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

Less Politics and More Transparency: What New Leadership Will Mean for the UN

In a year when people who follow the United Nations are focusing on the election of the next secretary-general, the center of early action in that election has moved for the first time in history from the secretive deliberations of the Security Council to an unprecedented open campaign in the General Assembly, which normally has only … Read more

Civil and Polite, Nations Participate in First-Ever UN Security Council Election Hearings

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 the … Read more

The UN’s Demands to Stop the Violence in Yemen Fall on Deaf Ears

While the regional coalition led by Saudi Arabia continues its aerial bombardment against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and as ground troops — from Bahrain, Sudan and United Arab Emirates — join the Saudis in the fray, the pain dealt to civilians, especially children, has been rising ever since the war began in March. In … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

Ironing Out the Kinks in the UN’s New Human-Rights Initiative

BERLIN — In December 2013, Jan Eliasson, the United Nations deputy secretary-general, went on a selling spree. In a series of briefings, he presented a new initiative to UN member states and to the rest of the world. In his address to the General Assembly, Eliasson said, not mincing words: “In improving the way we … Read more

Jan Eliasson Explains His Role as No. 2 at the UN

Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the UN

Jan Eliasson has been the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations since July 2012, the second in command after Ban Ki-moon. Eliasson, 73, is a former Swedish foreign minister and was ambassador to the United States twice, among other foreign postings. He was also president of the UN General Assembly and a key UN mediator … Read more

Deep Flaws in UN Response to Sri Lanka Include R2P Failure

Tamil Tiger cadres loading up in Sri Lanka

The United Nation’s internal report on its role during the final stages of the prolonged civil war in Sri Lanka was unusually critical of the Secretariat and highlighted major shortcomings in the UN’s response to the fighting. The report, which was leaked to the BBC days before its official release on Nov. 15, forced top … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Ban Ki-moon’s New Team Earning Positive Reviews

Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, new head of public information at the UN

When leaders of the world start descending on the United Nations in September for the opening of a new General Assembly session, there will two new internationally well-known figures in prominent positions at the top of the organization. In July, Jan Eliasson of Sweden became the UN’s deputy secretary-general, and in mid-August, Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal of … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

General Assembly President: A Hardly Noticed, Yet Crucial Job

Jean Ping of Gabon

BERLIN — This United Nations top official is unknown to the broad public, yet he or she provides an important function: the president of the General Assembly. Most presidents have carried out the job inconspicuously and routinely, but a few presidents, the present one included, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, have revealed stamina and political … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Jan Eliasson Named Deputy Secretary-General

Jan Eliasson Addresses Security Council Meeting on Sudan

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has chosen Jan Eliasson, a former Swedish foreign minister with years of experience as a key United Nations mediator and humanitarian relief director, to be his new deputy secretary-general. Eliasson, 71, was twice ambassador to the United States and is well known is Washington. He takes office on July 1. Eliasson’s appointment … Read more

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