Tough Love Time for the UN

Even though Ban Ki-moon just began his second five-year term this year as United Nations secretary-general, names are already surfacing as to his possible replacement when his term is up. Technically, Ban could be appointed a third term, but no secretary-general so far has held three. Most UN academic experts who were surveyed for a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Unesco-US Relationship: It’s Complicated

Prague's Vlata River.

When it comes to mysteries, the United States’ decision to rejoin Unesco in 2002 under a Republican administration and after nearly two decades’ absence remains puzzling, but it appears the move can be traced to Hollywood. Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has always borne the brunt of criticism from US politicians. Allegations … 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

WORLDVIEWS

The US-UN Dance Recovers Its Balance

Susan Rice

CANBERRA — The United Nations is located at the cross-section of Interdependence Avenue and Multilateral Cooperation Street in Manhattan. But its destiny lies at the intersection of Indifference Avenue and Hostility Street in Washington. That was the case, at least, under the George W. Bush administration through the mode of John Bolton, the United States … Read more

A Science Prize Complicates Life at Unesco and for the US

unesco science prize

Unesco is keeping a $3 million science prize after debating for months whether to drop the controversial award, which is meant to help fight diseases and was donated by the government of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, president of Equatorial Guinea. With 33 years in office, he is Africa’s longest-serving dictator. The vote to keep the … Read more

Refugees Settling in the US Reaches 3 Million Mark

afghan refugees

Since 1975, three million refugees have settled in the United States, the world’s largest recipient of distressed or endangered people seeking permanent new homes. The US is also the largest financial contributor to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, say new figures from the State Department and the UN refugee agency. Canada and the US … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Proposed US Foreign Aid Shows Slight Increase

UN and guinea-bissau

In his recently released 2013 budget proposal, President Obama has increased funds for foreign aid to the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development, but the 1.2 percent rise over 2012 figures is still less than 1 percent of the entire federal budget. The total amount proposed for foreign aid is $51.6 … Read more

GOINGS-ON

In Their Own Words: A UN Oral History Project Moves Online

What goes on inside the United Nations as important issues are hashed out by officials and diplomats is rarely seen or heard by outsiders – consider the tense negotiations on Syria right now, done behind closed doors. But earlier this month, the opening of an archive of interviews with both insiders and others who have … Read more

Quietly, New US Policies Align With the UN

On Dec. 16, without fanfare, President Barack Obama issued an executive orderestablishing for the first time a global American policy to advance women’s roles in making and keeping peace. The absence or marginalization of women from international security affairs has been a cause of much United Nations attention for more than a decade, right up … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Top US Official at the UN to Leave Post

B. Lynn Pascoe, an American diplomat who has served as under secretary-general for political affairs during Ban Ki-moon’s first term, is leaving that key position early in the new year, as the secretary-general reshapes his senior team for his second five-year term beginning on Jan.1. The first announcement of pending changes at the top of … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

In Washington, the Human Rights Council Endures Scrutiny

WASHINGTON — The United Nations Human Rights Council is attracting more attention here by both supporters and critics in the government and beyond. Some of the council’s defenders and naysayers, speaking at various Washington venues last month, ultimately expressed the same goal: to see the rights body improve. The council’s action last winter recommending that … Read more

Palestine Swept in as a Full Member of Unesco

Unesco voted today at its Paris headquarters to admit Palestine as the 195th member to the organization, seriously risking the chance that the agency will lose tens of millions of dollars immediately in contributions from the United States, its biggest donor. The agency also voted in South Sudan as the 194th member. Unesco is popularly … Read more

The US Should Invest More in the UN, a Report Says

Danish peacekeepers in South Lebanon, playing Legos with local schoolchildren.

The influential Council on Foreign Relations has joined the chorus of those who say the United States can no longer afford to act alone when trying to resolve crises across the globe. As the world witnesses a decline  in wars between nations as well as  intrastate conflicts, a new report from the Council advises the U.S. to take more advantage of international and regional organizations to find long-lasting solutions to simmering problems that can boil over into bloodshed and destruction.

Read moreThe US Should Invest More in the UN, a Report Says

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