• General Assembly

    Steps for More Transparency in UN General Assembly Office Stir Skepticism

    by  • November 5, 2015 • General Assembly • 
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    Mogens Lykketoft, a former Danish foreign minister and the current president of the UN General Assembly.

    The president of the United Nations General Assembly has vowed to make his office more open, including publicly documenting his travels and financial contributions from outside donors, in response to the recent criminal accusation by the United States government against a predecessor, John Ashe. In a parallel move, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is organizing...

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    US Charges a Former UN General Assembly President: More Revelations Likely

    by  • October 7, 2015 • General Assembly, UN Diplomats • 2 Comments
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    John Ashe, left, a former president of the United Nations General Assembly, has been indicted for tax fraud in a bribery scheme. Afaf Konja, right, was his spokeswoman. They appear at a UN event in February 2014.

    A luxury-loving diplomat susceptible to bribery, a clutch of rich Chinese with business interests and an open door to the top leadership of the United Nations General Assembly. It all adds up to not only a blow to the integrity of the UN but also a stark demonstration of the dysfunction of an international...

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    More Revelations on Former UN General Assembly Leader Facing Criminal Charges

    by  • October 16, 2015 • General Assembly • 
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    John Ashe

    Only weeks before John Ashe, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, was arrested for tax fraud amid a bribery scandal uncovered by the United States government, Ashe was tapped to potentially take an important job in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office in New York. Ashe, who was an ambassador for Antigua and...

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    At the UN’s Big General Assembly Day, Big Egos on Display

    by  • September 28, 2015 • General Assembly, UN Peacekeeping • 
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    Frosty relations did not keep Presidents Obama and Putin from eating lunch at Ban Ki-moon's heads of state luncheon on Sept. 28, 2015. AMANDA VOISARD/UN PHOTO

    Monday marked another memorable day for the United Nations, drawing a record number of international leaders for the opening of the General Assembly, but it took an altogether different tone than Friday’s welcome for Pope Francis. On Friday, at the start of a three-day special session of the assembly devoted to the adoption of...

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    The Heart of Pope Francis’s Speech at the UN: Don’t Look Past the Poor

    by  • September 25, 2015 • Development, General Assembly, Poverty, Secretary-General, Women's Issues • 2 Comments
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    Pope Francis

    Pope Francis spread his gospel of not forgetting the poor at the United Nations on Friday morning, where he spoke in his native Spanish to the 193 member delegations and heads of state gathered before him at the General Assembly Hall. It was his first appearance at the UN during his first trip to...

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    The Sustainable Development Goals May Be in Place, but Dissent Was Apparent

    by  • June 14, 2015 • Development, General Assembly, Sustainable Development Goals • 
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    On the island of Bolama, off the coast of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa. JOE PENNEY

    It’s all over but the shouting. But the shouting is still loud, and it’s mostly about the indicators. And the indicators, ultimately, may be all that matters about the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goals. After more than two years of complex, contentious negotiations, the essential content and most of the actual text of...

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    Has Russia Dashed All Hopes for a Female Secretary-General?

    by  • April 30, 2015 • General Assembly, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations, Women's Issues • 1 Comment
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    Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN

    Has Russia put the kibosh on the chances that the next secretary-general of the United Nations will be a woman? As Vitaly Churkin walked ramrod-straight in his dark suit to a working-group discussion at the UN on the process of selecting the next secretary-general, he acted as if he owned the place. Some might...

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    The UN Leaves Women’s Rights Defenders in the Cold

    by  • March 20, 2015 • General Assembly, Human Rights, Women's Issues • 2 Comments
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    Fernández

    For all its words about human rights and women’s issues, the United Nations has so far given lukewarm political support to defenders of gender rights worldwide — particularly women who defend women’s rights, a dangerous occupation in many regions. These women generally work in challenging circumstances, and their hard-won victories, by their own accounts,...

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    The UN Exerts More Pressure on North Korea and Its Rights Record

    by  • November 18, 2014 • Asia, General Assembly, Human Rights • 
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    Michael Donald Kirby (Australia), Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, speaks to journalists following a Security Council meeting. On the right is Marzuki Darusman (Indonesia) and left is Sonja Biserko (Serbia). 17 April 2014

    The United Nations General Assembly’s human-rights committee denied Cuba’s attempt to stop efforts to send the North Korean leadership to trial in the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity. The abuses include starvation, forced labor, executions, torture, rape and infanticide — committed mostly in the country’s political prison camps. Instead, the committee voted...

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    Turkey Loses as Five New Elected Members to Join the Security Council

    by  • October 16, 2014 • General Assembly, Security Council • 
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    Jim Mclay

    Five new members have been elected to join the United Nations Security Council: Angola, Venezuela, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain. The first three countries ran unopposed for the five two-year term seats open on the council, representing their regions, respectively: Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and Asia. New Zealand and Spain ran for the...

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