Antonio Guterres, former socialist Prime Minister of Portugal and until last year head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has emerged as the broadly accepted choice to replace UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose term ends on 31 December 2016. Mr. Guterres has been the frontrunner in all six informal votes held at the 15-member Security Council of the United Nations in New York in the recent months. Before that he had presented his vision for the United Nations to the 193 members of the UN General Assembly and had participated in debates and other events, as did the other declared candidates for the job.
The final weeks of 2015 saw remarkable activity at the global level producing concrete results, for a change. The UN climate change conference in Paris (COP 21) ended in mid-December with the adoption of an ambitious Paris Agreement that will guide climate action starting in 2020 and carrying on for many years thereafter. A few days later the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on the way forward in Syria, while an agreement among the Libyan factions was endorsed by the UN Security Council…
On Wednesday, 13 May, the European Commission unveiled its highly anticipated plan to deal with the increasing number of migrants trying to reach the European shores. The long-awaited European Agenda on Migration made waves in the media with its system of immigration quotas and proposal for military action in the Mediterranean. The “immediate action” called for by the Commission establishes a set of measures to deter and dismantle traffickers’ networks, while also distributing the burden of resettling asylum seekers amongst EU member states. More details will continue to be presented on the various proposals, while the package will be discussed by the EU leaders at the upcoming European Council meeting in June
Shlomo Ben-Ami is an old hand in Israeli and international politics. He has been Minister of Internal Security and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel, and now serves as Vice President of the Toledo International Center for Peace in Madrid. This is a summary of a 30-minute discussion with him following the 17 March 2015 Israeli election. He talks about Mr. Netanyahu’s reelection, the state of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and possible steps by the international community to move things forward under the current circumstances.
The first official visit of the European Union High Representative to New York on 8 and 9 March included a statement made at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding cooperation between the EU and the UN. The speech reflected the current European foreign policy priorities: putting Libya “back on track”, fighting terrorism in all its forms and across regions, and saving the lives of migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe.