With Scandals Rife Across the UN, Are Managers at Fault?

A sea of new or lingering allegations of harassment and corruption in numerous agencies and programs in the United Nations system appears to be washing over a sprawling organization battered by scandal. Poor or careless management and oversight, from top to bottom, is partly to blame, but so is persistent, overt politicization of high-level appointments … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Germany Gets What’s Fair: Some Top UN Jobs

BERLIN — It is a widely held view in political circles here that Germany has not been adequately represented in the United Nations, apart from its relatively frequent elected membership to the Security Council, which Germany has held five times and which last year announced its candidacy for a sixth term for 2019-2020. To be more … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Advice to António Guterres: A Leaner UN Could Be a Better UN

GENEVA — Whether or not he is a fan of Chinese characters, António Guterres will have to discover the double meaning of a crisis as opportunity. United Nations corridors on First Avenue in New York are buzzing with anxiety about the possibility of impending cuts in funding from the United States, with hints from a … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

A Sorry State of Affairs: Ban Ki-moon Has No Climate Plan for UN

How green is the United Nations’ own environmental policies? Shepherding the Paris climate agreement to conclusion in December 2015 has been a major achievement of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The agreement got more than 190 states to commit to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 degrees centigrade, above pre-industrial levels. At … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

The UN Environment Program, Influential but Lacking Power

BERLIN — The history of the United Nations Environment Program is illustrative in two respects: it reflects the changing importance of environmental issues within the UN system and it demonstrates that dedicated people in a UN organization can master the difficult task of implementing an ambitious mandate without sufficient political status, funds and personnel and … Read more

New Investment Law in Peru Undermines Rights of Indigenous Women

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new law in Peru encouraging investment in the country’s extractive industries has reignited the debate on the lack of power indigenous women have in the mostly rural societies where they often live. The International Indigenous Women’s Forum, which drew more than 60 native women from across the world to Peru last month, highlighted … Read more

The Growing Threat of Plastic in Marine Litter

Two summers ago, Bill Grafton, the president emeritus of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and commercial fishermen lifted a 5,000-pound net ball from coastal waters off Provincetown, Massachusetts. The knot of plastic and rope was so heavy that his crew enlisted a construction loader for help. At the time, Grafton was coordinating a derelict-fishing-gear retrieval … Read more

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