WORLDVIEWS

The Elusive Truth About the Death of Dag Hammarskjöld

My clock radio clicked on. The morning news bulletin announced that United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane was missing. It was Sept. 18, 1961. I was 16. Over the next hours, my mother and sisters and I learned that Mr. Hammarskjöld, accompanied by Dad and 14 others, had flown from Leopoldville, in the Congo, to … Read more

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

The UN’s Gender Parity Goals: The Backlash Begins

One year into the United Nations’ new strategy for gender parity among staff members at all levels, a gendered backlash has emerged, even as parity has been achieved at the highest echelons of the world body. Political will from UN leaders beyond the secretary-general and member states is needed to ensure that where the UN … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Now That She’s Gone: Nikki Haley’s Legacy at the UN

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, in the Security Council chamber, Oct. 18, 2018.

After two years as the American ambassador at the United Nations, Nikki Haley left the job in December 2018 as much an enigma as the day she arrived. Haley, a career politician, came to the UN with little foreign policy experience but national recognition for her handling of a domestic terror attack while governor of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Another UN Harassment Case Quietly Disappears

Amid a busy December, when the United Nations was focusing on important conferences on climate change and migration and year-end holidays loomed, a case of harassment that never got the traction it arguably deserved ended in a traditional UN way: it disappeared. On Dec. 14, the chairman of the International Civil Service Commission, which regulates … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

As His Country Wages War, President Hadi of Yemen Still Travels to US for Health Care

President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen

CLEVELAND, Ohio — On the main drag of Euclid Avenue in this Midwestern city sprawls the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic, the renowned hospital that attracts an estimated 2.5 million patients nationwide and abroad, including from the Middle East. That includes President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen, who has heart troubles and whose … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Role of the Private Sector in Building Peace: It’s Essential

Another year of Secretary-General António Guterres’s reform of the peace and security pillar of the United Nations is ending without fully addressing a main obstacle to peacebuilding in conflict-torn countries under UN intervention: sustainable economic recovery. The key question facing the UN is how to support economic reconstruction amid the political, security and social reforms that … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

When Is an Attack on UN Peacekeepers a War Crime and When Is It Not?

The recent attack by a militia on the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which seven peacekeepers were killed, highlighted a question that the Security Council has hesitated to confront for years. What are the consequences when UN peacekeeping missions become parties to the conflict? The Security Council responded to the latest attacks on Monusco, as the … Read more

The UN’s Combat Troops in the Congo: ‘They Were Not Supposed to Die’

United Nations peacekeepers working for the mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed by a militia in a jungle in North Kivu Province on Nov. 15, leaving seven soldiers dead: six Malawians and one Tanzanian. Ten were injured. Twelve members of the Congolese armed forces were also killed, as national forces and … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

At the UN, Trump Declares: America Embraces ‘Patriotism’

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, arrived late for the opening day of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25. His speech began on an awkward note as he elicited laughter from the world audience for boasting about his accomplishments. During his speech, he also aggressively rejected the global approach to … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The UN Shudders as ‘Trump Week’ Closes In

A year after his bombastic debut at the United Nations as president of the United States, Donald Trump returns on Monday, Sept. 24, to lead a US effort to spur global action to stem the narcotics and opioid plagues. Could the US be asking the UN for help this time? The morning meeting on drugs … Read more

Kofi Annan, 80, a Popular UN Secretary-General From Africa, Is Dead

Kofi Annan, the seventh and probably the most popular and widely respected secretary-general the United Nations has ever known, died unexpectedly in Bern, Switzerland, early on Saturday morning, Aug. 18. His death, reportedly from leukemia, followed what initial reports described only as a short illness. He led the UN for two terms, from 1997 through … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Michelle Bachelet of Chile Nominated to Be Next UN Rights Commissioner

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has nominated Michelle Bachelet, a former president of Chile, to become the next UN high commissioner for human rights. The nomination has been sent to the General Assembly for approval. Bachelet, who is 66, was Guterres’s top choice all along in the selection process, which began informally in the spring, … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Richard Falk on Palestine, Israel and the UN in the Trump Age

Richard Falk is a well-known American academic and writer who from 2008 until 2014 was the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Palestine since 1967, a post that invariably invites controversy. For Falk, who has never been shy of taking provocative stances, the work compelled him to declare, among other things, that Israel’s … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Pompeo’s Visit to the UN Caps a Week of Dizzying Global Politics

Capping a week of neck-wrenching U-turns by the president of the United States after his pro-Russia speech in Helsinki on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the 15-member United Nations Security Council in New York on July 20 — to discuss North Korea. Pompeo and Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Secretary-General’s Human-Rights Crisis Can Be Solved

There is a crisis in the United Nations human-rights system. Secretary-General António Guterres can lead the way out of it. Indeed, the world continues to look to the UN secretary-general to stand up for the principles of the organization. One of the highest responsibilities of the incumbent is to help steer a course toward realizing … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Do We Even Need the UN? An Academic’s Quest to Find the Answer

Would the world be better off without the United Nations? The question couldn’t be more important in the age of Trump and his rejection of multilateral institutions as well as traditional allies. Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York Graduate Center, took on this question, speaking extensively … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

In Hodeidah, the Norwegian Refugee Council Hangs On to Save Yemenis

As the attack on Hodeidah, a major port in western Yemen on the Red Sea, moves into its second week, led by the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the rest of the world seems to be sitting and watching the destruction. The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent nongovernmental organization, has been … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN and #MeToo: All Forms of Abuse Must End Now

For many years now, media attention on sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations peacekeepers cornered the UN and pushed it toward reform. Now, the #MeToo movement has put the organization — and many other major institutions across the world — on red alert. But UN insiders and supporters are wondering if the leadership’s rush … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Fake News and the UN: An Item Since 1945

In the world of fake news, the United Nations has been a prime target since it opened its doors in 1945. These days, spending just a few minutes on Facebook and Twitter, two sites located at the epicenter of the fake news epidemic, reveals claims — real and imagined — pushed by critics of the … Read more

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