In the News

Promoting literacy via music - August 7

August 07, 2011 

Jazz musician Herbie Hancock was appointed a Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation), goodwill ambassador, pledging to use music to promote literacy and creativity among youth around the world and to cross-cultural boundaries. ...

Click here to read the full article at The Malaysia Star.  

India assumes Security Council presidency - August 01

August 01, 2011 

India will assume the monthly Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday after a gap of 19 years.

According to Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s permanent envoy to the UN, New Delhi will use the opportunity to “re-establish its credentials” with political maturity and show that it is a strong contender for a permanent seat on the 15-member body. ...

Click here to read the full story at ZeeNews.

Kenya’s Ms. Mohamed takes up Post at UNEP - July 26

July 26, 2011
Kenya's Amina Mohamed Tuesday formally took up office as Deputy Executive Director (DED) of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Ms. Mohamed, who is also an Assistant-Secretary General of the UN, met with her new staff and colleagues and said she was looking forward to the challenge of UNEP's evolving reform agenda and work programme. ...

Despite Iran's Rejection, Human Rights Pressure Continues - July 25

July 25, 2011
Iran announced on Monday (July 18) that it would not permit the recently appointed United Nations human rights monitor on Iran to enter the country to report on the human rights situation.
There had been little expectation that Iran would immediately cooperate with the new monitor, and supporters of the mechanism have urged for persistent pressure on the matter to secure Iran’s compliance.
The mandate for the monitor on Iran, which was established by the UN Human Rights Council this past March, had previously been in place for fifteen years before it expired in 2002.

Needed: A UN Special Representative on Climate Change and Security - July 24

July 24, 2011

On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council concluded its open debate with a Presidential Statement that formally recognized the link between climate change and the maintenance of international peace and security.

The move lays a foundation for future work on the issue and demonstrates growing concern about the potential for climate change to exacerbate existing conflicts and spark new ones as people are increasingly forced to compete for scarce resources, like food, water, and habitable land. ...

Click here to read the full article at the Huffington Post. 

UN names prominent United Kingdom health expert as envoy for patient safety - July 22

 July 22, 2011
The head of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today appointed Liam Donaldson of the United Kingdom as its envoy for patient safety to help mobilize support on the issue among donors, philanthropic organizations and governments.
"With this nomination, WHO is signalling the importance of ensuring that patients get safe, high quality health care all around the world," said Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, announcing the appointment in Geneva. ...

African Union supports Gambari’s appointment as mediator for peace in Darfur - July 21

July 21, 2011 

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AUPSC), this week expressed its support to the appointment of the head of the hybrid peacekeeping operation (UNAMID), Ibrahim Gambari, as joint chief mediator for peace in Darfur to replace Djibril Bassole.

In a meeting held Addis Ababa on Tuesday 19 July the AU’s Peace and Security Council discussed the situation in the restive region of Darfur and the signing of a peace agreement between the government and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) on 4 July. ...

Click here to read the full article at the Sudan Tribune.

Dialogue of the Deaf - July 15

July 15, 2011 

The elevation of French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to the post of managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was criticised by participants at a high-level debate at the United Nations in New York.

To these critics this appointment represented part of an anachronistic "global apartheid" in which a European has always headed the IMF and an American the World Bank. With the developing world accounting for 80% of the world population and 50% of world trade, they argued that such an unjust system could weaken the legitimacy of the Bretton Woods system. ...

Elections done right: The IMO - July 14

July 14, 2011
My previous post on Brazil’s Jose Graziano da Silva’s election as the new FAO Director-General underscored the essential elements of truly open and merit-based elections in major multilaterals. Though examples to the contrary were greater in number, it was not the only one. Another June election that utilized effective transparency mechanisms and voting rules was the choice of Koji Sekimizu as Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The Nomination Period
The incumbent Secretary-General, Efthimios Mitropoulos of Greece, will wrap up his second four-year term at the hear of the IMO this December.

Meet the IMF's new No. 2: a tested crisis manager - July 14

July 14, 2011
His appointment to the position of first deputy managing director of the IMF is regarded as a political quid pro quo. New IMF head Christine Lagarde needed US support to secure her appointment. In return, the Obama administration now gets to have one of its own as second-in-command. Lipton replaces John Lipsky, a Republican appointee whose term will soon expire.
Lipton’s connections to the Democratic establishment run long and deep. Most recently, he served as a special adviser to President Obama, seated on both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.

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