Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 09:37:17 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

A new class of UN leaders takes the helm

By
05th-Jan-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Amy Lieberman, Adva Saldinger, Sophie Edwards and Jenny Lei Ravelo  :
It's been nearly a year since António Guterres assumed his post as the leader of the United Nations. The former head of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees took on the unenviable task of revamping an organization fractured by public relations challenges, from the U.N.'s role in bringing cholera in Haiti, to U.N. peacekeepers assaulting the people they are designated to protect. Guterres, meanwhile, was also tasked with looking outward at a record number of protracted humanitarian crises.
The secretary-general launched plans for bold change. There was the initial pledge to finally make good on the U.N.'s promise of reaching gender parity - and a series of high-level appointments of women, such as Amina Mohammed as his deputy secretary-general. And, then, U.N. reform, a tiered process to reconstruct a complex, dated system that Guterres' team said would become more effective and coordinated. U.N. reform is well underway, and U.N. agencies are working toward the goal of hiring equal numbers of women, at all levels, by 2030.
Pressure from the new U.S. administration and the threat of funding cuts likely only provided further stress as the U.N. responded to a record-setting number of people requiring humanitarian assistance from Yemen, to Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia. Next year, more funding than ever - approximately $22.5 billion - will be required to respond to the needs of 135 million people.
These efforts are being led by a new roster of leaders at the U.N. agencies, some of whom are already on board and others who will be announced in the new year. The United Nations Children's Fund has yet to announce its new executive director and successor to Anthony Lake, and the U.N. will also be in search of a new human rights chief, as Zeid Ra'ad Hussein said this week that he will not seek a second term because of the "current geopolitical context."
Here's a look at the new class of U.N. leaders and what they might be up against in 2018.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: World Health Organization director-general
Tedros Adhanom made history in 2017 when he became the first African to lead the WHO and the first director-general to be elected in a process involving the full World Health Assembly.
The WHO director-general enjoys wide support across the global health spectrum, including within his own organization. In Tedros' first few months in office, he's followed through on his campaign pledge and satisfied calls for more women in WHO leadership roles. He's started to drive a cultural change within his organization by initiating engagement with staff and encouraging his directors to do the same. He's also set-up a council that meets every two weeks to ensure the WHO is on top of every public health emergency taking place across the globe.
Tedros believes his role is not only to secure support for WHO, but to advocate for all organizations working in global health. He's been to high-profile meetings, such as the G-20 in Hamburg, Germany, to drum up support for universal health coverage, and has met with world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin during the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference to end tuberculosis in Moscow in November.
Currently, one of his biggest challenges is winning member states' support for his draft 13th General Program of Work. This includes proposals for the WHO to achieve a "triple billion target" - making 1 billion people safer in emergencies, giving 1 billion people health coverage, and improving the healthy lives of 1 billion people. During a special session in November, some member states voiced questions and concerns on these ambitious targets. The next official discussion on the draft program of work will be in January 2018.
David Beasley: executive director of the World Food Programme
When David Beasley was named executive director of the World Food Programme in March, it may have come as a bit of surprise, as the former South Carolina governor was little known to the development community. Some development observers and member states had also advocated for a more open process in selecting key leadership positions at top U.N. agencies in 2017. Beasley - who is well-connected to the Trump administration - has proven to be an outspoken advocate for both continued and increased U.S. contributions to the WFP and to addressing hunger and food security globally. He has testified in Congress, met with U.S. policymakers, and used the media to call attention to crises from Yemen to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
His tenure has not been without some controversy. Beasley has linked food aid to national security, calling it the "first line of offense and defense against extremism and terrorism," which has worried some in the development community. Some were also concerned that his links to the White House would be problematic, but he has not always toed the line or followed the lead of the Trump administration. Beasley has repeatedly called on Saudi Arabia to step up as a donor, particularly in Yemen, where Beasley has said the country should fully fund the humanitarian relief efforts, which are needed as a result of a conflict that the Saudis are directly involved in.
Get development's most important headlines in your inbox every day. Beasley did not step in at an easy time, with four countries on the brink of famine, and a growing number of humanitarian crises with rising food insecurity. Many of those crises will continue in the year ahead and will continue to test Beasley's leadership, particularly in the face of what are now considerable funding shortfalls.
Achim Steiner: administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Achim Steiner is no U.N. novice. The 56-year-old Brazilian native, who was raised by German parents, spent a decade running the U.N. Environment Programme until 2016.
Appointed by the UNDP executive board to run one of the U.N.'s largest agencies in April, Steiner told Devex in a recent interview that he sometimes reflects on the sheer size difference of the two agencies as he considers what's at stake with his new job. Leading nearly 17,000 staff in 170 countries, Steiner will oversee a new strategic plan for UNDP, which will launch in 2018 and guide the agencies work through 2021. The plan has parallels to Guterres' reform strategy - prioritizing "future focused," cross-cutting work that better links all aspects of development.
A critical aspect seems to be a modern approach to development that considers factors that makes youth vulnerable to extremism - a connection UNDP stressed this year in a report on Africa, for example. It will be interesting to watch how Steiner, who also spoke about development as a "foundation for young people" at a youth and extremism forum this year, continues to push this dialogue forward.
As UNDP works to engage in work as diverse as climate change and reunification programs in Mosul, it will be key to also track how its new plan is actually implemented, as well as its success in financing it. The agency hopes to have 11 percent more in available resources over the next four years, increasing its budget from about $23 billion to $25 billion.
Natalia Kanem: executive director of the United Nations Population Fund
Guterres' decision to appoint Natalia Kanem as executive director of the United Nations Population Fund was widely welcomed by the aid community in October. Kanem had been unexpectedly elevated to the position of UNFPA acting executive director in June, following the sudden death of her former boss, Babatunde Osotimehin. She already had four months experience on the job when her formal selection arrived. Kanem is the first Latin American to head the agency, and, as a woman, adds credence to Guterres' pledges to improve equality within the United Nations.
While her appointment happened somewhat quickly, many sexual and reproductive health rights experts agreed that Kanem was a logical, popular choice. She offered a safe pair of hands to steer UNFPA through a turbulent political and financial time, especially considering the U.S. government's policy and budget decisions, which reduced support to family planning.
(Amy Lieberman is the New York correspondent for Devex. She covers the United Nations and reports on global development and politics. As a Devex Impact associate editor, Adva leads coverage of the intersection of business and international development. Sophie Edwards is a reporter for Devex based out of Washington D.C. and London where she covers global development news, careers and lifestyle issues. Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex senior reporter based in Manila).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Question paper leakage continues: Incompetence is everywhere


