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

Who Is Kelly Knight Craft? A Podcast to Get to Know the New US Ambassador to the UN

She calls herself a homemaker, a philanthropist and a consultant, but who, exactly, is Kelly Knight Craft, the newly confirmed United States ambassador to the United Nations? This week, UN-Scripted, PassBlue’s new podcast series, features veteran journalist and PassBlue columnist Irwin Arieff, who describes how Knight Craft will handle all the hot files at the … 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

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 lasts a few weeks, starts on Sept.17; the general debate begins on Sept. 24. With most member states … Read more

 

The Climate Is on the Loose, Especially in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — Record heat waves have crippled a number of cities this summer, one most visibly the Netherlands’ second largest, Rotterdam. Experts point to climate change. According to new data widely reported from the World Meteorological Organization and Copernicus Climate Change Program, July equaled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history … 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

Kelly Knight Craft: A ‘Very Impressive Individual’ or ‘Unfit to Serve’?

Kelly Knight Craft

The Senate has confirmed Kelly Knight Craft to be Washington’s top ambassador to the United Nations, even as a key Democrat pronounced her “unfit to serve.” The move ends a seven-month vacancy in one of the country’s most senior diplomatic posts. The July 31 vote on Craft’s nomination was 56 to 34, with 5 Democrats … Read more

Will Democrats Stall Trump’s Nominee for the UN Indefinitely?

After the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just voted to place 13 Trump administration nominees across diverse positions in the State Department, Senate ranking member Robert Menendez is using another nomination as a negotiating chip to demand details on two controversial White House migration pacts with Guatemala and Mexico. Senator Menendez (D-N.J.) is blocking the candidacy … Read more

 

Unesco: Teach Children How to Understand Migrants’ Lives, Before It’s Too Late

As outrage and horror build around stories of refugee children, some still in diapers, seized from their parents and suffering neglect and abuse along the United States border with Mexico, Unesco, the United Nations organization with education in its mandate, is looking ahead. A new generation of children in countries receiving migrants needs to learn … Read more

President Trump’s Goal for Financing Palestinians Is a Guessing Game

The United Nations refugee agency for Palestinians is vastly short of funds for 5.4 million people, while the Trump administration is doing its best to shut down the program and initiate new, albeit controversial financing. At issue was a “workshop” in Bahrain, held last week and organized by Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of President Trump, … Read more

Trump’s Pick for UN Diplomat in Geneva Vows to Oppose Reproductive Rights and Put America First

Andrew Bremberg

“I am pro-life, I believe that all human life is sacred, and that human life begins at conception,” Andrew Bremberg told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee recently. Asked if rape victims should have access to abortion, he replied, “I don’t believe that abortion is a moral solution to any problem.” Nominated by President … Read more

Trump’s UN Pick Softens on Climate Change, but Not on Paris Accord

Kelly Knight Craft

Kelly Knight Craft, Donald Trump’s pick to be the next United States ambassador to the United Nations, raised eyebrows in her June 19 Senate confirmation hearing by putting some space between her views on global climate change and those of the president. But Trump needn’t worry that she might end up threatening her boss’s ostrichlike … Read more

 

China, Gaining Power in the UN, Could Win FAO Leadership

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has existed at the periphery of UN agencies and been a focus of critics almost since its founding in 1945, as the vehicle for ending hunger and achieving food security. Based in Rome, the FAO has 194 member nations and many projects designed to raise the standards of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Calling All Women’s Groups: Help Shape the Beijing+25 Agenda

Women in Uruguay preparing to participate in an International Women's Day march, 2019

Twenty-four years ago, the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, yielded a bold declaration from 189 countries calling for improving the rights of women across the globe. Now, plans to mark the 25th anniversary of Beijing are forging ahead, as organizers decide on themes of conferences taking place in 2020 while managing pushback … Read more

Pompeo Retreats on Universal Human Rights as US Looks More Inward

Secretary of State Pompeo

In an audacious move that could be the capstone of the Trump administration’s campaign to reverse decades of American support for human rights globally, the State Department is creating a separate new commission to advise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on redefining United States policies, aligned with “natural law and natural rights.” For many human-rights … Read more

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

 

Pulling Back the Curtain on the US Mission to the UN

Vice President Pence at the United Nations Security Council on April 10, 2019

The next United States ambassador to the United Nations, which could be Kelly Knight Craft, will arrive at a US mission to the UN that is far diminished in size and stature than the one her immediate predecessor, Nikki Haley, inherited. In the last month, numerous former staff members and high-level personnel from the US … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

At the UN, the US Darkens Women’s Right to Abortion

After four weeks of tumultuous negotiations over a resolution that reinforced decades of international efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict and to introduce more legal reassurances and services for victims, the 15-member United Nations Security Council approved a text whose wording had been rigorously fought over between the United States and many of its … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Why We Canceled an Event in the US Featuring West African Journalists

A resident returned to his home in the Mopti region of Mali after attacks in February 2019

Over the past eight months, we at the Mali-based independent news website Sahelien.com have been working on a documentary film called “The Forgotten Ones,” about the urgent security crisis in Mali’s Mopti region, where civilians, soldiers and United Nations peacekeepers are being increasingly killed. As part of our efforts to engage more directly with audiences … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

Trump Nominates the Current UN Envoy as Ambassador to Egypt

Jonathan R Cohen

Just days after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt met with President Trump in the White House, receiving an effusive reception, Trump nominated Jonathan R. Cohen, the acting permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, as ambassador to Egypt. Cohen, who has been a Foreign Service officer since 1986, is from Southern … Read more

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