Each month brings a new president to the UN Security Council and each month PassBlue talks to the diplomats and the experts to give you insight into the stakeholders and the agenda. Our podcast takes you inside the United Nations and beyond the carefully written policy speeches to where the real work is being done: the unscripted debates on the most pressing issues of our time. Hosted by PassBlue reporters Damilola Banjo and Kelechukwu Ogu. Available on iTunes, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
PassBlue is an independent, women-led digital publication offering in-depth journalism on the US-UN relationship and its effects on women’s issues, human rights, peacekeeping and other urgent global matters, as reported from our base in the UN press corps. Founded in 2011, PassBlue is a project of the New School, and not tied financially or otherwise to the UN.
September: Tiny Albania stands up to the Russian Bear in UN Security Council
If you want to join the European Union, make sure you are at peace with Athens. But Ferit Hoxha, Albania’s envoy to the UN and rotating president of the UN Security Council for September, is unperturbed about possible obstacles Greece may put in Albania's way, regardless of certain disputes. PassBlue interviewed Hoxha and Engjellushe Morina, a senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, for this month's episode of UN-Scripted. We discuss how Russia's invasion of Ukraine has helped Albania stand out in the Security Council in its two-year term as well as the country's push to join the EU. Hoxha also declares what he can't wait to do in December, when his country's stint is up in the Council. Tell us what you think of this episode @Pass_Blue
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August: How Long Can Biden Keep Putting Up With Israel?
As the US takes over the Security Council, famine and human rights are the banner themes for August. We chat with foreign affairs analyst Jeffrey Laurenti about the Black Sea Grain deal, perennial Israel and Palestine fracas and Afghanistan’s foreign reserves. Laurenti, who is American, says Israel’s extreme right-wing government is alienating its Jewish support in the US. Would that be enough to push the Biden camp to be firm with its longtime ally in the Mideast?
Tweet us at Pass_Blue to share your views.
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Act of Creation - Hammering out the UN Charter
Our latest episode of “Act of Creation” takes listeners deep into conversation with Stephen Schlesinger, author of the book of the same name, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this September and chronicles the birth of the United Nations through the signing of the UN Charter. That is arguably the moment when the UN was born, at the end of a two-month conclave that began on April 25, 1945, most famously referred to as the San Francisco Conference.
The second episode of our three-part series moves from the human flavor of the first episode, where we put the conference into historical context, setting the atmosphere, the quality of the air that was being breathed in at the time. World War II was still underway, Hiroshima was only a few months away and United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was by far the most central figure to the creation of the UN than most listeners realized.
July: The UK Is following a policy of migrant returns, like other countries
With UK’s presidency of the Security Council underway, PassBlue used its interview with Ambassador James Kariuki, the country’s deputy permanent representative, to ask about one of the most controversial pieces of UK foreign policy – a bill that could allow British government ministers to ignore injunctions from the European Court of Human Rights to suspend deportation of illegal migrants. We also heard directly from the ambassador why the UK and the United States blocked the airing of Russia’s Arria formula meeting in April.
The meetings are an informal way for Council members to brief one another and the world via UN WebTV. China and Russia have also blocked the broadcasting of these informal meetings.
We would like to know from you, the listener, if Council members should be allowed to block the broadcast of any Arria-style meeting. Please tweet us @pass_blue
We were also joined by Evelyn Leopold, a veteran journalist now retired from Reuters who has reported in Africa and been stationed at the UN for two decades. She discussed the peace stalemate in Sudan.
Finally, we continued our search for culpability over the Council’s inability to reinstate the transitional government of Sudan or sanction the fighting generals after the coup of 2022.
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June: The UAE Is Putting Its Interests First in the Mideast
In March, the Taliban opened a consul in the UAE. There are two possible results proffered by Dr. Mira Al Hussein, a Mideast expert, on the move: the militants gain international legitimacy or the US could be tempted to bolster the Taliban to attack Iran. Both parties have clashed over water rights this year. On this episode of UN-Scripted, we also reflect on how well the UAE has been at building economic relationships globally, as it leaves its military interventionist policy of the post-Arab Spring days behind.
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May: SWITZERLAND wants to regulate use of veto in cases of atrocity
On April 26, the Security Council held a historic meeting on the use of Veto power. At that meeting, an initiative by France and Mexico to stop Council members from using veto in cases of atrocities was re-echoed.
Ambassador Pascale Baeriswyl, Switzerland’s first Security Council president, told PassBlue her country is actively pushing for the motion to become a resolution. Will it happen? So far, only two permanent council members support the initiative, which will be ten years in the making by 2025. Ambassador Baeriswyl also told PassBlue why Switzerland joined the EU in sanctioning Russia and gave a tale of caution on developments in Sudan.
Excellent audio. Informative and provocative. UN affairs are so under- reported, this podcast is most newsworthy.
Unique perspective, highly engaging and interesting
Stumbled upon this today and really enjoyed it. I always wondered what happens at the UN and how it effects the world we live in so hearing from its leaders first hand was engaging
Audio adverts over person they are interviewing is very unprofessional
This podcast advertises their sponsors using loud audio over person they are interviewing is very unprofessional and off-putting. Had to struggle to listen to the person talking.
Why? I hope it was an omission during editing.