Epsy Campbell Barr, Vice President of Costa Rica, at the United Nations General Assembly session on the International Decade for People of African Descent, July 22, 2021. MANUEL ELIAS / UN PHOTO

A US delegation to Haiti returns early; potential risks to the $ 87 billion UN pension fund; A former Guantánamo prisoner could be tortured in Russia.

They read This Week @UN and summarize the organization’s most pressing issues. The information comes from UN press briefings, PassBlue reports and other sources.

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Monday 19th July

• Does the UN Pension Fund really have to invest in financial derivatives? Mortgage-backed securities, also known as derivatives, could hit the market soon UN Joint Staff Pension Fundas approved by General Secretary António Guterres and provisionally approved by the General Assembly. But these investments are considered risky and could throw the fund off its normally conservative path, which could potentially harm its beneficiaries in the long run, says essayist Lowell Flanders.

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• Briefing of the spokesman: According to a new report by, fewer women than men will find employment again after Covid-19 International labor organization. “The contract found that in 2021, compared to 2019, women will be employed 13 million fewer, while men’s employment will have recovered to 2019 levels,” the spokesman said. The report found that women have suffered disproportionate job and income losses because they are most involved in manufacturing and food supply, which have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

Tuesday 20th July

• UN human rights experts alarm about the fate of a Russian ex-Guantánamo prisoner: Clair MacDougall investigates the status of Ravil Mingazov, a Russian ethnic Tatars and Muslims living in the Guantanamo Bay Internment camp for more than 14 years and relocated to the United Arab Emirateswhere he is still imprisoned. Mingazov could now be forcibly returned to his home country, and UN human rights experts are sounding the alarm over the possible risk of torture. The Daily Beast republished the story, and Ken Roth, head of Human Rights Watch, tweeted it to his 511 “United Arab Emirates.”

• The UN was closed for the Eid al-Adha Vacation.

In downtown Reykjavik, an outdoor human rights exhibition featured the iconic photo of Eleanor Roosevelt holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The display is located near the Icelandic parliament, the Althingi. DULCIE LEIMBACH

Wednesday July 21st

• Briefing from the speaker: A reporter asked, “Do you have any comments about stripping? Liverpool of the UNESCO . . . World heritage sites? Does the Secretary General agree? ”Answer:“ This is a decision of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and it is their right to do so. So of course we recognize and respect their expertise in these matters. ”Liverpool has been on the World Heritage List since 2004 but has been deleted because of“ irreversible loss of attributes that convey the property’s exceptional universal value, ”according to the website. In other words, the development of its waterfront.

• Although not announced, Secretary General António Guterres started his annual leave on July 20th and will return to UN headquarters on August 12th New York City. The deputy general secretary Amina Mohammed (DSG) is on leave during Guterres; On July 21, the UN spokesman announced that Mohammed was yielding Rome on July 22nd to attend ahead of the 2021 UN Food Summit, which will be held in September and will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. She then travels to London “To attend the first day of the July ministerial meeting convened by incoming COP President Alok Sharma for July 25-26, 2021,” added the spokesman. UN head of cabinet Maria Ribeiro Viotti (CdC) heads UN headquarters during Muhammad’s absence, said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman. But when asked whether there was a fourth person in the list, should Viotti fail, Haq wrote in an email to PassBlue: “First of all, the DSG is on the road, so she is the senior UN official for the long term . There shouldn’t be a moment when both she and the CdC won’t be available. ”- DULCIE LEIMBACH

A tweet from the President of the UN General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, on the latest plans for the annual high-level week in September: Up to four delegates or “1 + 3” (heads of state or government plus three) per country can attend.

Thursday July 22nd

• This Japanese astronaut says “space diplomacy” can save the earth: Elizabeth Colton interviews Naoko Yamazaki, the second woman in Japan To become an astronaut. Retired at 50, she is actively involved in space exploration and believes that “space diplomacy” can help the world unite. The interview is the second in PassBlue’s new series, Women as Changemakers. (Yamazaki retweeted the interview with her to her 107,000 followers.)

