• 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).

    The World Trade Organization: Seeking a Fair Balance of Interests

    by  • April 16, 2014 • WORLDVIEWS • 
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    WTO conference in Bali 2013

    Working most of the time, far away from the attention of the world public, an international organization was recently in the limelight: the World Trade Organization. After lengthy negotiations on liberalization measures in world trade, which started in 2001 and dragged on because of considerable differences of opinion between the developed and the developing...

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    Far-Reaching Changes Remake the UN Food and Agriculture Organization

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

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    Regional Organizations Remain Vital to the UN

    by  • April 30, 2013 • BOOKS • 
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    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...

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    Close Cooperation Is Useful Between the General Assembly and Security Council

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

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    What the General Assembly Wants From the Secretary-General

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

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    Five Lightweights Fight to Reform the Security Council

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

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    General Assembly President: A Hardly Noticed, Yet Crucial Job

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

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