The $64,000 Question: Can the UN Survive the Trump Era?

Celebrators at the opening of the New UN House in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on Nov. 26, 2016.

The United Nations will swear in António Guterres as its ninth secretary-general on Dec. 12, when the organization will be only weeks away from the inauguration of Donald Trump and the potentially most threatening, hostile political opposition to the UN ever assembled in Washington, D.C. The UN will have to be prepared to respond and … Read more

Japan’s Take on Peace, Human Rights and the UN

Tsuneo Nishida, Japanese ambassador to the UN

Tsuneo Nishida, the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations, spoke recently on his country’s positions on peace and security, disarmament, human rights and UN reform. Japan, which is the world’s third-largest economy and second-biggest contributor (after the United States) to the UN’s general budget, is planning to run for an elected seat on the Security … Read more

Nations Reject Gender Violence, but the Suffering Endures

Nepal flash mob

The 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women ended in mid-March more with a sigh of relief than with jubilation. The commission, comprising 45 national delegations, managed to reach a final agreement (which it could not do last year) without losing ground on women’s rights that had been gained, at … Read more

Signals of Greater Times Buoy Developing Nations

A displaced person in Mali.

For the developing world, the news in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Report is almost all good. (More on that “almost” later.) The title of the report, The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World, sets the tone. New players with global clout, increased South-South trade and investment, strengthening regional institutions … Read more

‘God Bless the Republic of Nauru and God Bless the United Nations’

Cristina Fernandez, president of Argentina

Many diplomats spoke their piece – if not rambled – at the newest United Nations General Assembly session this week, delivering speeches by at least 120 heads of state on a revolving door of themes. Yet in this sometimes theatrical, often wearying annual event held in New York, no one ranted along the lines of … Read more

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How Bad Is It? The UN Development System Needs an Overhaul

Voters in Libya

The clamor for United Nations reform has not stopped since its first days in 1945. Although ideas for changing the UN rise and fall each year, the newest calls for an overhaul involve development, one of the largest sectors of the world body’s system. With a Kafkaesque bureaucracy consisting of at least 30 agencies and … Read more

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