Pass Blue

Pass Blue - 2020-05-26 - Original post - cached version

A hand-washing station in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Although the country has only about 100 recorded cases of Covid-19 now, its lacks a proper health care system to deal with the pandemic as it intensifies. Elections in June could further complicate the situation. 

LILONGWE, Malawi...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-21 - Original post - cached version

The delegation of Mauritius at the General Assembly session that adopted a resolution asking the International Court of Justice to render an advisory opinion on the legality of the separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, June 22, 2017. Exactly a...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-21 - Original post - cached version

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Israel, May 13, 2020. He says the US plans to extend the arms embargo in the Iran nuclear deal, but it must go through the UN Security Council to do so. Members appear ready to push back. RON PRZYSUCHA/STATE DEPARTMENT

The Trump administration may be...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-20 - Original post - cached version

A scientist extracting the coronavirus genome in a UN lab in Seibersdorf, Austria, May 7, 2020. Testing kits to detect Covid-19 are being sent free by the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency to a range of developing countries. DEAN CALMA/IAEA

VIENNA — When President Trump...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-18 - Original post - cached version

Dr. Jillann Farmer, the UN medical director for more than seven years, has returned to Australia to work for the Department of Health in Queensland. She led the UN’s internal health care system through such crises as the Ebola outbreak in 2014, but the coronavirus pandemic required the UN’s...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-15 - Original post - cached version

Kelly Craft, the United States ambassador to the UN and previously US envoy to Canada, with her husband, Joseph Craft III, at a reception in Ottawa, Oct. 15, 2018. The value of Joseph Craft’s holdings in his energy company has dropped by more than $300 million in the last year. US EMBASSY CANADA...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-15 - Original post - cached version

Latin American women have always suffered from an epidemic of violence, but Covid-19 has brought hope that new protections could help stem that tide. Women performing “A Rapist in Your Path,” in Mexico City, a feminist anthem that originated in Chile. CREATIVE COMMONS

Long before Covid-19...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-13 - Original post - cached version

Chile has so far 31,721 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 335 deaths. The author, a public health doctor in Santiago, says he loves working in the “thick of things,” but the risks are high as well. SANTIAGO TIMES

SANTIAGO, Chile — I live here in the capital, in the south of the world, with...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-13 - Original post - cached version

Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, prepping for a virtual press briefing with him, April 30, 2020, UN headquarters. The secretary-general had asked the current UN medical director, Dr. Jillann Farmer, to extend her term a few months during the...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-11 - Original post - cached version

Samantha Buonvino, above, is a civilian peacekeeper working for the UN in Mali. Her job is to get to know the community of Gao, where she is based, but the UN is under lockdown there, presenting not more “suffering,” she said, but just an “extra challenge.”

Far from United Nations...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-11 - Original post - cached version

Secretary-General António Guterres holds a virtual press conference to promote a report on his call for a global cease-fire during the Covid-19 outbreak, April 3, 2020. A Security Council draft resolution supporting his call was knocked down by the US on May 8, facing a low chance for revival. ...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-08 - Original post - cached version

Billions of people have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the unprecedented nature of the economic and health crisis could quickly turn into a housing crisis, the author writes. Many advocacy groups and others are proposing ways to avert such a disaster as well as to help people...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-08 - Original post - cached version

In Geneva’s city center at dusk, May 7, 2020. It turns out that when a society collapses, say, during a pandemic, the author writes, “it’s really important to know your neighbors.”  PETER MCCAREY

GENEVA — If your idea of normal is Glasgow or New York City, you might think, Geneva is in...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-06 - Original post - cached version

Kelly Craft, US envoy to the UN, saying farewell to Karen Pierce, her British counterpart and now the UK ambassador to the US, March 12, 2020. It was the last day the Security Council met physically as the UN shut down days later. LOEY FELIPE/UN PHOTO

This fall, the United Nations will...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-05 - Original post - cached version

Michael Edeh, a peacekeeping officer enhancing his skills working for the UN-African Union mission in Darfur, Sudan, through an e-learning program. Demand for virtual training has become suddenly more critical as Covid-19 keeps spreading and national training centers are being shut down. 

Pass Blue - 2020-05-04 - Original post - cached version

As part of standard procedures in UN General Assembly elections, officials hold up empty ballot boxes for inspection by teller delegates, before collecting member states’ ballots. The pandemic has forced new methods on Assembly voting as the UN stays physically shut until the end of June for now...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-03 - Original post - cached version

A photo taken recently from the author’s balcony, in Cornet Chahwan, Lebanon, with Beirut in the distance. He writes that being quarantined at home means he can “finally breathe fresh air” as the sky is no longer tainted by the nitrogen-dioxide inversion on the horizon. Yet the country is...

