These Latin American women are being informally mentioned as potential candidates to run for SG, most likely for the five-year term starting in 2027.

by Maurizio Guerrero. Read more PassBlue.

Silvia Rucks, a Uruguayan who is the United Nations resident coordinator in Chile, July 30, 2018.
Silvia Rucks, a Uruguayan who is the United Nations resident coordinator in Chile, July 30, 2018.

Six Latin American names are being circulated in regional political circles as possible candidates to become the first woman to lead the United Nations, while the current secretary-general, António Guterres, will most likely be re-elected for the upcoming five-year term, starting in 2022. So women appear to be lining up to cast their names for the term thereafter.

Despite Guterres having no official national challengers so far, six civil society applicants have submitted their names for this year’s selection process, a spokesperson for the General Assembly president’s office confirmed recently. …


A q and a with Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, the founder of the Global Network for Women Peacebuilders.

by Sonah Lee-Lassiter. Read more on PassBlue.

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza in the organization’s base in New York City, March 2021. Photo Credit: John Penney
Mavic Cabrera-Balleza in the organization’s base in New York City, March 2021. Photo Credit: John Penney

In 2010, Maria Victoria (Mavic) Cabrera-Balleza founded an organization to help and advocate for the rights of women and girls globally, but it was her childhood experiences that first politicized her. Martial law was declared by the dictator President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines in 1972, when she was in fourth grade.

Born in Manila, Cabrera-Balleza grew up as part of a generation witnessing and experiencing human-rights violations in their own backyards in the Philippines. Militarized state police raided neighborhoods, entering homes without search warrants, to look for guns and forcing all men…


An April UNSC debate on sexual violence in conflict will address victims’ care over the responsibility of countries to stop abuses & prosecute perpetrators.

by Barbara Crossette. Read more on PassBlue.

Human-rights advocates around the world are assessing how much lasting damage could still be done to universal human rights after the four-year assault from the Trump administration. Although the Trump years ended with the swearing-in of President Joe Biden in January, civil society organizations and governments understand that an American turnaround could be slow and fragile. …


OpEd: A source of the migration influx from Central America is “America’s indiscriminate and criminal meddling” in that region.

by Stephen Schlessinger. Read more on PassBlue.

Vice President Kamala Harris is now in charge of resolving the migration problem at the United States-Mexico border. The author, a US historian, argues that one source that has been driving the migration influx from Central America is “America’s indiscriminate and criminal meddling” in that region over seven-plus decades. A caravan of migrants reaching Mexico, above, in November 2018. RAFAEL RODRIGUEZ/IOM

While the United Nations focuses fitfully on its own long string of refugee problems, President Joe Biden has tapped Vice President Kamala Harris to resolve the problems of migration at the United States-Mexico border. There are legitimate reasons for Americans to be concerned about the flood of migrants, mostly coming from Central America. But those concerns mainly center on our public policy, not the legitimacy of immigration itself. As a nation, we have failed to revise and update our immigration statutes to appropriately answer the question of whom among the men, women and…


This Week @UN, our summary highlighting the most important news from Turtle Bay.

by Ivana Ramirez. Read more on PassBlue.

Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the head of the UN mission in Mali, said of the recent massive assault on Chadian peacekeepers: “The vigorous response shown by the peacekeepers based in Aguelhok following the complex terrorist attack of this morning, April 2, deserves to be written down in gold letters in the history of UN operations.”

The Myanmar crisis isn’t going away; global bias against older people; Vietnam leads the Security Council; Chadian peacekeepers killed and wounded in Mali.

You are reading This Week @UN, summarizing the most pressing issues facing the organization. The information is gathered from UN press briefings, PassBlue reporting and other sources.

A huge thank you to all our donors, who ensure that we keep a close reporting eye on the UN — including the Biden administration’s new relationship with the world body; gains, setbacks and blips to women’s rights; and the befuddled secretary-general selection…


OpEd: A 2018 agreement is “gaining space in the Latin American agenda.” The only problem is, Brazil has not ratified it.

by Gabrielle Alves. Read more on PassBlue.

An image 3 people in traditional dress who took part in a 2019 meeting of indigenous people which drew thousands, in Brazil.
An image 3 people in traditional dress who took part in a 2019 meeting of indigenous people which drew thousands, in Brazil.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Regional cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean is declining, with intergovernmental organizations, such as the Organization of American States and Mercosur, nearly paralyzed or underperforming because of political divergences among member states, weak commitments and lack of resources. Yet despite these setbacks, a promising initiative is gaining space in the Latin American agenda: the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters — the Escazú Agreement.

The pact is named after the place where it was adopted in 2018, in Costa…


Ageism, a new study finds, is “prevalent, ubiquitous and insidious” and not getting enough global attention.

by Barbara Crossette. read more on PassBlue.

In Brooklyn, N.Y., a cafe on the Coney Island boardwalk draws people of all ages, soaking up the sun in the pandemic, October 2020. JOHN PENNEY

During more than a year of tracking the parameters of Covid-19, medical science has made one thing clear: the virus hits the elderly hardest. Yet their vulnerability is often taken as fate. A new international study disagrees. Prejudice, institutional bias and societal discrimination against older people in both rich and poor countries, it says, set the stage long before the virus struck. There was nothing inevitable about the pandemic’s effects.

Tapping into scores of research from dozens of countries for the study, “Global Report on Ageism,” experts argue that it is a persistent…


Can Vietnam help Washington and Beijing find common ground on how to deal with the continuing military crackdowns in Myanmar?

by Stéphanie Fillion. Read more on PassBlue.

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy of Vietnam posing in his country’s mission office near the United Nations in New York City, March 2021. Vietnam leads the Security Council this month as rotating president. The crisis in Myanmar will be further scrutinized in the Council, as it has been since the Feb. 1 coup. JOHN PENNEY

When Vietnam started its term as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council in January 2020, it also had to take on the role of the monthly rotating president. Back then, it sold itself as a bridge builder among the Council’s major powers.

Vietnam’s second presidency, which started on April 1, is squeezed between the United States’ in March and China’s in May. These powers are not only foes at the moment, but they also have starkly different approaches to the crisis in Myanmar, with violence spiking in the Southeast Asian…


And more in This Week @ UN — a weekly roundup of the biggest stories out of the UN.

by Ivana Ramirez. Read more on PassBlue.

Indigenous women perform a Tlalmanalli ceremony to begin the international Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City, March 29, 2021.
Indigenous women perform a Tlalmanalli ceremony to begin the international Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City, March 29, 2021.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken dials the UN; Mexico’s dual-personality approach to women’s rights; a deadly French airstrike on a wedding in Mali; two new applicants for secretary-general.

You are reading This Week @UN, summarizing the most pressing issues facing the organization. The information is gathered from UN press briefings, PassBlue reporting and other sources.

PassBlue was featured in a live Foreign Press Association event on April 1, focusing on the likelihood…


In the central Malian village of Bounti, French airstrikes killed 22 people, mostly civilians, in early January 2021.

by Clair MacDougall. Read more on PassBlue.

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — From above, the photographs show a stretch of charred land in the middle of the desert and a mass grave covered in dried tree branches, where people living around Bounti, a village in central Mali, said those who had been killed by French airstrikes were buried. On the ground were images of strewn flip-flops; an empty parka with one outstretched arm; a mangled metal teapot and pieces of shrapnel — some designated with serial numbers — placed next to bright yellow evidence markers and metal rulers.

This is the…

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Independent Coverage the United Nations. A project of The New School’s Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs, supported by the Carnegie Corporation.

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