April 2016

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April 2016 Unsubscribe


Latest Developments in UN Reform and Appointments:

UN Peacekeeping

The Code Blue campaign reports that the UN mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has documented forty one new allegations of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers. These allegations are in addition to the ninety eight cases described by Code Blue late last month.

Allegations that peacekeepers in the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) have committed acts of sexual exploitation and abuse are also under investigation. According to a statement earlier this month from the MONUSCO, "Initial results suggest that there is evidence of transactional sex and sex with minors."

Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse have been made against both military peacekeepers and civilian staff in UN missions. Foreign Policy's Margaux Benn reports that while some steps have been taken to combat impunity for UN peacekeepers, the civilian staff have also been implicated in "shockingly high numbers."

General Assembly Holds First Ever Informal Dialogues with Candidates for the Secretary-General

From 12 to 14 April, all of the current official candidates to be the next Secretary-General (listed on the PGA's website)participated in a series of "informal dialogues" at UN headquarters. These dialogues marked the first time that candidates have been asked to publicly defend their candidacy, or to engage directly with all UN Member States. Candidates were also asked to respond to questions from the press in media stakeouts following the dialogues.

Since the dialogues concluded this month, a variety of views have emerged as to how the candidates performed. Natalie Samarasinghe, a member of the 1 for 7 Billion campaign, writes that given the format of the dialogues, "style was as likely as substance, if not more, to provide clues on candidates' characters." Of the questions themselves, Passblue noted the significant number were raised on gender equality, as well as a "concerted push" by some States for the candidates to address the issue of so-called monopolies by powerful countries on key high-level posts in the Secretariat.

Click here to watch the complete webcasts of the dialogues and the media stakeouts.

Reform of the Office of the President of the General Assembly

On 7 April, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Revitalization of the General Assembly held a thematic debate to discuss ways to strengthen the institutional memory of the Office of the President of the General Assembly. However, in light of the corruption allegations which emerged against former President John Ashe in fall of 2015, the group has broadened its focus to also consider ways to enhance the integrity and accountability of the Office, and this was also addressd during the meeting this month.

The thematic debate was held shortly after the publication of a report by a task force established by the Secretary-General to review the functioning of the Office of the President of the GA in late March. During this month's debate, there was particular interest in the idea of establishing an ethical "Code of Conduct" for the President of the General Assembly, one of the report's main recommendations.

The zero draft of the Ad Hoc Working Group's annual resolution is expected in mid-May, and will be negotiated throughout the summer. The resolution will address all four clusters of the Ad Hoc Working Group's work: the role and authority of the General Assembly, the General Assembly's working methods, the office of the President of the General Assembly, and the selection and appointment of the UN Secretary-General and other executive heads.

WFUNA to Hold Open Debates with Candidates for the Security Council

In May, the World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) will host open debates for the states running for seats on the Security Council for the 2017-2018 term. Details have not been announced yet, but you can follow WFUNA on twitter for further announcements. Security Council elections this year will be held on 28 June.


10-11 May: High-level Thematic Debate on UN, Peace and Security
13 June: Election of the President of the General Assembly
14 June: Economic and Social Council Elections
28 June: Security Council Elections
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