Kofi Annan

Why This American Still Cherishes the UN

Americans should know more about the life of William vanden Heuvel, a former United States envoy to the United Nations office in Geneva in the late 1970s. His career of social and political activism has touched on the people of his country on issues ranging from prison reform to school desegregation — but especially on …

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Amina Mohammed with Borge Brende, António Guterres and Klaus Schwab

As the SDGs Falter, the UN Turns to the Rich and Famous

The Sustainable Development Goals are in trouble. United Nations officials are concerned and say so publicly. Secretary-General António Guterres  joined in raising an alarm in mid-July when he introduced the most recent official UN report. “It is abundantly clear that a much deeper, faster and more ambitious response is needed to unleash the social and …

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When Is an Attack on UN Peacekeepers a War Crime and When Is It Not?

The recent attack by a militia on the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which seven peacekeepers were killed, highlighted a question that the Security Council has hesitated to confront for years. What are the consequences when UN peacekeeping missions become parties to the conflict? The Security Council responded to the latest attacks on Monusco, as the …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University

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 …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Celebrators at the opening of the New UN House in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, on Nov. 26, 2016.

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

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 …

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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; …

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