UN General Assembly, New York City. CREDIT: <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UN_General_Assembly_bldg_flags.JPG">Yerpo</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en">(CC)</a>
UN General Assembly, New York City. CREDIT: Yerpo (CC)

The Question Is: Can the UN Survive the Trump Era?

Dec 7, 2016

This excerpt, first posted on December 4, 2016, is reprinted with kind permission from PassBlue. Barbara Crossette is a Carnegie Council trustee.

The United Nations will swear in António Guterres as its ninth secretary-general on December 12, when the organization will be only weeks away from the inauguration of Donald Trump and the potentially most threatening, hostile political opposition to the UN ever assembled in Washington, DC. The UN will have to be prepared to respond and defend its record. Most likely, it will also have to fend off a wave of "fake news" and bogus sites designed to weaken public support in the United States and around the world. It will have to expand its audience reach as well.

By many accounts, the UN has fallen off the map.

Many factors are responsible for this situation. Inside the organization, competent staff members are silenced by an atmosphere that has made speaking out too big a risk to careers, even within the Secretariat or in high-profile missions around the world. Opaque, overburdened and ineffective UN information systems are largely not up to contemporary competition. Major international media have cut back coverage of the UN. Reporters who remain, denied access to officials and critical internal reports, are thrust into an adversarial role. Outside the UN, teaching and research about the organization have atrophied or have all but disappeared from most universities. Social media moves quickly into the vacuum, often with harmful disinformation.

For the full article, please go to PassBlue.

You may also like

Detail from book cover.

DEC 15, 2021 Podcast

Is Militarization Essential for Security in 2022 and Beyond?

In the last 20 years, the U.S. and its allies significantly expanded their military and security infrastructures. But as America pivots from the War on ...

MAR 26, 2021 Podcast

The Doorstep: Assessing Trump's Legacy on Biden's Foreign Policy, with George Mason's Colin Dueck

The Biden-Harris administration made a host of foreign policy promises for their first 100 days in office. Leading the list was linking foreign and domestic policy ...

Donald Trump & Xi Jinping in Beijing, November 2017. CREDIT: <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/more-photos-foreign-trip/">Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks</a>.

SEP 25, 2020 Article

Searching for a Post-Pandemic Order

In this blog post, Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev reflects on his recent webinar with Ali Wyne of the Atlantic Council. What will the role of ...