Pulling Back the Curtain on the US Mission to the UN

The next United States ambassador to the United Nations, which could be Kelly Knight Craft, will arrive at a US mission to the UN that is far diminished in size and stature than the one her immediate predecessor, Nikki Haley, inherited. In the last month, numerous former staff members and high-level personnel from the US … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Where Will Trump’s Love for Israel Take Us?

President Trump with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, May 2017.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s not really “America First.” It’s “Donald Trump First.” Life would no doubt be safer for the rest of us if his administration based its foreign policy on something larger than one person’s personal fortune(s). But Trump policies have never been famous for their altruism and typically … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The Elusive Truth About the Death of Dag Hammarskjold and My Father

My clock radio clicked on. The morning news bulletin announced that United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane was missing. It was Sept. 18, 1961. I was 16. Over the next hours, my mother and sisters and I learned that Mr. Hammarskjöld, accompanied by Dad and 14 others, had flown from Leopoldville, in the Congo, to … Read more

GOINGS-ON

Ambassador Kelley Currie Is Leaving the US Mission to the UN

Kelley Currie, an ambassador who represents the United States on the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and is the alternate representative of the US to the General Assembly, is leaving her post at the US mission to the UN in New York, she told people at a reception on Jan. 31, 2019. … Read more

 

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s Gender Parity Goals: The Backlash Begins

One year into the United Nations’ new strategy for gender parity among staff members at all levels, a gendered backlash has emerged, even as parity has been achieved at the highest echelons of the world body. Political will from UN leaders beyond the secretary-general and member states is needed to ensure that where the UN … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Can Germany Mediate the Big-Power Divide in the UN Security Council?

BERLIN — At the start of Germany’s sixth two-year term in the United Nations Security Council, the media attention in Germany is unusually high: numerous journalists on TV and radio are asking diplomats, politicians and foreign policy experts about their views on Germany’s role in the Council, as well as its goals and prospects for … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Dominican Republic’s Priority in the UN Security Council: Climate Change

Although the Dominican Republic has been a member of the United Nations since 1945, the country is making its debut on the Security Council this month — starting big, as the president in the rotating seat. It is the country’s first strike out of two presidencies as an elected member with a two-year term, representing … Read more

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

‘Welcome to Turtle Bay’: Nikki Haley’s (Imagined) Letter to Heather Nauert

Dear Heather, I was moved to learn of that sweet letter that George H.W. Bush left for Bill Clinton in an Oval Office desk drawer as he left the White House in January 1993. Poppy wished him “great happiness” in the new job and advised him not to “let the critics discourage you or push … Read more

 

UN Migrant Compact, Shunned by Trump, Is Likely to Win World’s Support

As images circulate worldwide of American tear gas enveloping would-be asylum seekers on its Mexican border and of terrified faces of children being snatched from their parents by United States patrols, a United Nations-sponsored pact on orderly migration is expected to win near-universal approval and even gain support at a global conference in December. The … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

With UN Security Council Reform, Bigger Is Not Better

Much ado — during 25 years of fruitless negotiations — has been made about the need for the United Nations General Assembly to achieve more equitable geographical representation in the UN Security Council. Article 23(1) of the UN Charter, however, also requires the Assembly, in electing the nonpermanent members of the Council, to pay due … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Four Easy Steps to Reform the UN Human Rights Council

Problems encircling the United Nations Human Rights Council are verging toward a major crisis. The same crisis had engulfed its predecessor, the Commission on Human Rights, leading the secretary-general at the time, Kofi Annan, to call to replace it with the Council. But the same problems affecting the former Commission now affect its successor, and … Read more

UNGA72

Myanmar, North Korea, Gender Parity: Guterres Highlights the Topics of the UN Debate

António Guterres, the UN secretary-general

António Guterres, the secretary-general of the United Nations, said the top two problems he would highlight the most at the opening session of the General Assembly next week were Myanmar’s rapidly unfolding humanitarian disaster and North Korea’s nuclear-weapons provocations. “The humanitarian situation is catastrophic,” Guterres said at a media briefing on Sept. 13 at UN … Read more

 

NIKKI HALEY WATCH

Trump to Force UN Reform Agenda at General Assembly Session in September

The United States is planning to hold a high-level meeting on United Nations reform during the opening days of the 72nd General Assembly debate. The Sept. 18 meeting is to be chaired by Donald Trump and held a day before he is scheduled to address the UN for the first time as America’s president in the … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

At the UN, a New Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Is Adopted by 122 Nations

Nuclear buildup and threat of nuclear war became a front-page item this past week, after Kim Jong Un’s declaration of a successful intercontinental ballistic missile test, confirmed on July 4 by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Such headlines — proclaimed on America’s Independence Day — remind the public of the ever-present specter of … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

The UN’s Three Main Bodies Are Failing to Do Their Job

  “Those who seek to bestow legitimacy must themselves embody it, and those who invoke international law must themselves submit to it.” So spoke United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the 59th session of the UN General Assembly on Sept. 22, 2004. Annan’s statement should be understood to apply to the principal organs of the … 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

 

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

WORLDVIEWS

UN Governance and the War on Drugs: Time for Change

“A drug-free world — we can do it!” was the tragically misguided slogan of the last major United Nations summit on drug control in 1998. UN member states will soon come together in the General Assembly, from April 19 to 21, for another try at getting drug control right. There is good cause to wonder … Read more

The Next UN Secretary-General: Views From UN Watchers

The results of the latest FUNDS survey of global experts, conducted during the winter of 2015-16, contains clear messages about the next United Nations secretary-general: s/he should be a world leader with integrity and political courage who will prioritize UN reform; and the election process should be open and transparent. There is more room for … 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

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