COVID-19

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

New Tensions Sparking Between Trump and UN Rights Leader, Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, who has been personally attacked by United States Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, is not planning to resign from her position, according to her office. Her term does not end until 2022, but rumors have been circulating that she could decide to leave amid increasing … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

UN Chief Condemns Male Privilege as Many Nations Defy Such Bashing

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

With International Women’s Day, March 8, on the horizon, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres blasted the intractable power of patriarchy, the cause of overwhelming gender injustice and an abuse of historical proportions, in his view. “Just as slavery and colonialism were a stain on previous centuries, women’s inequality should shame us all in the twenty-first,” … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Battle Lines Are Drawn on Women’s Rights Before #CSW64 Even Begins

From the start, the diplomats leading the negotiations on the new political declaration for the United Nations’ women’s rights conference in March wanted to keep it short and sweet. That meant five pages maximum, one diplomat told PassBlue before the discussions began, inevitably frustrating diplomats who had hoped to produce a generous endorsement of women’s … Read more

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

WORLDVIEWS

How the US Enabled Aggressions by China and Russia at the UN

For the last decade, Western democracies and human-rights defenders have been locked in a tense struggle with authoritarian great powers at the United Nations. Since 2009, Russia and China have waged a highly successful campaign to dismantle the international human-rights system, particularly through the Human Rights Council. The two countries have made strides especially after … Read more

BOOKS

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

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

Melissa Fleming Wants to Change the UN’s Public Image. Can She Do It?

Melissa Fleming, the new head of the UN’s Department of Global Communications

The United Nations turns 75 this year, all year long. As its purpose is being questioned by some of its biggest donor nations, including the United States, the UN has a new person to reshape its public image through its global communications office, starting with how it presents its news. PassBlue obtained an exclusive copy of … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Feminists Rev Up for Beijing+25 Reviews as the US Resists

This year will be an urgent moment for the United Nations and its 193 member countries to renew their commitment ensuring women’s equality in all walks of life. Twenty-five years have passed since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was ratified at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. That document was designed … Read more

The US Raises Its UN Profile, but Not Its Support

Kelley Currie

The naming of Jonathan Moore, a senior United States Foreign Service officer, to the position of Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, signals that in the United Nations’ 75th year, the Trump administration is getting serious. The move doesn’t mean that the US is increasing support for the organization, of course, or for … Read more

Trump vs. Iran: What’s the UN for, Anyway?

President Trump, Vice President Pence and advisors

Donald Trump may have dodged the big one in the Middle East for now. But recent events make clear that the president and his tragic idea of leadership may yet drag the United States into a major war with Iran — and there’s good reason to believe it wouldn’t be pretty. He may still dazzle … Read more

Look Out, UN, Here Comes More Kentucky

Mitch McConnell, the United States Senate Majority Leader, is known for his obstructionist role as Donald Trump’s enforcer and enabler of domestic policies and executive orders. Lately, the senator from Kentucky has also begun maneuvering in foreign policy and diplomacy, notably involving United Nations appointments. Last year, he lobbied Trump for months to get Kelly … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

The Top 10 PassBlue Stories of 2019: From Strongmen to Sexual Harassment

Once again, 2019 marked incredible upheaval and change across the world, just as 2018 did so universally, signaled by the continued rise in nationalism and revolts by women against repression and violence in their daily lives. Reporting on how United Nations member states — all 193 of them — acted in 2019 was a challenge … Read more

GEOPOLITICS

China’s UN Playground & Talking Gender With the UN’s Rosemary DiCarlo: Our Latest Episode

This year was a big one for China, and 2020 is likely to be much the same — if not more intense, given the range of issues involving the United States and far beyond. For our last episode of the year, UN-Scripted looks at how China’s rise internationally is reflected at the United Nations. To … Read more

At the UN, Scrooge Haunts the Holiday Season

Vassily Nebenzia, the Russian ambassador to the UN

In this season of giving, the United States delegation offered free bourbon from Kentucky to the media and is splurging on a holiday party paid for by Kelly Knight Craft, the US ambassador, while in more serious business at the United Nations, the Russians not only held up a vote for one day regarding a … Read more

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENCY

Kelly Knight Craft’s Menu for the UN: Bourbon, Basketball and Bonding

GLASGOW, Kentucky — “There’s no place like home for the holidays” is the United States’ theme for the Security Council presidency in December, while at the same time, in a slight contradiction, the US wants to tackle the problem of the Council’s credibility. To illustrate her point about the Council’s “credibility,” as she said, Kelly … Read more

Politics and Understaffing Delay US Funding to the Main UN Budgets

Politics and understaffing are the main reasons the United States has still not paid its outstanding dues to the general budget of the United Nations, after much news coverage of the problem in early October. The UN is experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis that threatens its peacekeeping operations globally and severely hampers its work in … Read more

TOPIC: WOMEN

Mixing Politics and Religion, the US Stalls UN Work on Women’s Rights

President Trump with UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed

It did not take long after the 74th General Assembly session opened this fall for the Trump team to signal that its strategy in key United Nations meetings would be to act as uncooperative and obstructive as possible, especially on human-rights agendas. The 2019-2020 UN year — September to September — is likely to be remembered … Read more

BOOKS

Nikki Haley Makes Her Choice: She’s a Forever Trumper

“With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace,” is framed as a look back at Nikki Haley’s two years as United States ambassador to the United Nations. It’s also not unreasonable to assume she’s just ticking off one more box before an eventual run for high office: Quit your government job, start tweeting … Read more

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