• Briefing of the speaker: The first passenger flight of the United Nations Humanitarian Aviation Service (Unhas) landed in Mekelle, Ethiopia. “This was the first passenger flight into the Tigra Region since commercial flights ceased on June 24th. The plane carried more than 30 workers from several humanitarian organizations who were working to provide much-needed aid to communities across Tigray, “the spokesman said. UN flights are to be carried out twice a week so that humanitarian aid workers can enter and leave Ethiopia.

On July 22nd, the World Food Program at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa sent its first humanitarian passenger flight to Tigray, where the conflict has been going on for more than six months and the famine is drawing closer to the region. WORLD FOOD PROGRAM

Friday 23rd July

• The White House sent a delegation led by US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to the United Nations to Haiti on the occasion of the state funeral of the former President Jovenel Mose, who was murdered on July 7th. However, the delegation broke off their trip due to violent protests, including gunfire and tear gas near the funeral service in Cap-Haïtien, and returned to the US.

• Briefing of the speaker: A question about Haiti From a reporter: “A US delegation has arrived. Interested in talking to the Haitian transition team and the Prime Minister about elections and security assistance? There is the pending request from Haiti for the UN [to send peackeeping troops to secure infrastructure]that should go to the Security Council. What does the Secretary General think of the need for quick elections and security assistance? Did he recommend anything to the Security Council? And has that made progress?

Answer: “I cannot share many of the details that are currently being worked out. As you know Helen La Lime [UN special envoy for Haiti] seeks to work with the various key political actors in Haiti to ensure we get a good timetable and a consensual and inclusive government and a peaceful transition. “


• The US announced that it would contribute an additional US $ 135.8 million to the UN Aid for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (Unrwa). In April, the U.S. began re-establishing support for the agency after the Trump administration cut its aid in 2018. The Biden government’s first tranche of $ 150 million to the UN agency was followed by a contribution of nearly $ 33 million to Unrwa in May in response to the fatal outbreak of fighting in the West Bank and Gaza. The latest announcement of the funding is part of an agreement between the US and Unrwa, “which sets common goals and priorities in support of humanitarian aid, human development and the protection of” Palestine Refugees, ”say the USA.

• The Myanmar Accountability Project, a UK-based non-governmental organization, announced on July 19 that it had “attempted the Myanmar Putschists to usurp the top ambassadors in the Myanmar Embassy in London and the diplomatic mission to the United Nations in New York ”and called on the British government and the UN General Assembly to deny accreditation to“ officials with a strong military background ” , junta to fill these two influential posts. “MAP has the official biographies of these two officers and they are ugly read,” said the organization’s director, Chris Gunness.

A July 22nd screenshot of a Lieut tweet. General Dennis Gyllensporre, troop commander of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, on the right, in which he wrote about the end of Operation Barkhane in the Sahel zone: “Departure of the representative from #Barkhane in #Mali, committed partner for #paix and the #sécurité, brigadier general Alain Vidal. Our close cooperation has led to concrete results, especially in the security dimension. Thank you, General Vidal! ”

From the PassBlue archives

• Angela Merkel is about to retire as Chancellor Germany after 16 years, but maintaining this high position for so long, has remarkably not been reflected in gender parity in the politics of the country: our history.

• A year ago, Haiti faced a perfect storm: super-vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic, shaken by protests against corruption and recovered from the cholera epidemic introduced by the United Nations. Our story of the recent assassination of President Jovenel Moïse has made the country even more upset.

Dulcie Leimbach reported on this summary.

Ivana Ramirez

Ivana Ramirez is from South Carolina. She will enroll as an undergraduate student at Yale University in 2021. She writes PassBlue’s This Week @UN News Summary and is the researcher for PassBlue’s UN-Scripted Podcast series.