Living Through the Pandemic in the World’s Most Livable City

Vienna from my window

VIENNA — Since moving to Austria in 2018, I have enjoyed the comparably high standard of living and relatively low cost of living that the city offers. As a foreigner, I feel at home in this beautiful city, which is also home to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Atomic Energy … Read more Living Through the Pandemic in the World’s Most Livable City

What the Pandemic Means for UN Peacekeeping Work

UN and Mali Ministry of Health and Social Affairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Covid-19 poses major challenges for people and governments around the world and for the United Nations. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global cease-fire on March 23 in recognition of the pandemic’s potentially devastating effects on people in conflict-affected nations. Less noticed in the press coverage was the important point that … Read more What the Pandemic Means for UN Peacekeeping Work

Was China a Less-Than-Ideal President to Lead the UN Security Council in a Crisis?

Ambassador Zhang Jun of China

In early March, China appeared to be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel back home in containing the coronavirus spread, while in New York City, the country was preparing to take over the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council. Ambassador Zhang Jun of China told the media that one of … Read more Was China a Less-Than-Ideal President to Lead the UN Security Council in a Crisis?

Is Kelly Craft Out of the Loop on Trump’s Pandemic Plans?

President Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo love to label Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.” But Kelly Craft, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, is calling on Washington to work hand in hand with China and end the “blame game” of trying to hold Beijing responsible for the pandemic. … Read more Is Kelly Craft Out of the Loop on Trump’s Pandemic Plans?

The Dominican Republic’s Hope for April: Smooth Sailing

With the incremental transformation the Security Council has gone through in March by transferring the bulk of its meetings online, the Dominican Republic’s special envoy to the United Nations intends to preside over the Council “like a sailboat, we’ll go wherever the wind takes us.” As the agenda of the Council will be adopted on … Read more The Dominican Republic’s Hope for April: Smooth Sailing

The Security Council Goes Silent as the Secretary-General Opens Up

United Nations Security Council Virtual Meeting

For the coronavirus outbreak, UN-Scripted, our podcast series, is ramping up its coverage by offering a bonus episode this week. This time, we look at how the United Nations Security Council is slowly restarting its program of work but offering few details on its operations to the media and all the countries that don’t sit … Read more The Security Council Goes Silent as the Secretary-General Opens Up

The UN’s War Plan Against the Coronavirus as It Attacks the Globe

Secretary-General António Guterres holds a virtual press briefing

The coronavirus officially hit the United Nations at its New York City headquarters on March 12, when the first reported case was announced by the Philippines mission to the UN that one of its diplomats had Covid-19 and was recovering. Twenty-four hours later, the UN announced that its personnel in New York — with exceptions … Read more The UN’s War Plan Against the Coronavirus as It Attacks the Globe

The UN Security Council Is MIA as the Coronavirus Ravages the World

Although much of the world is closing temporarily due to the rapid spread of Covid-19, the United Nations Security Council must stay open — meeting physically if possible and virtually if not — in order to fulfill its Charter responsibilities not only to address the threats posed by the pandemic but also to respond to … Read more The UN Security Council Is MIA as the Coronavirus Ravages the World

Can Global Diplomacy Survive Covid-19? Our Latest Podcast Episode

On March 13, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres ordered New York-based personnel to start working from home as of March 16, to last until April 13. His announcement came one day after the UN confirmed that a diplomat from the Philippines who represents her country at the UN in New York had tested positive for … Read more Can Global Diplomacy Survive Covid-19? Our Latest Podcast Episode

The UN in New York Shuts Physically as Most Personnel Telecommute: Updates

The coronavirus has officially hit the United Nations at its New York City headquarters. On Thursday, March 12, the first reported case was confirmed by a diplomat with the Philippines mission to the UN, who said that a Filipino colleague had tested positive for Covid-19 and had notified the “UN medical director’s office.” The UN … Read more The UN in New York Shuts Physically as Most Personnel Telecommute: Updates

