, internationally known former United Nations official. The next round of … Read more

Fixing UN Peacekeeping Operations: The World’s Most Complicated Army

It has been almost a year since a sweeping assessment of United Nations peacekeeping operations by experts recommended significant changes from top to bottom: a reformed hierarchy in New York and greater coordination and discipline among military contingents in ever-more dangerous missions around the world. Few of their substantive ideas have been adopted. As outrage … Read more

UN Puts on Big To-Do, Amid Tight Security, for Signing of New Climate Agreement

The United Nations threw a large and lavish party at its headquarters in New York on Earth Day, the opening day of the signing ceremony for the world’s new climate agreement. About 170 heads of state and government representatives came to inscribe their names, in alphabetical order by country, in the General Assembly Hall, in … Read more

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