QUESTION paper leaks have become epidemic before all public exams, university admission tests, and job recruitment tests during the current administration allegedly by some students and unscrupulous teachers along with office staffs. Detectives in recent times busted dens of criminals involved in the question leakage but the unholy nexus between ...

Football »

US headed to Women's World Cup with 6-0 win over Jamaica


AP, Frisco :The U.S. women's national team breezed through CONCACAF qualifying to secure a spot in the World Cup next year in France.The Americans still have to face Canada."Just because we qualified for the World Cup doesn't mean we're going to take our foot off the gas," Alex Morgan said. ...

Cricket »

India ready to unleash 'fearless' Shaw, Pant on Australia


"Fearless" young batting stars Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant will be India's special weapons during their upcoming tour of Australia, according to captain Virat Kohli.Hailing the roles of 18-year-old Shaw and 21-year-old Pant in the two-Test victory over the West Indies, Kohli said they had been given free rein to ...

International »

Saudi Arabia warns against any sanctions over missing Khashoggi case


Reuters, Washington :Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure and two more US executives scrapped plans to attend a Saudi investor conference.Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Riyadh's policies, ...

International »

Prince Harry and wife Meghan expecting a baby


AFP, London :Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a baby in the spring of 2019, they announced on Monday as they began a Pacific tour."The Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is ...

Entertainment »

Ranveer-Sara soak up the Swiss Sun with Rohit Shetty


Bollywood stars Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan, who are in Switzerland to shoot for their upcoming action-drama Simmba, look all geared up for the weekend and their recent picture is a proof! Taking to her Instagram, Sara shared snaps from the set in which she can be seen posing ...

City »

BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury speaking at a rally organised by Nagorik Adhikar Andolon Forum at the Jatiya Press Club on Monday to meet its various demands including withdrawal of false cases filed against BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.


Editorial »

Take seriously the promise made to the editors


The Editors' Council will form a human chain in front of the National Press Club today (Monday) to press for amendments to nine sections of the Digital Security Act. Earlier, the Council postponed the same program following an assurance from three ministers including the information minister Hasanul Haq Inu that ...

Sports »

Marcelo Melo of Brazil (left) and his partner Lukasz Kubot of Poland bite their winning trophy as they pose for photographers after beating Jamie Murray of Britain and Bruno Shares of Brazil in the men's doubles final match of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China on Sunday.


International »

Trump explains `eligibility` for those who want to come to US


PTI, Washington :US President Donald Trump has said that he wants people with merit, who can help, to enter the country and not sneak inside the border illegally."I'm very tough at the borders. We've been very tough at the borders. People have to come into our country legally, not illegally. ...

International »

US wants ‘regime change’ in Iran: Rouhani


Reuters, Tehran :The United States is seeking "regime change" in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that the current US administration is the most hostile that the Islamic Republic has faced in its four decades.Tensions have increased between Iran and America after US President Donald Trump withdrew from ...

City »

Former adviser to the caretaker government Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman addressing a press conference on the occasion of 4th International Health Conference of People's Health organised by People's Health Movement- Bangladesh at VIP Lounge , Jatiya Press Club yesterday.


Entertainment »

Nadia in new telefilm


Entertainment Report :After returning country popular TV actress and model Nadia Ahmed has acted in a new telefilm titled Debor, which is based on a life-oriented story. Written by Barrister Mostaq Ahmed, the telefilm is directed by Sanjay Barua. The shooting of the telefilm has already been done in the ...

Editorial »

Mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Khashoggi


MYSTERY shrouds the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi when Turkish authorities didn't revoke their claim that he was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul amid strong denials by the Saudi government. The Turkish newspaper "Sabah" yesterday reported that Khashoggi may have recorded his own death by his Apple Watch. ...

Sports »

Danielle Kang of the United States reacts on the 18th hole after finishing the third round of the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship at Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea on Saturday.


.

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news