With Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's term of office tapering off by the end of 2016, there is increasing chatter in the corridors of the United Nations on his successor.
As the long drawn-out Syrian military conflict passed a four-year milestone over the weekend, the New York-based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) summed it up in a striking headline: 4 years, 4 vetoes, 220,000 dead.
Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser currently heads the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. Between 2011-2012 he was president of the General Assembly, setting the agenda for debate in the assembly during the Arab Spring.
When the administration of President George W. Bush launched a military attack on Iraq in March 2003, it was nearly 18 months before Kofi Annan, then-U.N. secretary-general, described the invasion as "illegal" and in "violation of the U.N. charter" because the United States did not have Security Council authorisation.
The United States, Britain and France, three veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, are making a strong push for an "urgent" U.N. investigation of the alleged use of chemical weapons Wednesday in Syria.
The growing political rift between the United States and Russia triggered by the granting of temporary asylum to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is now holed up in Moscow, is threatening to further undermine relations between the two superpowers at the United Nations.
When the 193-member U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) holds is first-ever high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament next September, there is little or no hope that any of the nuclear powers will make a firm commitment to gradually phase out or abandon their lethal arsenals.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is one of the most vociferous advocates of a world free of nuclear weapons.
After 20 long years of negotiations on a proposed expansion of the Security Council, African countries continue to be left out in the cold - even as African leaders complain that the international community has failed to respond to their demands for two permanent seats in the most powerful body at the United Nations.