SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Kuwait’s Priority for the UN Security Council Presidency: Iraq and the Mideast

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 own … Read more

Serving the UN Where Violence Never Ends: One Person’s Story

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 fall … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Celebrating Women’s History Month, Trump-Pompeo Style

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 obsession … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Three Ex-UN Leaders Form a Women’s Group to Save the World

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 colleagues … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

The Elusive Truth About the Death of Dag Hammarskjold and My Father

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 Is Under Siege, So Where Is the Secretary-General?

Was it only two years ago that so many people were elated by the appointment of António Guterres as secretary-general of the United Nations? After public debates organized by the president of the General Assembly and informal ones by the 1-for-7-Billion “Find the Best UN Leader” coalition, he emerged as the top candidate in the … 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

 

WORLDVIEWS

Who Says the UN Is Boring? Intrigue Always Abounds in Its Inner Core

Bureaucracies do not have a great reputation, and the United Nations bureaucracy is no exception. They are seen as inefficient, cumbersome and rigid, adjectives that are also routinely associated with the UN Secretariat. At best considered a “necessary evil,” bureaucracies tend to attract scorn rather than analysis. The UN Secretariat, however, is different. Although it … Read more

António Guterres, Sounding Priestlike, Arrives for Work as UN Secretary-General

He is no longer the “next SG,” as Twitter posts have been referring in the last few months to António Guterres, the man who was selected by the United Nations Security Council in October to lead the world body as the ninth secretary-general. Guterres, a 67-year-old former prime minister of Portugal who also managed the … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At Swearing-In, António Guterres Pledges Gender Parity at the UN

António Guterres was sworn in as the ninth United Nations secretary-general on Dec. 12 in a low-key ceremony played out in the General Assembly Hall, featuring moving tributes by ambassadors to the 10 years that Ban Ki-moon has led the UN, a job he hands to Guterres on Jan. 1. Among other remarks, Guterres pledged … Read more

The $64,000 Question: Can the UN Survive the Trump Era?

Celebrators at the opening of the New UN House in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on Nov. 26, 2016.

The United Nations will swear in António Guterres as its ninth secretary-general on Dec. 12, when the organization will be only weeks away from the inauguration of Donald Trump and the potentially most threatening, hostile political opposition to the UN ever assembled in Washington, D.C. The UN will have to be prepared to respond and … Read more

 

Hate Crimes Rocket Across the US, and UN Condemnation Comes Quickly

Hate crimes have risen dramatically in the United States since the election of Donald Trump as president on Nov. 8. The United Nations has quickly taken note, criticizing its strongest financial and moral supporter, America. “Recent reports of hate crimes in the United States are of great concern,” began a statement from the office of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Being UN Deputy Secretary-General: Louise Fréchette Recounts Her Experience

Louise Fréchette, a Canadian, was the first United Nations deputy secretary-general. Appointed by Kofi Annan, she took office in March 1998, bringing to the job qualifications that exceeded those of most UN secretaries-general. She had spent a quarter-century in the Canadian foreign service, including as ambassador to several Latin American counties and to the UN; … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

What, Exactly, Is a Feminist Foreign Policy? A New Website Explores the Subject

Two young women in London are taking on what they call the elitist nature of foreign policy and turning it toward a more feminist approach that could play out in many different pathways, said Marissa Conway, a founder of a new blog, Feminist Foreign Policy, in a phone call recently. “We want to provide a … Read more

Murders of Journalists by Militants Just Keep Coming, a Report Finds

Somalia, Iraq and Syria lead the world in the killing of journalists by Islamic extremists who get away with their crimes, but militants also continue to target the media with impunity in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Pakistan, according to the latest report from the Committee to Protect Journalists, a nonprofit group based in New York. … Read more

 

TOPIC: WOMEN

Yikes Again! UN Staffers Protest Wonder Woman’s Role at the UN

Wonder Woman is not so wonderful in the eyes of hundreds of United Nations staff members around the world. Earlier this week, a petition began circulating among personnel to ask their boss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to rescind the choice of the cartoon character, whose main uniform is a bustier and high heels, as an honorary … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Dear Mr. Guterres: Please Be a Hammarskjoldian Secretary-General

As much as this moment of unity among the United States, Russia and other Security Council members coming together on António Guterres as the next United Nations secretary-general is to be relished, it’s not just the who that matters. It’s the what of the job. Unless the big powers are willing to let Guterres play … Read more

Ban Ki-moon’s Turbulent UN Years, in His Own Words

Ban Ki-moon receives the Seoul Peace Prize in South Korea on Oct. 29, 2012, with his wife, Yoo Soon-taek.

With a cease-fire in Syria collapsing around him and bombs destroying precious relief supplies intended for the hungry, traumatized survivors of relentless government attacks on the once grand city of Aleppo, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used his last speech to open a UN General Assembly debating season to lash out at the government of … Read more

Peter Sutherland, UN Migration Envoy, Says: Do Not Shirk the Refugee Crisis

As the special envoy to the United Nations secretary-general on international migration since 2006, Peter Sutherland, an Irishman, has minced few words on the topic of people leaving their homes in search of better lives. In his role at the UN, he advises the secretary-general on issues related to international migration and development and promotes cooperation … Read more

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