The $67 Billion UN Pension Fund: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Since 2014, when staff members of the United Nations Pension Fund blew the whistle on serious mismanagement in its secretariat, a change in leadership has been made on both sides — assets and liabilities — of the $67.4 billion fund. Yet the turmoil persists. Stabilizing the fund’s management and investment decisions has been mandated by … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Global Leaders Missed a Crucial Chance to Propel the SDGs, Especially on Good Governance

Governments and other parties involved in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals missed an important opportunity to provide more impetus to the goals’ success at the recent opening session of the General Assembly, held in September. By engaging largely in self-congratulation, with few exceptions, the three-minute speeches by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development … Read more

The UN Can Do Much More to Resolve Khashoggi’s Murder, Says Agnès Callamard

Agnès Callamard

Exactly a year after Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi-born, American-based journalist, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnès Callamard, remains categorical: UN Secretary-General António Guterres can and should do more about the murder, and so should member states. “I am asking the secretary-general … Read more

Salvaging the SDGs: New Thinking to Spur Action Takes Shape

Poverty in India

For the first time since a new development agenda was adopted in 2015 to make the world a better place for everyone, government leaders assembled at the United Nations in late September to take stock of progress. The verdict of this summit was not good. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the centerpiece of Agenda 2030, … Read more

 

The Oscars of International Politics: A #UNGA74 Recap

This year’s opening session of the United Nations General Assembly stood out for revealing the stark divide now defining international relations: the split between globalists and patriots. On this week’s UN-Scripted podcast, PassBlue reporters Kacie Candela and Stéphanie Fillion look at the similarities in speeches at the high-level debates, between Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro and … Read more

Globalists vs. Patriots at the UN: A ‘Great Fracture’ Revealed

After most of the world leaders spent a day teaming up to fight climate change at the Climate Action Summit, the next day strongmen opened the high-level debate of the United Nations General Assembly, showing a growing split between nationalist and globalist leaders. “I fear the possibility of a great fracture,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres … Read more

At the UN’s Major Climate Event, Greta Thunberg Asks, ‘How Dare You?’

The United Nations Climate Action Summit kicked off in New York with powerfully direct statements by Secretary-General António Guterres and several youths invited to speak in a panel set up in the vast General Assembly Hall. They faced an audience of national leaders gathered from across the world at a conference that was not necessarily … Read more

Highlights of the UN General Assembly’s Opening Session: A Podcast on What to Expect

The 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on Tuesday, Sept. 17, which means that the world’s leaders — mainly heads of state and heads of government and their entourages — are heading to New York City for the climate change meeting on Sept. 23; the annual speechmaking, called the general debate, beginning … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Stalling the UN Report on Dag Hammarskjold’s Death Is Regrettable

Fifty-eight years ago, Dag Hammarskjold, the United Nations secretary-general at the time, set off on a perilous journey across the African heartland. Taking off at 4:51 P.M. from Léopoldville, in the capital of the newly independent Congo, he was due to meet the leader of the secessionist Katanga province. The venue chosen was Ndola, a … Read more

A Tapestry About Chernobyl and the UN’s Bungled Response to the Nuclear Disaster

The third floor of the United Nations headquarters in New York is coveted real estate for member states that have donated art to the organization. Not far from the Security Council Chamber and near the social hangout Express Bar, a giant tapestry hangs on a wall. A quick look reveals angels and demons, lightning bolts … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

My Year in Africa: Why This Brazilian Woman Peacekeeper Wants to Return

In one of the world’s most fragile and violent settings, Lieut. Comdr. Marcia Braga, a 45-year-old Brazilian naval officer, arrived in April 2018 as the third military gender adviser for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic. She ended her yearlong stint there bestowed with the UN’s annual Military Gender Advocate award … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

The UN Headquarters Says Adiós to Single-Use Plastic

People who regularly work or visit the United Nations headquarters in New York have surely noticed something new in the cafeteria this summer: no more single-use plastic, not even for takeout. The change also means that only metal cutlery is available at the condiment stations and the straws are now paper (plastic ones are available … Read more

 

Where’s Kelly Knight Craft? She Is Neither in Ottawa Nor at the UN

Donald Trump must have known just what he was getting into when he named Kelly Knight Craft to be the United States ambassador to the United Nations. But does Knight Craft understand the humiliating position the president is putting her into? Knight Craft, the soft-spoken wife of a billionaire coal executive from Kentucky, demonstrates scant … Read more

Pompeo Finds Little Appetite at the UN for His Iran Strategy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

In the middle of a muggy August afternoon in New York, the United Nations Security Council gathered once more to figure out how to “maintain peace and security” in the Middle East. But the recurring topic always leaves conversations wide open for interpretation by the Council’s 15 members. The concept by Poland as Council president … Read more

Kashmir May Be an Old Crisis at the UN, but the World Is Now Riveted

A familiar refrain often heard when the burgeoning crisis in Kashmir rises to the top of the news is that this is an old story from long ago; we have moved on. The United Nations is discovering, however, that there is less tolerance for indifference since India’s decrees on Aug. 5-6 to singlehandedly remake the … Read more

Strongmen to Kick Off the UN General Assembly Session in September

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil with President Donald Trump

Donald Trump will shake hands with Emmanuel Macron, Jair Bolsonaro and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. But will Benjamin Netanyahu; Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel be there, too? The 74th opening debate of the United Nations General Assembly, which starts on Sept.17 and ends on Sept. 30; the general debate begins on Sept. 24. With most member … Read more

 

Kashmiri Muslims in Danger as Hindu Politicians Cancel Their Rights

It has always been relatively easy for Indian governments from both the political left and right to keep Kashmir from the eyes of the world. At no time has this been more obvious than now. Landlocked, under the guns of half a million Indian troops and paramilitaries, cut off sporadically from all modern communications and … Read more

The UN Palestinian Refugee Agency Is in Hot Water, Again

Pierre Krahenbuhl

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which has been undermined by a sharp cut in United States contributions, has been embroiled in a scandal that threatens to jeopardize its very future. A report from the agency’s Ethics Office has found “credible and corroborated” evidence that the senior management of Unrwa engaged in “sexual misconduct, … Read more

As the SDGs Falter, the UN Turns to the Rich and Famous

Amina Mohammed with Borge Brende, António Guterres and Klaus Schwab

The Sustainable Development Goals are in trouble. United Nations officials are concerned and say so publicly. Secretary-General António Guterres  joined in raising an alarm in mid-July when he introduced the most recent official UN report. “It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Women’s Rights Defenders Are Tired of Being Told to ‘Push Back’ Against the Opposition

As a human-rights defender and women’s rights campaigner, I continue to be struck not by the many challenges now facing women’s rights organizations but by the constant calls for women to “push back against the pushback.” This call for women to push back against the many forces oppressing women’s rights organizations was repeated in a … Read more

Support nonprofit journalism →
Left Menu Icon

Don't Miss a Story:

Subscribe to PassBlue

Sign up to get the smartest news on the UN by email, joining readers across the globe.​

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously​