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UN-Scripted

News & Politics Podcasts

A podcast taking 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 Kacie Candela and Stephanie Fillion. 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.

A podcast taking 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 Kacie Candela and Stephanie Fillion. 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.

Location:

United States

Description:

A podcast taking 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 Kacie Candela and Stephanie Fillion. 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.

Twitter:

@pass_blue

Language:

English

Contact:

5169874534


Episodes

Ep. 34: How Hard Will It Be for the Biden-Harris Team to Embrace the UN Again?

11/17/2020
“America is back”: In this episode, we detail the challenges the new White House faces to fully commit to the UN again, including rejoining all the UN entities and agreements it left, resigned from or defunded under the Trump administration, like the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization. To sort it all out, we ask three experts: Larry Johnson, a professor at Columbia Law School and a former legal affairs expert at the UN; a Franco-British climate change specialist, Paul...

Duration:00:31:16

Ep. 33: The Smallest Country to Ever Lead the Security Council

11/1/2020
St. Vincent and the Grenadines, an island nation in the Caribbean, is the smallest country ever elected to the Security Council, and this month, it assumes the Council Presidency for the first time. There is nothing conventional about the country’s ambassador, Rhonda King. On this episode, she shares with us her government’s sometimes confusing foreign policy; how getting cancer inspired her to leave her accounting career and become a writer; and how most of her top staff at the UN mission...

Duration:00:22:37

Ep. 32: The Nobel Committee Awards Its 12th UN-Related Peace Prize

10/16/2020
The Nobel Committee awarded the World Food Program a Nobel Peace Prize this month, for 2020. This is the UN system's 12th time winning the world's highest recognition for peace, and it comes as the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. PassBlue contributor Clair MacDougall shares with us how David Beasley, the Executive Director of the WFP, reacted to finding out about the win on his tour of the Sahel region of Africa, and the significance of Nobel Committee's choice amid a global...

Duration:00:17:54

Ep. 31: Russia Names its First Female Deputy Ambassador in New York

10/4/2020
Russia has a new deputy ambassador at its UN mission in New York: Anna Evstigneeva, the first woman to hold the position there. Evistgneeva, who originally hails from St. Petersburg, gives us her take on Russia's Security Council presidency this month as the Council tackles high-stakes topics such as the expiration of the arms embargo on Iran and the aftermath of a military coup in Mali. We also chat with Anton Barbashin, the editorial director of Riddle, a Russian-focused think tank, and a...

Duration:00:19:25

Ep. 30: The Oscars of International Politics Goes Digital

9/17/2020
On Sept. 21, 2020, the United Nations opens the 75th General Assembly session. But this year's debate will be unlike any other. As the Covid-19 pandemic still rages and because travel restrictions remain in effect in New York City, the usual retinue of heads of state and their delegates will be mostly staying home –– sending video speeches instead. We chat with an e-diplomacy expert, Jovan Kurbalija, of the Maltese nonprofit organization Diplofoundation, about how world leaders can project...

Duration:00:24:50

Ep. 29: Niger Gives the Sahel Region a Voice on the Council

9/1/2020
Niger assumes the Security Council presidency this month, bringing the voice of Africa’s Sahel region to the body as it and its neighbors battle terrorism and chronic instability in the region. On the show, we talk with Ambassador Abdou Abarry about the country's plans for the Council, especially as the United States triggers the snapback provision of the Iran nuclear deal, and Michael Shurkin, an American expert on West Africa for the Rand Corporation. Links: PassBlue's website:...

Duration:00:23:01

Ep. 28: In Lebanon, a Crisis on Top of a Crisis

8/16/2020
As the world unites to help Lebanon recover from a blast that decimated parts of its capital on Aug. 4 and killed nearly 200 people, some powerful members of the Security Council in New York are arguing over the mandate renewal of the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country, UNIFIL. On today's show, we talk to Ambassador Amal Mudallali, the ambassador of Lebanon to the UN, about her hopes for the relief effort and the future of her country. We also interview Karim Makdisi, a professor at...

Duration:00:26:57

Ep. 27: ‘Independent’ Indonesia Now Has to Pick Sides

8/3/2020
Indonesia assumes the Security Council presidency this month, and two big items are on its agenda: burgeoning its role as a 'bridge builder' between small and large powers on the Council, and transitioning the Council to in-person voting on Council resolutions. On today's show, we hear from Indonesian Ambassador to the UN, Dian Triansyah Djani, as well as Dr. Moch Faisal Karim, Assistant Professor in International Relations at Bina Nusantara University, located in the in the Indonesian...

Duration:00:18:51

Ep. 26: How to Get a Job at the UN

7/21/2020
It is no secret that the global economy has taken a major hit from Covid-19. While graduations from universities, colleges and other schools were canceled or moved online, there is still an entire class of young people entering the job market who are passionate about multilateralism, global development, human rights and sustainability. But how can they land a coveted, highly competitive entry-level job at the United Nations or a related agency, in a pandemic? On today's episode, we chat with...

Duration:00:16:20

Ep. 25: Can German Diplomacy Thrive Without Chancellor Merkel?

7/5/2020
Germany is regarded as one of the most powerful defenders of multilateralism in the world right now and has largely resisted the current global wave of populism and isolationism. But Chancellor Angela Merkel, the face of Germany since 2005, is retiring in 2021. What role will the country play on the world stage without her? As Germany begins its last presidency of the Security Council in its two-year term in July, Ambassador Christoph Heusgen shares his plans for the month and his vision for...