Pass Blue - 2020-05-02 - Original post - cached version

President Trump at a coronavirus update briefing, April 13, 2020. His attack on the WHO could backfire, the author argues, especially if the new pro-WHO coalition develops a vaccine before the US does. D. MYLES CULLEN/WHITE HOUSE

Just how crazy is Donald Trump’s campaign to punish the...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-30 - Original post - cached version

The Estonian delegation reacting to their country’s election to the Security Council for a two-year term, a first for the young Baltic country. In New York, above, President Kersti Kaljulaid being hugged by Sven Jurgenson, the ambassador to the United Nations, June 7, 2019. ESKINDER DEBEBE/UN...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-28 - Original post - cached version

Secretary-General António Guterres recording a video message in the UNTV studio, in New York, on the pandemic’s effects on children, April 16, 2020. Soon after Guterres recently announced the resignation of the head of the UN staff pension fund, worth $63 billion, he reaffirmed his commitment to...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-27 - Original post - cached version

The Chamberí District, Madrid, April 27, 2020. The author, a former Argentine foreign minister who is living and working in Madrid, notes the “solitude” of the city at the end of the day, but says that the country has been responding to the pandemic with “solidarity.” SUSANA MALCORRA


Pass Blue - 2020-04-26 - Original post - cached version

Bodies being buried on New York’s Hart Island, where the Department of Corrections is dealing with more burials amid the coronavirus outbreak, April 2020. LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS

As the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19, continues to threaten lives and livelihoods around the world, many...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-23 - Original post - cached version

Chinatown in Singapore. March 19, 2020. The city-state, the author says, is known for its world-class health system, but in its strong response to the coronavirus pandemic, it had overlooked a crucial segment of society that enables its prosperity: migrants. ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK


Pass Blue - 2020-04-22 - Original post - cached version

The head of the UN Environment Program, Inger Andersen, at the agency’s Champions of the Earth Awards, Sept. 26, 2019, in Cipriani, New York City. With the pandemic now upending agendas, Andersen hopes something positive will emerge eventually, such as “keeping wildlife wild,” she said. UNEP...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-22 - Original post - cached version

The UNTV studio in New York, as Martin Griffiths, UN envoy for Yemen, left, briefs the Security Council by videoconference, April 16, 2020. The UN’s 75th birthday this year is a crucial chance, the authors argue, for the Council to recommit to the vision of the Charter. ESKINDER DEBEBE/UN PHOTO...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-21 - Original post - cached version

Several top UN officials and other leaders have called for easing of certain sanctions imposed on such countries as Iran, North Korea and Venezuela. In the US, some Democrats have rallied behind the call to specifically help Iran during the pandemic as well. But the Trump administration has...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-17 - Original post - cached version

President Trump and US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, speaking at an event on religious freedom, Sept. 23, 2019, UN headquarters. A few weeks ago in an interview with Fox News, Craft refused to blame China for the pandemic. She has since reversed course. TIA DUFOUR/WHITE HOUSE

What a...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-17 - Original post - cached version

Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Sergio Vieira de Mello, November 1997. Sergio, as he was known, was a high-ranking troubleshooter for the UN when he died with 21 colleagues in the 2003 attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad. A biopic of him has just been released. MILTON GRANT/UN PHOTO

Pass Blue - 2020-04-16 - Original post - cached version

Farmers planting rice in South Hwanghae Province, North Korea, 2019. The country is saying that its tactics against Covid-19 have kept the virus totally at bay. Outside experts are resisting such claims. JAMES BELGRAVE/WFP

Something is missing from the statistical charts and maps of Covid...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-16 - Original post - cached version

Stilled life in a usually active marina, Diversey Harbor in Lincoln Park, Chicago. The author of this essay, who is on sabbatical in Chicago, writes that amid the global economic meltdown and pandemic, “the breakdown in international cooperation is devastating.” THOMAS G. WEISS


Pass Blue - 2020-04-15 - Original post - cached version

President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force, April 7, 2020. On April 14, he followed through on his threat to withhold US funding to the UN’s World Health Organization, right in the middle of a pandemic. ANDREA HANKS

Donald Trump, the president of the United States, ...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-14 - Original post - cached version

Jerry Matjila, the ambassador of South Africa to the UN, was rotating president of the Security Council in October, above. During its term, the country has been striving to unify the positions of the elected African members on the Council. The pandemic has made the goal harder. KIM HAUGHTON/UN...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-10 - Original post - cached version

A view of Vienna from the author’s terrace. She writes that during the Covid-19 crisis, the authorities have moved quickly to contain the virus and offer free hotline services, including delivering groceries to people who need it. Now, Austria is planning a phased plan to lift some restrictions...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-09 - Original post - cached version

