In the News
20 August 2015
Yesterday, UN spokeswoman Vannina Maestracci confirmed the emergence of three new allegations of sexual misconduct by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic. These new allegations bring the total number of reported cases of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers in the country to 13.
For more information, visit France 24 .
16 June 2015
Yesterday, candidates for the Human Rights Council responded to questions from member states, civil society, and the general public in an open session held at UN headquarters in New York.
During the session, candidates responded to questions posed on Twitter as well as in person. The topics ranged from the national human rights records and mechanisms adopted in each country as well as the candidates' priorities and vision for membership on the Human Rights Council. Gender equality and the plight of migrants and refugees were top concerns during the session. The use of torture; LGBTI rights; protection of human rights defenders; and the rights of indigenous populations were also addressed.
16 June 2015
Yesterday the UN General Assembly elected Mr. Mogens Lykketoft (Denmark) as the President of the 70th session of the General Assembly. Lykketoft, who was approved by the Western European and Others Group, was elected by acclamation.
Following the election, Lykketoft described his approach to the office, emphasizing his commitment to achieving "pragmatic and action-oriented outcomes". He highlighted global poverty, sustainable development, human rights, and global peace and security as particular concerns.
In his remarks, Lykketoft also touched on two major reform issues this year: Security Council reform and the appointment of the next UN Secretary-General. He noted that many member states have expressed interest in a process which allows candidates to be presented in a more official way.
On 28 October, the General Assembly will elect 18 new members to the Human Rights Council. Seats on the Council are allotted by regional grouping, with 5 seats available for the African Group, 5 for the Asia Pacific Group, 2 for Eastern Europe, 3 for Latin America and the Caribbean, and 3 for the Western Europe and Others Group (WEOG). Of these groups, only the Asia Pacific and Eastern Europe are expected to be contested elections, with 8 candidates running for 5 seats in Asia Pacific Group and 3 candidates for the 2 available seats allotted to the Eastern European Group.
21 October 2015
On the 21st of October, 2015, the UN General Assembly elected 18 members of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2016-2018 term. Following the Council’s regional rotation scheme, these included five members of the African group, four from the Asia-Pacific group, two from the Eastern European group, three from the Latin American and Caribbean group, and four from the Western European and Others group.
Calling the session to order, President of the General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft informed delegates that each of the regional groups had endorsed candidates for ECOSOC, and listed the member states endorsed by each region. In every regional group, the number of candidates endorsed was equal to the number of seats allotted to the region.
Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action against genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimesIn the News
In August, members of the Accountability, Coherence & Transparency (ACT) Group presented a code of conduct to UN member states regarding voting in the Council on actions against genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. The Code calls on all states who currently or may in the future serve as members of the Security Council to support “timely and decisive” action by the Council to end or prevent crimes against humanity, war crimes or genocide. In particular, states who subscribe to the Code pledge not to vote against “a credible draft resolution” before the Council to that end.
18 August 2015
On Friday, August 14th, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon announced the appointment of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga (Gabon) as the acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Central African Republic. Prior to the appointment, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga had worked at the UN in several capacities , most recently as head of the UN's Mission in Burundi and Coordinator of the UN's response to Boko Haram.
The announcement follows the resignation of Babacar Gaye (Senegal) earlier last week in response to the recent allegations of sexual violence committed by UN peacekeepers in the Central African Republic as part of the UN's stabilization mission in the country (MINUSCA). According to the Secretary-General, Gaye was asked to step down in order to send a strong message that such crimes, as well as MINUSCA's failure to respond to them, were being taken seriously by the UN system.
On June 1st, the Accountability, Coherence, Transparency (ACT) group sent letters to the Presidents of the General Assembly and Security Council urging them to play a more active role in the appointment process for the next UN Secretary-General. The group recommended specific action s which could be taken by the Presidents o
11 March 2015
The UN's High Representative for Disarmament, Angela Kane, has announced that she will be stepping down early this summer. In a new article on PassBlue, Barbara Crossette reports on rumors about the reasons for Kane's departure:
"Reports are circulating around the UN that Kane, one of the few high-ranking women in peace and security, was being moved from her position to accommodate an aide to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will be out of a job when Ban’s second term ends in 2016."
10 March 2015
Drawing the controversy that began in late November to a close, Stephen O’Brien, a member of the UK Parliament, has been appointed head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
It is informally understood that the position, like certain other senior UN posts, is an entitlement of the permanent five members of the Security Council. In the case of OCHA, the UK’s prime minister would identify one of its nationals for appointment by the UN Secretary-General.