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UNDIPLOMATIC TIMES

INDEPENDENT NEWS AND COMMENT ON THE UNITED NATIONS

What happened after 14 wolves were released in Yellowstone Park

Secretariat News

Why Agenda 2030 is Set to Fail


2 September 2016: A year after the General Assembly adopted “Agenda 2030” as the global plan of action for the next 15 years the project is appearing increasingly Utopian.                    Read More

UN preparing for a world of Geospatial Information

 

August 2016:​  On 27 July, in a little noted decision on "Cartography," the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) made a change that will have more impact on the future of Sustainable Development than all the meetings of its High Level Political Forum

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Read More

BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES: THE UNTOLD STORY


The United States and Britain have a long history of political animosity dating back to the 18th Century War of Independence but the strong cultural ties between the two countries have obscured that record. Modern transatlantic differences first came into focus in August 1941, when Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965) and President Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) met on a battleship anchored in Newfoundland’s Placentia Bay to declare a set of common war aims.             Read More   


$3.4 BILLION LOSS AT UN PENSION FUND JOGS ASSEMBLY


19 December 2016: In a resolution on the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund the General Assembly expresses concern that it suffered $3.4 billion in losses due to foreign exchange factors during the 2014-2015 biennium. It urges the Secretary-General to "employ suitable procedures and tools to mitigate foreign exchange losses as well as develop an internal mechanism to monitor, evaluate and manage" such losses or gains. ​      Read More


WITH UN INEFFECTIVE AS LEAGUE OF NATIONS IT IS TIME TO PLAN SUCCESSOR ... AND OBAMA SHOULD LEAD EFFORT


21 October 2016: The United Nations is now in the same situation as the League of Nations was in the 1930s when power struggles among major nations began to push the world towards the Second World War. Its Charter is badly out of date, its decisions and commands have no real traction and its member States do not engage in cooperative action on anywhwere near the scale necessary to deal with the challenges they face.  Read More


CLICHÉS GALORE IN REPORT ON IMPLEMENTING AGENDA 2030


8 October 2016: A new 36-page Report of the Secretary-General on how the UN Development System should be reoriented to implement Agenda 2030 is filled with such a dizzying collection of clichés that it loses all touch with reality.  Read More ​


STRIDENT HIGH COMMISSIONER CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY HE IS SHUT OUT FROM TROUBLED AREAS


13 September 2016: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein opened the 33rd session of the UN Human Rights Council by complaining about"an emerging pattern: the growing refusal on the part of an increasing number of Member States to grant OHCHR, or the human rights mechanisms, access" when it "is requested explicitly, or in other instances to engage with us."            Read more

A UNITED NATIONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: what we must understand


This is a two-part article: read part 1

Why Connectivity is a Game-Changer         The connectivity revolution reverses trends that have concentrated power in elite groups for the last five centuries and made them, even within democratic frameworks, increasingly authoritarian. In particular, connectivity can decentralize the capacity to create and control wealth, making it realistic to expect changes long considered “Utopian:” that human development will equalize around the world; that all war can be ended; that democracy will become the human standard. 

Beyond that lies a longer term prospect seemingly fantastic but entirely within the realm of scientific possibility: that the worldwide web of human consciousness will become the neural network of a global brain and give humanity a new level of universal awareness. Achieving those goals will require a level of international cooperation without precedent. To mobilize and build it into UN reform we must understand the nature and emergence of modern Europe, the region most responsible for the current state of the world.

The Shaping of Modern Europe       Two quite different but mutually reinforcing processes       Read More

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Rich Debate on UN Peace Ops Misses key Issue    
A richly detailed and lively two-day discussion of United Nations peace operations and architecture (10-11 May), left untouched the basic reason for the Organization’s 70-year failure to achieve its primary Charter aim. Although the debate was shot through with facts and themes pointing to a malign and actively hostile international environment, no one tried to define it or say how the UN should respond.                                                   Read More

SG appoints hi-level staff, Habitat review panel

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Assembly wants fraud risk assessment by mid 2017

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slew of Top officials end contracts in april 

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Ban Ki Moon gets unpaid harvard assignment

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Afghan situation static or getting worse says SG

March 2017:    Read More


leaked Memo Shows how SG office will organize work

 20 January 2017:         Read More 


Guterres picks women for top UN jobs

15 December 2016:     Read more


Guterres Might Take six months to assemble team 

​27 November 2016:  Read More

 Previous Updates

      

THREE WHO INSPIRE ME

Chinese genocide in Tibet draws rare UN protest   Read More   

Chinese actions recall 1961 General Assembly resolution on  Tibet self-determination 

Why the security council fails mali and ...

6 April 2017:  Mali has been one of the most dangerous locations for UN peacekeepers but you would not know why that is so from listening to the Security Council's debate today or reading the Report of the Secretary-General on the topic.   Read More 


Achim Steiner to be UNDP Administrator   ​​


71st General Assembly 


The 71st session of the General Assembly that convened on Tuesday, 13 September 2016 with Ambassador  Peter Thomson of Fiji as President, suspended work on 23 December. The highlight of the session was undoubtedly the appointment of the 9th Secretary-General of the Organization, Antonio Guterres of Portugal, former High Commissioner for Refugees and Prime Minister of his country. See also column on right and here 


Dates of Assembly Debates Until 2026
The first Information document of the 71st session of the General Assembly lists the dates of annual 9-day opening debates until 2026. A/INf/71/1 of 12 January 2017 provides the following information:

72nd session opens 12 September 2017; General Debate begins 19 September
73rd session opens 18 September 2018; General Debate begins 25 September
73rd session opens 17 September 2019; General Debate begins 30 September
74th session opens 15 September 2020; General Debate begins 22 September
76th session opens 14 September 2021; General Debate begins 21 September
77th session opens 13 September 2022; General Debate begins 20 September
78th session opens 12 September 2023; General Debate begins 25 September
79th session begins 17 September 2024; General Debate begins 24 September
80th session opens 16 September 2025; General Debate begins 23 September
81st session opens 15 September 2026; General Debate begins 22 September


​A footnote seeks to clarify the situation created by a surfeit of high-level forums:

  • There are the two-day “high-level political forums” convened by the President of the General Assembly at the beginning of each session of the General Assembly (resolution 67/290).
  • There are also the High-level Political Forums required every four years under Assembly auspices (resolution 70/1), the next one set for 2019.
  • There is also the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, held back-to-back with the periodic high-level political forum (resolution 69/313).


If you read our coverage of the high-level UN proceedings in 2016, it will be clear that they do not add much value to the consideration of various issues.