In Bamako, a signing ceremony of an agreement between the UN and Mali through its Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, to strengthen the response to Covid-19 with approximately $2.6 million, April 6, 2020. HARANDANE DICKO/MINUSMA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Covid-19 poses major challenges for...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-08 - Original post - cached version

Ambassador Zhang Jun of China, presiding over the UN Security Council, March 12, 2020, days before the Council began meeting strictly online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Diplomats have expressed concern and frustration over the sudden lack of transparency by the Council in migrating its...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-06 - Original post - cached version

Reports of domestic violence are rising as Covid-19 races across the planet and people are ordered to stay home. But as UN Secretary-General Guterres said on April 5: “For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest. In their homes.” Like many countries, Spain,...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-05 - Original post - cached version

Kelly Craft, speaking to reporters outside the UN Security Council, Jan. 6, 2020. The US ambassador to the UN appeared on Fox News on March 29 but refused to take the bait from a network correspondent and blame China for the pandemic. USUN

President Trump and Secretary of State Michael...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-04 - Original post - cached version

UN Women’s executive director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ncguka, speaking at the Commission on the Status of Women’s annual meeting in March 2020, at UN headquarters. The conference had been cut to a single day from 11, as the Covid-19 virus began racing from China to the rest of the world. Now, the...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-03 - Original post - cached version

José Singer Weisinger, the special envoy of the Dominican Republic to the United Nations, in the Security Council, Sept. 18, 2019, with members of his delegation. His country assumes the presidency in April, after a tumultuous month in which the Council suddenly switched to privately held...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-02 - Original post - cached version

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo providing a coronavirus update at the capital, in Albany, March 31, 2020. Right now, the state has the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States, with 76,049 as of April 1. The country is currently No. 1 globally for the most confirmed cases...

Pass Blue - 2020-04-01 - Original post - cached version

Certain factors contributing to gender imbalances in some populations have resulted in “missing girls,” like in Vietnam, above, and “disappearing men,” like in Russia. The Covid-19 pandemic will have enduring effects on the imbalances as well.

Normally, the numbers of males and females in...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-30 - Original post - cached version

UN headquarters in New York, during the opening of the General Assembly’s annual debate, above, September 2019. The Generation Equality Forum scheduled for May in Mexico City, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing conference on women’s rights, is likely to be postponed or cancelled. AMANDA...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-28 - Original post - cached version

The UN Security Council’s 15 members held a meeting on March 26, 2020, by videoconference, to discuss the UN political mission in Libya, as the UN headquarters in New York City remains physically off-limits amid the Covid-19 outbreak. But the meetings have not been live-streamed, so other UN...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-27 - Original post - cached version

Secretary-General António Guterres holds a virtual press briefing to appeal for a global cease-fire during the coronavirus pandemic, March 23, 2020. So far, his call has been heard in Cameroon, Philippines, Yemen and parts of Syria. ESKINDER DEBEBE/UN PHOTO

The coronavirus officially hit...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-26 - Original post - cached version

The authors, Samea Shanori, left, and Fiona Shukri, at a pomegranate festival in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. They argue that participation of women in the US-Taliban peace deal will only hurt them without their “methodical, sustained and substantive engagement.”

Afghan women’s...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-25 - Original post - cached version

In Italy, temperature checks. As the coronavirus rages globally and nations say they are waging a war, the United Nations Security Council has not done anything to address the pandemic’s intensifying threat to international peace and security, the author argues.

Although much of the world...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-24 - Original post - cached version

The UNTV studio in New York, where technicians produced a virtual press briefing with Secretary-General António Guterres (on screens), focusing on the coronavirus outbreak, March 19, 2020. Who is next in line to Guterres, should be become suddenly incapacitated? EVAN SCHNEIDER/UN PHOTO


Pass Blue - 2020-03-23 - Original post - cached version

The Rome international airport, March 12, 2020, right before it closed and the American, Jeffrey Laurenti, got out of Italy. His journey had only begun as he headed to Africa. 

Jeffrey Laurenti, an American writer who specializes on the United Nations and international affairs, is a...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-21 - Original post - cached version

Passenger screening at Maya Maya International Airport, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. As a continent, Africa currently has the lowest number of reported coronavirus cases, but the World Health Organization has now released evidence of local community transmissions for the first time. ELOMBAT D...

Pass Blue - 2020-03-20 - Original post - cached version

The state of affairs in New York City, March 18, 2020, as the metropolis practices social distancing, self-isolating and working from home. Our new podcast episode reveals how four ambassadors who represent their country at the UN are navigating digital diplomacy. EVAN SCHNEIDER/UN PHOTO



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