TOPIC: WOMEN

Where Are the Female Leaders at the UN? Gender Bias Persists

The exhibition “HERStory: A Celebration of Leading Women in the United Nations” was held at the Unesco headquarters in Paris this summer, after it made its debut in New York last year. Designed to showcase the contributions of female leaders throughout the UN’s history, it featured such high-profile personalities as Margaret Anstee, the first woman … Read more

A New Year at the UN: Getting Serious About Global Disorder?

Government leaders from around the world are gathering in New York for the opening on Tuesday of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, an event haunted by momentous crises demanding undivided attention and action from all member countries. Responses in both the General Assembly (whose powers are limited) and the Security Council (stalemated … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Personalities Can’t Be Ignored in Candidacies for UN Secretary-General

What personal qualities are needed to become a successful United Nations secretary-general? The 2016 campaign to select a new leader features many novelties in the UN’s history: an official list of candidates, public job interviews by the General Assembly and informal panel debates in London and New York. Civil society coalitions and the current president … Read more

Only 1 Woman in Top-3 Winners Again in UN Secretary-General Vote

With 11 candidates left in the race this year for United Nations secretary-general, the Security Council held its second straw poll on Aug. 5, showing a slight shift in levels of support by the council’s 15 members, but placing António Guterres of Portugal at the top again. Yet once more, only one woman, this time … Read more

 

Men Voting for Men: UN Security Council Holds Its First Straw Poll to Pick a Secretary-General

United Nations Secretary General Straw Poll Webcast

The first straw poll to test the support of Security Council members for candidates vying to become the next United Nations secretary-general occurred Thursday morning. The vote took place amid strong interest by global media who report on the world body as well as the dozen candidates, the UN’s 193 member states and people who … 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

Italy and Netherlands to Share a UN Security Council Seat Over Two-Year Term

In a narrow vote conducted over seven hours amid five rounds of inconclusive balloting between Italy and the Netherlands for an elected seat on the United Nations Security Council, the two nations decided to split the two-year term. Italy will get one year, as of January 2017; and the Netherlands will take the seat in … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

A Woman, a Bombast and a Socialist: The UN and US Elections

The major contenders for one of the highest public offices in the world include the first possible female candidate for the position; a slightly aggressive (and that’s what his friends say about him) surprise candidate; and a socialist who’s not really supposed to be there but has garnered enough support to possibly be a contender. … Read more

 

New Candidates for Secretary-General Make Their Cases at the UN

The field of nine candidates campaigning formally to become the next United Nations secretary-general grew by two on June 7, when Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia’s foreign minister, and Susana Malcorra, who holds the same position in Argentina, spoke in public sessions lasting more than two hours each, taking questions from UN member delegates and civil society … Read more

The Field Grows and Shifts in the Race for UN Secretary-General

The second crop of campaigners making a pitch to replace Ban Ki-moon in January is now being assembled, and it looks like the first declared candidate on the list may well shake up the race. She is Susana Malcorra, Argentina’s foreign minister and a well-respected, internationally known former United Nations official. The next round of … 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

Another First for Candidates for UN Secretary-General? Tweeting

This is not your grandfather’s election cycle. Will this be the year a woman is elected to one of the highest political positions in the world? What’s up with the surprise candidate gaining unexpected momentum? Can any candidate truly blend the need for the best-qualified administration with gender parity? It is unequivocal that this year’s … Read more

 

A UN First After 70 Years: Open Campaigning for Secretary-General

It was a week unprecedented in the history of the United Nations. From April 12 to 14, nine candidates for the office of secretary-general were put on a public stage in front of the world to make their cases as to why they should be elected to follow Ban-Ki-moon when his term ends this year. … Read more

After Corruption Charges, UN Panel Recommends Major Changes to General Assembly Presidency

The presidency of the United Nations General Assembly, a ceremonial position filled annually by the organization’s 193 member nations, needs to fling open its doors to basic transparency on its financing and staffing operations, says a new report commissioned by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The office of the presidency of the UN General Assembly has … Read more

A New Plan to Recruit Candidates for UN Secretary-General Emerges

For the first time in United Nations history, officially announced candidates for the secretary-general race, underway this year, will be interviewed publicly in the General Assembly along the lines of a standard democratic election. Mogens Lykketoft, the Assembly president and a Dane, is pushing the “unprecedented transparent process,” as he put it, in selecting the … Read more

The UN General Assembly Grows More Assertive Under a Dane

Corridor diplomacy — private nonmeetings, informal discussions — has been the norm at the United Nations since its founding 70 years ago. It is the preferred method of its most powerful organ, the Security Council, particularly now, as the election of the UN’s next secretary-general for the 2017-2022 term is underway. In this election year, … Read more

 

New Snags for Women Running in the UN Secretary-General Race

The only official female candidate in the competition so far to become the next United Nations secretary-general may already be in flux. Just a few weeks have passed since the Croatian government sent a letter to the UN nominating Vesna Pusic, a former foreign minister, but her candidacy may be uncertain because of a change … Read more

Steps for More Transparency in UN General Assembly Office Stir Skepticism

The president of the United Nations General Assembly has vowed to make his office more open, including publicly documenting his travels and financial contributions from outside donors, in response to the recent criminal accusation by the United States government against a predecessor, John Ashe. In a parallel move, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is organizing a … Read more

US Charges a Former UN General Assembly President: More Revelations Likely

A luxury-loving diplomat susceptible to bribery, a clutch of rich Chinese with business interests and an open door to the top leadership of the United Nations General Assembly. It all adds up to not only a blow to the integrity of the UN but also a stark demonstration of the dysfunction of an international system … Read more

The Heart of Pope Francis’s Speech at the UN: Don’t Look Past the Poor

Pope Francis spread his gospel of not forgetting the poor at the United Nations on Friday morning, where he spoke in his native Spanish to the 193 member delegations and heads of state gathered before him at the General Assembly Hall. It was his first appearance at the UN during his first trip to the … Read more

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