Pulling Back the Curtain on the US Mission to the UN

Vice President Pence at the United Nations Security Council on April 10, 2019

The next United States ambassador to the United Nations, which could be Kelly Knight Craft, will arrive at a US mission to the UN that is far diminished in size and stature than the one her immediate predecessor, Nikki Haley, inherited. In the last month, numerous former staff members and high-level personnel from the US … Read more

Canada, Ireland and Norway, Now Vying for the 2020 UN Security Council Vote

Jockeying for a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council starts early — way early. Three countries are already vying for the two open seats in the regional group known as Weog — Western Europe and Others — for the 2021-22 term. The election is June 2020, and the “others” are Australia, Canada, Israel and … Read more

For Diplomats Who Feel Uprooted: A Website to Call Home

“We diplomats have a strange life,” says Phil McAuliffe. “It’s hard for others to truly understand.” After serving in posts around the world, he ought to know. Now this veteran of the diplomatic life has decided to go public. Meet diplomacy’s new spokesperson, champion and interpreter, a k a the Lonely Diplomat. Twenty years after … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Sexual Harassment at the UN Is Alive and Persistent

As its people of the year, Time magazine recently named the Silence Breakers — people who have spoken against sexual harassment and launched the hashtag #MeToo into an international phenomenon with more than seven million hits on social media. Just before the announcement, more than 230 women who work in national security for the United … Read more

 

UNGA72

To Cuff or Not to Cuff: Male Leaders Strut Some Style at the UN

The lazy days of late summer are not that idle in Turtle Bay, as the United Nations prepares for this month’s opening debate of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York. Before the swarm of world leaders descends on or about Sept. 18 and the news cycle hits hyperactive, now is the right moment … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Who Is Paolo Zampolli, a Trump Friend, and What’s He Up To at the UN?

Who is Paolo Zampolli and what does he want from the United Nations? A friend of Donald Trump’s for decades, Zampolli is an ambassador of Dominica to the UN. He has a busy Twitter page, Facebook page and Instagram account, where he posts photos of himself and his wife, Amanda Ungaro, a model from Brazil who … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Nikki Haley Tells New York Elites: I Will Change the UN

Nikki Haley, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the United Nations took her ambitious plans and convictions about the role of the United States in the UN to the center of New York’s foreign policy establishment: the Council on Foreign Relations. Her central message, delivered on March 29, was that the UN needs the “breath of … Read more

Who’s on the Security Council? New York City Junior Ambassadors Tour the UN

They have years to go before they could conceivably sit in the Security Council seat as the United States ambassador to the United Nations, participate in a high-level summit on refugees or cast a vote for their country in the General Assembly. But for a select group of New York City students, the ways of … Read more

 

GEOPOLITICS

US Mission to the UN: Do Not Release Vitaly Churkin’s Autopsy Report

Four days after Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin’s sudden death in New York City last month, the United States Mission to the United Nations wrote to the New York City Mayor’s Office for International Affairs and requested a communications blackout on Churkin’s autopsy findings and cause of death. The result of this request means that the … Read more

Vitaly Churkin, 64, Russia’s Longtime Ambassador to the UN, Dies Suddenly

Vitaly Churkin meets the press

Vitaly Churkin, 64, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations since April 8, 2006, died on Feb. 20. A statement from the Russian mission to the UN said Churkin “died suddenly.” It added: “A prominent Russian diplomat has passed away while at work. We’d like to express our sincere condolences to Vitaly Churkin’s family.” Churkin was said … Read more

Russian Spies Left Out in the Cold? New Details of the Country’s Oyster Bay Estate

UPPER BROOKVILLE, N.Y. — Not long after the United States abruptly ordered all Russians to leave an estate that Moscow owns in Upper Brookville, Long Island, the village was recovering from the whirlwind that swept through it right before New Year’s Eve. As to who was there and what they were exactly doing remains a … 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

 

A Task for the Next UN Secretary-General: Review the Special Envoy System

When a tough independent report sharply criticized the United Nations in December for its bungled attempts to cover up, or at least ignore, the sexual abuse of children by peacekeeping troops in the Central African Republic in recent years, it named among the people responsible for letting the children down Leila Zerrougui, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s … Read more

US Charges a Former UN General Assembly President: More Revelations Likely

A luxury-loving diplomat susceptible to bribery, a clutch of rich Chinese with business interests and an open door to the top leadership of the United Nations General Assembly. It all adds up to not only a blow to the integrity of the UN but also a stark demonstration of the dysfunction of an international system … Read more

Where’s Samantha Power? Her Rare Appearances Rankle the Press Corps at the UN

Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has made herself scarce in answering direct, spontaneous questions from the press corps based at the UN, to the chagrin of many reporters. The press corps is international by nature and not affiliated with the UN but housed in UN headquarters, where reporters can ask … Read more

BOOKS

Diplomacy: An Insider’s Guide

Kosovar refugee

International crises are not always resolved on the battlefield or at the negotiating table. Sometimes breakthroughs come around a table at a restaurant that is continents away. Or they fall in place because of a thoughtful gesture made by an important player at a cemetery years before. This is one of the lessons of “Liberating … Read more

 

Guatemala’s Role on the Security Council, as Viewed by Its Ambassador

Gert Rosenthal, Guatemala's ambassador to the UN

Gert Rosenthal does not sound like a Spanish name, but the mother of Rosenthal, the Guatemalan ambassador to the United Nations, was born there and his father was German. To complicate matters, “a little accident happened,” he said, as his parents, Florence and Ludwig, left Germany in the 1930s, and Rosenthal was born in Amsterdam. … Read more

GOINGS-ON

New Spokeswoman Joining US Mission to the UN

Susan Rice, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, announced to the UN press corps on July 20 that Mark Kornblau, her spokesman and the spokesman for the US mission since 2009, is leaving and will be succeeded by Erin Pelton, a director of communications and assistant press secretary for the National Security Council. … Read more

Three Diplomats Talk, Unscripted

UN slavery exhibition

Three diplomats, from the United Nations missions of Jamaica, Pakistan and Uganda, were interviewed this spring by CUNY Graduate School of Journalism students. The diplomats focused on topics relevant to their countries and regions and spoke unscripted. The Ugandan ambassador responded to the video about Joseph Kony, the leader of the  brutal Lord’s Resistance Army, … Read more

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