A UN Diplomat From the Philippines Has the Coronavirus as It Hits New York

As the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus keeps rising in New York City this week, the United Nations remains open for business for diplomats and for staff members who are not telecommuting, while tourists were banned as of March 10. Yet as of early evening on March 12, it was revealed by the … Read more A UN Diplomat From the Philippines Has the Coronavirus as It Hits New York

Amid the Coronavirus Threat, the UN Tries Out a (Cyber) Security Council Meeting

The United Nations Security Council ran a secret cybermeeting simulation on March 9 to prepare for a possible lockdown of the UN building and the rest of New York City, amid the coronavirus outbreak. So far, the UN is trying to address the epidemic at its headquarters by asking diplomats to meet offsite a few … Read more Amid the Coronavirus Threat, the UN Tries Out a (Cyber) Security Council Meeting

China Is in the Hot Seat as Covid-19 Shadows Its Diplomacy

Over the past year China’s presence at the United Nations got suddenly noticed. It may be its more outgoing ambassador, Zhang Jun, its lobbying against human rights, its accession to high-level roles or the disengagement of the United States — perhaps all of the above that has drawn attention. But just as the country assumes … Read more China Is in the Hot Seat as Covid-19 Shadows Its Diplomacy

US Ambassador Kelly Craft Resumes Campaign Donations with a Big Gift to Trump

Kelly Craft has taken a big step toward helping to ensure her political future, lavishing a campaign contribution of $360,600 on the re-election of her boss, President Donald Trump. The gift is the first that Craft, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has dished out since joining the diplomatic corps as ambassador to … Read more US Ambassador Kelly Craft Resumes Campaign Donations with a Big Gift to Trump

Palestine v. Israel, and the US Democratic Race: Our Double-Episode Podcast

President Trump has made good on his campaign promises to redefine America’s relationship with the rest of the world — for better or for worse — and the United Nations has in many ways been the epicenter of his “American First” policy abroad. Most recently, his peace proposal for Israel and Palestine scraps decades of … Read more Palestine v. Israel, and the US Democratic Race: Our Double-Episode Podcast

Despite Common Rejection of Trump’s Mideast Plan, Some Hope to Restart Talks

A few days after Jared Kushner, President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, met with United Nations Security Council members offsite in New York to sell the United States’ Mideast deal for peace, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas came to the Council to vehemently oppose it. While Abbas’s criticisms were echoed by most members of the Council, the … Read more Despite Common Rejection of Trump’s Mideast Plan, Some Hope to Restart Talks

From Five to Four: Belgium Strives to Fill the European Gap in the Security Council Left by Brexit

Marc Pecsteen de Buytswerve and Stéphanie Fillion

In Brussels, the month started with the removal of Britain’s flag from the European Union headquarters, while in New York, Belgium became rotating president of the United Nations Security Council for February, ready to fill the political vacuum left by Britain’s departure from the European bloc on the Council, thanks to Brexit. PassBlue met with … Read more From Five to Four: Belgium Strives to Fill the European Gap in the Security Council Left by Brexit

Will Trump’s ‘Vision’ Shake Up the Middle East?

President Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in the White House

When is a peace plan not a peace plan? Look no further than Donald Trump’s cynically timed initiative to end the decades-long conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. If a breakthrough does result, it will be in spite of itself. Released in late January after three years lurking in the shadows, it would jettison decades of … Read more Will Trump’s ‘Vision’ Shake Up the Middle East?

A Most Influential Actor: The US Ambassador to the UN

Everyone familiar with the United Nations knows that its relationship with its key member, the United States, has been and still is subject to far-reaching changes. The periods when the US administration and the Congress make use of the competencies of the United Nations in shaping their foreign policies depend on the administration and the … Read more A Most Influential Actor: The US Ambassador to the UN

Reading the US Presidential Tea Leaves: Do the Candidates Even Care About the UN?

President Trump was at the United Nations last fall telling world leaders that “the future does not belong to globalists” when Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the United States House of Representatives would launch an inquiry into his possible impeachment. It was the same General Assembly whose derisive laughter at Trump’s boast a year before of … Read more Reading the US Presidential Tea Leaves: Do the Candidates Even Care About the UN?

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