• About Helmut Volger

    Helmut Volger has written and edited several books about the UN, including A Concise Encyclopedia of the United Nations, of which the second revised edition was published by Brill Academic Publishers in 2010. He is also a co-founder of the German UN Research Network (www.forschungskreis-vereinte-nationen.de).

    Far-Reaching Changes Remake the UN Food and Agriculture Organization

    by  • May 13, 2013 • Humanitarian Aid, UN Agencies, World Bank • 

    An olive oil plant in Tunisia

      BERLIN — The fight against hunger became a primary goal of the United Nations system early on. In 1943, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened an international conference that reached agreement on the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and two years later, on Oct. 16, 1945, only days before the founding [...]

    Read more →

    Regional Organizations Remain Vital to the UN

    by  • April 30, 2013 • BOOKS • 

    Alicia Barcena of ECLAC and Jan Eliasson of the UN

    Formed as a “club” of nation states, the United Nations took some time to find out that cooperation with regional organizations might be of some use in improving social and economic living conditions as well as maintaining international peace and security and safeguarding the enjoyment of human rights. It was not before the economic crisis [...]

    Read more →

    Close Cooperation Is Useful Between the General Assembly and Security Council

    by  • September 20, 2012 • General Assembly, Security Council, WORLDVIEWS • 4 Comments

    Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser of Qatar, the outgoing General Assembly president.

    BERLIN — If you ask people on the street which United Nations organ has more influence, the Security Council or the General Assembly, they will most probably answer: “The Security Council,” since it has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and is the only UN organ that can issue legally binding decisions [...]

    Read more →

    What the General Assembly Wants From the Secretary-General

    by  • August 13, 2012 • General Assembly, WORLDVIEWS • 2 Comments

    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 →

    Five Lightweights Fight to Reform the Security Council

    by  • July 2, 2012 • General Assembly, Security Council • 4 Comments

    UN General Assembly

    BERLIN — It is a story of political courage and steadfastness: After it had become obvious that the 2005 World Summit had not brought any progress in the reform of the Security Council regarding its composition of permanent and nonpermanent members, a group of five small countries, in short Small Five or S-5 — Costa [...]

    Read more →

    General Assembly President: A Hardly Noticed, Yet Crucial Job

    by  • May 29, 2012 • General Assembly, WORLDVIEWS • 3 Comments

    Jean Ping of Gabon

    BERLIN — This United Nations top official is unknown to the broad public, yet he or she provides an important function: the president of the General Assembly. Most presidents have carried out the job inconspicuously and routinely, but a few presidents, the present one included, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, have revealed stamina and political [...]

    Read more →

    German UN Association Turns 60

    by  • May 1, 2012 • WORLDVIEWS • 

    German ambassador to the UN

    BERLIN — Germany’s history as a member of the United Nations was complicated from the start. Its first step as a member began in 1973 with two German nations, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (which was the Communist state). Their induction as separate countries under two different names happened only after [...]

    Read more →

    Ban’s Second Term: It’s Time to Involve UN Diplomats

    by  • March 26, 2012 • Secretary-General, WORLDVIEWS • 4 Comments

    un secretary general

    BERLIN — Like his predecessors, the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon started his second term, in January, by presenting a program to the General Assembly and to the public, adorned with a momentous title: The Five Year Action Agenda, “The Future We Want.” It outlines in ambitious rhetoric the key areas where Ban thinks the [...]

    Read more →