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Dag Hammarskjold

  •  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 …
  •  December 14, 2020 
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
Ever since the day in 1946 when the first secretary-general of the United Nations, Trygve Lie of Norway, took office, big powers have meddled in how the job is done. Most often, the United States has been the most intrusive. Lie resigned in 1953, before the end of his second, shortened term, with his …
  •  June 2, 2020 
Seventy-five years ago this month, delegates in San Francisco signed the United Nations Charter. Anniversary events were supposed to culminate in the commemoration of the entry into force of the world organization’s constitution on Oct. 24. That, of course, was before Covid-19 turned the world upside-down. Like school and university commencements, the UN’s celebration …
  •  March 24, 2020 
Although much of the world is closing temporarily due to the rapid spread of Covid-19, the United Nations Security Council must stay open — meeting physically if possible and virtually if not — in order to fulfill its Charter responsibilities not only to address the threats posed by the pandemic but also to respond …
  •  March 23, 2020 
António Guterres, the United Nations secretary-general, continues to go into the UN headquarters building in New York City to work — even as Covid-19 races throughout the region. “Right now, Guterres is probably the safest man on the planet,” said a former UN official familiar with the security protocol. “He’s working at an empty …
  •  September 17, 2019 
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, …
  •  February 5, 2019 
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, …
  •  September 18, 2018 
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 …
  •  March 19, 2018 
The United Nations Security Council, perhaps needing a change of scenery from its chamber overlooking the East River in New York, is traveling to the southern Swedish coast in April for an annual retreat whose theme this year is “a new narrative on peace operations.” The retreat will be held in a newly renovated …
  •  August 22, 2017 
Secretary-General António Guterres has set about modernizing some sectors of the United Nations and made impassioned statements about the need to protect human rights. But beyond rhetoric, so far there has been no indication of his modernizing the human-rights sector. We have seen this before. Dag Hammarskjold, a previous secretary-general, undoubtedly believed in human …
  •  May 25, 2016 
Thailand said it had no enemies, while Kazakhstan pointed out it had voluntarily given up the fourth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world more than two decades ago. Sweden emphasized it was militarily nonaligned. Italy, the only Mediterranean candidate, said it could ensure geographic balance because it sits at the crossroads of the east and …

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