Reform Clouds Darken the Future of the UN Development Program

As the first effects of Secretary-General António Guterres’s ambitious organizational reform plans become apparent, former and current officials of the United Nations Development Program see the future of the internationally influential agency as uncertain if not in peril. Fears center on aspects of the reform plan for development that would allow more political interference by … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Germany Gets What’s Fair: Some Top UN Jobs

BERLIN — It is a widely held view in political circles here that Germany has not been adequately represented in the United Nations, apart from its relatively frequent elected membership to the Security Council, which Germany has held five times and which last year announced its candidacy for a sixth term for 2019-2020. To be more … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Environment Program, Influential but Lacking Power

BERLIN — The history of the United Nations Environment Program is illustrative in two respects: it reflects the changing importance of environmental issues within the UN system and it demonstrates that dedicated people in a UN organization can master the difficult task of implementing an ambitious mandate without sufficient political status, funds and personnel and … Read more

The Growing Threat of Plastic in Marine Litter

Two summers ago, Bill Grafton, the president emeritus of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and commercial fishermen lifted a 5,000-pound net ball from coastal waters off Provincetown, Massachusetts. The knot of plastic and rope was so heavy that his crew enlisted a construction loader for help. At the time, Grafton was coordinating a derelict-fishing-gear retrieval … Read more

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