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Ban Ki-moon

  •  May 3, 2021 
The job of United Nations secretary-general is the “most impossible on earth,” as the first postholder, Trygve Lie, famously told his successor, Dag Hammarskjold. Though Lie spoke partly in jest to amuse the assembled reporters, the remark has stuck with UN observers for its eerie insightfulness. After all, the UN chief is charged with …
  •  April 23, 2021 
The Joe Biden climate-fest; rape as a weapon of war in Tigray; Burma slides further downhill. You are reading This Week @UN, summarizing the most pressing issues facing the organization. The information is gathered from UN press briefings, PassBlue reporting and other sources. Laura Kirkpatrick, who manages our Facebook page, created an informal poll based …
  •  March 6, 2021 
Pandemic Classroom exhibition at UN
Continuing crises in Myanmar and Ethiopia; the US envoy to the UN’s first week; why Britain has held the top humanitarian job for so long; and women’s gains in the African Union. You are reading This Week @UN, a summary of the most pressing issues facing the organization. The information is gathered from the UN …
  •  March 3, 2021 
Mark Lowcock
LONDON — Should the world’s top humanitarian official be chosen through a meritocratic selection process open to candidates from any country, or should the choice be restricted to a single nationality and nomination by that government? The answer is obvious — but may be the opposite of what is about to happen again during …
  •  March 2, 2021 
Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a memoir due out in June, is done concealing his anger over Donald Trump’s bad behavior on the international stage. The UN has always tried hard to maintain strong ties with the United States, its biggest dues-payer and the world’s leading superpower. And Ban, it seems, was …
  •  October 30, 2020 
Ten years ago this month, Haiti confirmed the arrival of a deadly cholera epidemic that killed more than 10,000 people. The disease — and the United Nations’ response to it — has caused immeasurable harm in Haiti and undermined the UN’s moral standing when it is sorely needed. As victims in Haiti pause to …
  •  August 4, 2020 
As Covid-19 continues to ravage many parts of the world, the effect of the virus in Latin America and the Caribbean region has been particularly devastating. The situation in Haiti, for example, has alarmed international humanitarian groups, as the country lacks sufficient virus-testing ability and has limited health-care infrastructure, among other serious problems. On …
  •  February 18, 2020 
The United Nations system has instituted some important changes toward becoming what it calls climate neutral. Some employees and former employees, however, think the UN could be doing much more to reduce the organization’s carbon footprint globally and to be a stronger role model in mitigating climate change. After all, Secretary-General António Guterres recently …
  •  July 30, 2019 
Every time the budget committee of the United Nations meets, as it did in June, child-protection advocates enter a familiar existential crisis: will the United States and China cut UN budgets specifically allocated to specialists on child protection in peacekeeping missions? I am often asked by people in the UN why a child-rights advocate …
  •  July 23, 2019 
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 …
  •  June 3, 2019 
Still, this small oil-rich Arab country has an agenda of its own that it wants to fulfill as it ends its last presidency on the Council — in probably decades — on a strong note. For June, Kuwait plans to work on the topic of missing persons in armed conflict, an issue that touches its …
  •  May 21, 2019 
Simon Handy, a specialist in African politics and conflict, is a veteran of a hazardous and tormented mission in the Central African Republic that left him with an enduring cause that still haunts him. He argues that when a United Nations mission changes or is abandoned, as was the case for him, staff members can …
  •  April 2, 2019 
Here’s how the United States government marked the 2019 monthlong celebration of the world’s women in March: Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got off to an early start on March 13  by releasing the State Department’s annual global human-rights report, scrubbed of all references to reproductive health and rights. Hewing to the …
  •  February 21, 2019 
As multilateralism takes a beating from President Trump amid the “new world disorder,” as one European diplomat put it, three women who know the United Nations inside and out through previous top leadership jobs have originated a Group of Women Leaders for Change and Inclusion. The goal is to bring together former UN female …

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