As part of a politically-amusing annual ritual, the guessing game is on at the United Nations: will he, or will he not, address the General Assembly, along with more than 150 heads of state who are due in New York next month?
It is hard to imagine today the public enthusiasm that greeted the founding of the U.N. in 1945. After massive suffering and social collapse resulting from the Second World War, the U.N. seemed almost miraculous – a means at last to build peace, democracy, and a just society on a global scale.
Judging by his recent public pronouncements - including on reproductive health, biodiversity, the creation of a Palestinian state, the political legitimacy of Cuba and now climate change – Pope Francis may upstage more than 150 world leaders when he addresses the United Nations, come September.
The euphoria that spread though the world after the Iran nuclear agreement reached in Lausanne in April this year with the United States, Russia, China, France, United Kingdom and Germany, plus the European Union, is proving short-lived.
In the run-up to the international Conference on Financing for Development from Jul. 13 to 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the European Union has called for a “true paradigm shift” in global development cooperation.
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.
For those of us interested in a vibrant civil society, it seems to be best of times and the worst of times.
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than five decades of a misguided policy which my uncle, John F. Kennedy, and my father, Robert F. Kennedy, had been responsible for enforcing after the U.S. embargo against the country was first implemented in October 1960 by the Eisenhower administration.
On Nov. 18, a committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted
111 to 19, with 55 abstentions, in favour of drafting a non-binding resolution referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
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.
Speaking to more than 120 heads of state at the U.N. Climate Summit, actor and newly appointed U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio made clear the long-ranging impact of the attendees’ decisions.
As the 69th session of the General Assembly took off with the usual political pageantry, the United Nations will be hosting as many as seven "high-level meetings", "summits" and "special sessions" compressed into a single week - the largest number in living memory.
Different issues will be competing for the attention of different African leaders attending the 69th
United Nations General Assembly Special Session on International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Beyond 2014 in New York on Sep 22.
When world political leaders arrive next week for the annual ritual of addressing the United Nations, they will be speaking inside a newly renovated General Assembly hall - part of a hefty 2.1-billion-dollar, seven-year refurbishing project - with an extended seating capacity for 204 member states, 11 more than the current 193.
As the United Nations continues negotiations on a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for its post-2015 development agenda, population experts are hoping reproductive health will be given significant recognition in the final line-up of the goals later this year.