Duration:00:15:05

Ep. 24: Elders and Youth Reflect on the UN's 75th Birthday

6/25/2020
Happy Birthday, UN Charter! As the United Nations turns 75, UN-Scripted looks at the past, present and future of the organization through the sharp eyes of elders and youth. In this episode, you’ll hear from former heads of states, diplomats and United Nations officials on what they believe are the UN’s greatest accomplishments and the path ahead for the organization. In this episode, you'll hear strong, controversial opinions: disillusioned UN youth delegates, elders desperate for...

Duration:00:46:11

Ep. 23: It’s French only in le Conseil de sécurité in June

5/31/2020
Bonjour! If you want to learn a new language to add to your list of quarantine ambitions, now may be the time to learn some very basic French — at least diplomatic French. In June, France assumes the Security Council presidency and is insisting on leading its meetings in la langue de Molière. On the show, we're joined by two longtime French diplomats: France’s current ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière, who played a key role in the negotiation of the Iran nuclear deal, and a former...

Duration:00:20:46

Ep. 22: The UN’s Top Doc Checks Out, Returning to Australia

5/18/2020
Dr. Jillann Farmer has managed her share of crises as United Nations medical director, such as the Ebola outbreak in 2014 in West Africa and the Syrian chemical attacks that occurred in the country soon after that epidemic. Last winter, Dr. Farmer was ready to move on to a new job after 7 years at the UN to return to her native Australia, when the coronavirus pandemic quickly incapacitated New York City, putting the thousands of UN employees working at the Headquarters at risk. In this...

Duration:00:27:12

Ep. 21: Estonia, a Hip Tech Hub, Leads the Security Council in May

4/30/2020
In May, Estonia assumes the UN Security Council presidency for the first time ever, bringing with it global expertise in cybersecurity and digital governance, just when the world seems to need it most. On this episode, we are joined by Estonian Permanent Representative Sven Jorgensen, who has been representing Estonia abroad even before it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and Lauri Malksoo, an international law expert and professor at the University of Tartu, in Estonia....

Duration:00:20:48

Ep. 20: To Lift or Not to Lift: Will Covid-19 Shake Up Sanctions?

4/20/2020
The coronavirus pandemic could change dynamics in the global political landscape that seemed unchangeable only last month. Will sanctions regimes be one of its victims? Many parties in the international community are debating whether to loosen sanctions in certain countries to help them fight the pandemic, but critics say that bad actors are using the pandemic as political opportunism to lift sanctions. On today's show, we welcome two experts: Hilal Elver, the UN special rapporteur on the...

Duration:00:22:03

Ep. 19: The Security Council's "New Normal"

4/2/2020
As the Dominican Republic assumes the Security Council presidency in April, Special Envoy José Singer Weisinger is inheriting a body fundamentally changed by the Covid-19 pandemic. He's presiding over "informal" video teleconference meetings and a flexible schedule from his country's capital, Santo Domingo, instead of from the Security Council chambers in New York City. Still, Singer wants the world to know one thing: "the Security Council is engaged and completely transparent." Links:...

Duration:00:22:38

Ep. 18: The Security Council Goes Silent as the Secretary-General Speaks Up

3/27/2020
**BONUS EPISODE** Will the world's war against the coronavirus stop (at least temporarily) all other wars? Secretary-General Antonio Guterres certainly hopes so. Still working in a mostly-empty UN headquarters, Guterres has made a global call for cease fires of all conflicts...with mixed results. And if Guterres gets sick himself, who is in charge of the United Nations? PassBlue reporter Laura Kirkpatrick investigated the line of succession for the top position at the UN. No one knows how...

Duration:00:31:35

Ep. 17: Can Global Diplomacy Survive COVID-19?

3/19/2020
On March 13, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres ordered New York-based personnel to start working from home from March 16-April 13. In this episode, we explore the question: How is working remotely affecting diplomacy? To answer it, we talked to four diplomats from four countries, all based in New York, about how their respective missions to the UN are handling the crisis: Rodrigo Carazo, the Costa Rican ambassador to the UN, Deputy Permanent Representatives Dmitry Polyanskiy...

Duration:00:18:33

Ep.16 The Coronavirus and China in the Hot Seat at the UN

3/5/2020
The coronavirus -- COVID-19 -- outbreak is on everyone's minds right now, and the United Nations is no exception. As China assumes the Security Council rotating presidency for March and tries to stay focused on its top priorities, we look at how the outbreak has affected Chinese diplomacy here in New York and how it led to limiting the biggest annual women's rights meeting in the world, the Commission on the Status of Women, to just one day, on March 9. A Hong Kong-based China expert, Dr....

Duration:00:29:03

Ep. 15: US Foreign Policy: the President v. the Democratic Primary Candidates

2/20/2020
**DOUBLE FEATURE ALERT** U.S. President Trump has made good on his campaign promises to redefine America's relationship with the rest of the world – for better or for worse, depending on perspectives -- and the United Nations has in many ways been the epicenter of his "American First" policy abroad. Most recently, his peace proposal for Israel and Palestine scraps decades of UN Security Council binding resolutions on the matter and even got one ambassador recalled. But what alternative...

Duration:00:40:08