New Snags for Women Running in the UN Secretary-General Race

The only official female candidate in the competition so far to become the next United Nations secretary-general may already be in flux. Just a few weeks have passed since the Croatian government sent a letter to the UN nominating Vesna Pusic, a former foreign minister, but her candidacy may be uncertain because of a change … Read more

The UN’s Demands to Stop the Violence in Yemen Fall on Deaf Ears

While the regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia continues its aerial bombardment against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and as ground troops — from Bahrain, Sudan and United Arab Emirates — join the Saudis in the fray, the pain dealt to civilians, especially children, has been rising ever since the war began in March. In … Read more

The Heart of Pope Francis’s Speech at the UN: Don’t Look Past the Poor

Pope Francis spread his gospel of not forgetting the poor at the United Nations on Friday morning, where he spoke in his native Spanish to the 193 member delegations and heads of state gathered before him at the General Assembly Hall. It was his first appearance at the UN during his first trip to the … Read more

50-50: Bridging the UN’s Gender Gap [Video]

As Colombia leads a group of dozens of nations to promote a woman as the next United Nations secretary-general, when Ban Ki-moon leaves office at the end of 2016, these same voices are also demanding gender equality inside the UN, especially at senior and high-policymaking levels. It’s not surprising that women who work at the … Read more

 

Ban Ki-moon Shuffles Up to Buffalo, but Why?

BUFFALO — Last Friday, Aug. 14, the United Nations secretary-general took a “summer Friday” and spent the afternoon in Buffalo. Robert G. Wilmer, chief executive officer of M&T Bank, the nation’s 17th-largest, had invited the secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, to the city. The two met while Wilmer was traveling in South Korea, where Ban is from. In … Read more

UN Security Council and Troop Contributors Chided by Review Panel

While restructuring at the top of the United Nations and better strategies and tactics for troops on the ground are issues provoking discussion and controversy after the recent release of a report by a high-level panel on current and future peacekeeping, less attention has been paid to the experts’ admonitions to the Security Council and … Read more

Has Russia Dashed All Hopes for a Female Secretary-General?

Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN

Has Russia put the kibosh on the chances that the next secretary-general of the United Nations will be a woman? As Vitaly Churkin walked ramrod-straight in his dark suit to a working-group discussion at the UN on the process of selecting the next secretary-general, he acted as if he owned the place. Some might say … Read more

Eastern Europe Presses Its Claim to the Secretary-General’s Office  

In 70 years of United Nations history, Eastern Europe has been the only regional group in the organization that has never filled the position of secretary-general. Western Europe has had three secretaries-general; Asia and Africa, two each; and Latin America and the Caribbean, one. The 23 nations of the Eastern European region, determined to win … Read more

 

Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video]

Convinced that after 70 years it is time to choose a woman for the United Nations’ top job of secretary-general, a new movement led by an academic spcialist on the organization has been assembled to formally support the election of a woman for the job. The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, finishes his second … Read more

What Matters Most in Choosing the Next UN Chief? Politics, Geography and Maybe Gender

The post of United Nations secretary-general may or may not be “the world’s most impossible job,” as its first occupant, Trygve Lie, a Norwegian, once described it. In any case, UN members must choose a successor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon well before the close of 2016. Some potential candidates are already campaigning for the post. … Read more

Burkina Faso’s People, Opposing an Autocrat, Feel Let Down by the UN

The fast-moving people-power coup that ousted a longtime leader of the landlocked West African country of Burkina Faso took not only powerful nations and international institutions by surprise — including the United Nations, France, the United States, the African Union and African regional groups — but also the Burkina protesters themselves. The demonstrations started in … Read more

Can Good Governance Become a Global Development Goal?

British Prime Minister David Cameron had two clear messages when he spoke at a post-2015 global development goals forum on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last month. The first was his emphatic view that the General Assembly panel’s proposal for 17 Sustainable Development Goals with 169 associated “targets” was too unwieldy and … Read more

 

At Geneva II Talks in January, It Is Not Enough to ‘Add Women and Stir’

Lakhdar Brahimi

The campaign to ensure women’s equal participation at the peace talks on Syria in January has become more urgent, as certain parties recognize that women are vital in rebuilding and reconciling Syrian society. Yet only a few weeks before the talks are scheduled to start, no commitment has been made as to whether women will … Read more

The UN Helps Journalists in Conflict Areas, but Cannot Protect Them

A Malian soldier fires an AK-47 during fighting with Islamists in Gao

Two radio journalists from France were killed on Nov. 2 outside Kidal in the northern desert reaches of Mali. The journalists, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, both in their 50s, were kidnapped right in front of a Tuareg official’s home by gunmen and found dead just miles from town, their throats slashed and bodies fresh … Read more

Ban Confirms Chemical Weapons Were Leashed on Syrians, Based on UN Report

Secretary General receives report on chemical weapons use in Syria

The much-awaited report by the United Nations investigative mission on the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21 in Ghouta has been handed over to the secretary-general by Ake Sellstrom, the head of the mission; it has not been released to the public yet by the UN but France put it online. In … Read more

 

The UN Awaits Results of Chemical Weapons Analysis From Syria

Ban Ki-moon

  In the daily unfolding drama behind the recent investigation by a United Nations team on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today that all biomedical and environmental samples gathered by the inspectors “at sites of possible chemical weapons use in Syria” will arrive at designated laboratories in Europe … Read more

It’s Down to Latin America v. Africa to Lead UN Women

Alcinda Abreu, environment minister of Mozambique

After several months of public speculation at the United Nations, two candidates are now in tight contention for the executive director post of UN Women, the main agency tasked with promoting the treatment and rights of women worldwide since it began operating in January 2011. Rebeca Grynspan, 57, is one contender. Since 2010, she has … Read more

US to Increase Military Aid to Syrian Rebels, in Response to Chemical Weapons Use

Sellstrom and Ban Ki-moon

The United States will be increasing the “scope and scale” of its help to the main opposition group fighting in Syria against the country’s regime, based on recent assessments that the Syrian government used chemical weapons on several occasions in the last two months against the rebels and others. After a “confident” assessment made by … Read more

Congo Army Rapes Detailed in UN Report as Special Brigade Arrives

UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region visit in Goma

The cycle of sexual violence that has been churning throughout the eastern half of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has refused to stop, despite all the steps the United Nations has taken over decades to end the epidemic. Just last fall, systematic rapes, committed by the Congolese Army, occurred in an area around Minova, … Read more

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