7 december 2020

— Ben Donaldson writes on the Democracy Without Borders website that the process to select the next United Nations secretary-general should begin now, noting that at this point “five years ago, Mogens Lykketoft, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, was working with members of the Security Council to create the first open process to appoint the next secretary-general.” Donaldson says that in addition to incumbent António Guterres, candidates could include several contenders to be the first female holder of the office, including Michelle Bachelet of Chile, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés of Ecuador, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, Kristalina Georgieva of Bulgaria, Susana Malcorra of Argentina, and Amina Mohammed of Nigeria.

— On the United Nations Foundation website, Elizabeth Cousens and John Frank write, “It’s worth repeating that the recent predictions of multilateralism’s demise have a generational component to them. Young people are, by and large, rather hopeful for the future and believe strongly in the worth of international institutions like the United Nations. The issues they care about — climate change, human rights, economic opportunity — have international dimensions that require multilateral solutions. … Younger generations understand the stakes are high. Their futures depend on the power of collective action and international institutions to bend the curve on emissions, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and to address issues of intergenerational justice.”

— Human Rights Watch International Justice Program associate Maria Adamou criticizes aspects of the process toward selecting new International Criminal Court judges, writing that in roundtables with 19 candidates last month, “member countries asked some of the same questions to all candidates, and after the first day, some nominees appeared to read from prepared answers. In addition to creating an unfair process, this precluded spontaneous responses to questions on important issues.” Still, Adamou writes, “member countries convening these roundtables, previously hosted by the Coalition for the ICC, may be an indication of a slowly changing culture around the ICC’s judicial elections.”

— On World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization said in a statement, “The impact of COVID on the [tuberculosis] and TB/HIV response is palpable. Ongoing TB data collation and analysis from 200 countries has shown reduced access to care in both outpatient and inpatient facilities, impacting on the entire care cascade including prevention. … Now, more than ever, we need to expand and strengthen integration of services within the primary healthcare platform, optimizing differentiated service delivery, community engagement and the use of digital technologies to reach those most at risk of TB and HIV with screening, prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

— The Office of the United Nations Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth interviews and profiles its inaugural class of fellows: Sarah AlNemr of Egypt, Bianca Liu Herzog of Brazil, Maanishaa Jessani of India, and Wanangwa Rachel Mganga of Malawi.

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