WORLDVIEWS

Happy 100th Birthday, Sir Brian Urquhart, Heart of the UN

Sir Brian Urquhart has celebrated his 100th birthday this year. This is an eventful moment. Sir Brian is one of the most notable figures in the history of the United Nations. Urquhart has spent most of his entire life in service to the UN and, in his tenure, embodied the very narrative of the institution … 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

Now Is the Time for a Female Secretary-General, Says a New Campaign [Video]

Convinced that after 70 years it is time to choose a woman for the United Nations’ top job of secretary-general, a new movement led by an academic spcialist on the organization has been assembled to formally support the election of a woman for the job. The current secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, a Korean, finishes his second … 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

 

WORLDVIEWS

Next Best in 2016? The UN Secretary-General Must Be a Reformer

GENEVA — For only the second time — the first was in 1996 — the electoral campaigns for the American president and the United Nations secretary-general are running in parallel. Both promise to be long and protracted. Each already has a growing slate of presumptive candidates pounding flesh and employing lobbyists. But the next two … 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

A UN Garden, Sweet With Fair Roses

A Kenyan in the UN rose garden

Set discreetly within the 17-acre compound of the United Nations on the East River, about 1,550 roses grow and bloom year after year. The UN roses, flowers with imaginative names, are donated by All America Rose Selections, a nonprofit group dedicated to the cause of “exceptional roses.” They consist of hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras and … Read more

BOOKS

Why the UN Was Built in New York and Not in South Dakota

UN headquarters at Hunter College in the Bronx, 1946

Who knew there was once such hot competition to host the United Nations? Not even the author of a book on the topic, when she first started out. One day in her home city of Philadelphia, Charlene Mires, an associate professor of history at Rutgers University, was going through some old newspaper clippings. One featured … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

What the General Assembly Wants From the Secretary-General

General Assembly president and Ban Ki-moon

BERLIN — When the United Nations has been fortunate to have a secretary-general who has great charisma and skills in settling conflicts, the world tends to consider him a figure with his own political status and powers. People like this idea because in difficult times they want to have an authoritative mediator, a moral guide. … Read more

Support nonprofit journalism →
Left Menu Icon