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

WORLDVIEWS

Thank You, UN, for Defending Our Human Rights Against Gross Violations

From 1970 to 2000, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the predecessor to today’s Human Rights Council, considered in closed meetings and acted on some 80 country situations where there were reliable allegations of gross violations of human rights. In parallel, the UN Decolonization Committee and the Special Committee Against Apartheid gathered information, listened … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Sexual Harassment at the UN Is Alive and Persistent

As its people of the year, Time magazine recently named the Silence Breakers — people who have spoken against sexual harassment and launched the hashtag #MeToo into an international phenomenon with more than seven million hits on social media. Just before the announcement, more than 230 women who work in national security for the United … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Ban Ki-moon’s Travels: Escape Hatch or Act of Diplomacy?

BERLIN — If you take a close look at the public schedule of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, it becomes evident that he travels a lot to member states, even more than his charismatic and most active predecessor Kofi Annan. Why does Ban travel so often? Some critics suggest that Ban wants to distract public … Read more

What Matters Most in Choosing the Next UN Chief? Politics, Geography and Maybe Gender

The post of United Nations secretary-general may or may not be “the world’s most impossible job,” as its first occupant, Trygve Lie, a Norwegian, once described it. In any case, UN members must choose a successor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon well before the close of 2016. Some potential candidates are already campaigning for the post. … Read more

BOOKS

Lonely at the Top: What It’s Like to Be the UN Secretary-General

UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold

There have been eight secretaries-general of the United Nations in the 68 years since the first of them, Trygve Lie of Norway, took on this unique global position. All eight — all men — have been very different in character and personality, in their cultural and political backgrounds and in their views of how the … Read more

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