- By J. Dana StusterJ. Dana Stuster is an assistant editor at Foreign Policy. He has studied at the American University of Beirut and graduated in 2010 with degrees in English and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Before coming to FP, his work appeared in the Atlantic and the National Interest, among other publications.
There will be some new faces at the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly this week. Some of them, like Egyptian president Mohamed Morsy, are headliners, while others, particularly those who blandly won elections without revolutions, not so much. Here are a few of the freshmen in the U.N.’s Class of 2012 speaking on day one.
Immediately following Brazilian president Dilma Roussef and President Barack Obama, the podium will go to Tomislav Nikolic, the new president of Serbia. Elected and inaugurated in May, Nikolic has tried to rebrand himself from his previous persona as an ultranationalist politician, an effort that has worked with hardliners — Nikolic was ousted from the Serbian Radical Party in 2008 over fundamental differences over Serbia’s candidacy for the European Union. However, neighbors have chafed at his statements, particularly his denial that the massacre at Srebenica was genocide and his insistence that Vukovar, a town in Croatia, is actually Serbian. Croatian, Bosnian, Slovenian, and Macedonian leaders boycotted Nikolic’s inauguration, and if Nikolic veers into sensitive subjects on Tuesday at the General Assembly, may be the first walk-outs of the session.
Later in the morning, Sauli Niinistö, the president of Finland, who took office in March, will speak. Finland is currently vying for a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
Medina will be followed by François Hollande, the president of France who succeeded Nicolas Sarkozy in May. Hollande has scaled back some of his more ambitious proposals to try to generate new momentum in France’s economy, but announced new taxes just before leaving for New York and will present his budget when he returns to Paris. In his remarks to the General Assembly, Hollande is expected to discuss threats to North Africa, including drought, famine, and radicalization.
Senegal will be represented by President Macky Sall, whose election and peaceful succession of President Abdoulaye Wade has been touted as a model for developing African nations. Last month, facing catastrophic flooding, Sall proposed shuttering the upper house of Senegal’s bicameral legislature to pay for disaster relief.
Janos Ader will be representing Hungary. The first president elected under Hungary’s new constitution came to power when the previous president stepped down amid revelations that he plagiarized his doctoral thesis. Ader’s ardent nationalism has troubled others in the European Union.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain will be one of the day’s closing speakers. He assumed office in December of last year, and while he has spoken at other U.N. events, when he speaks on Wednesday evening, attention will be squarely on Spain’s financial crisis.
And that’s just the first day. For a full list of speakers, U.N. Dispatch has an annotated schedule for today.
Michael Dobbs is a prize-winning foreign correspondent and author. Currently serving as a Goldfarb fellow at the Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Dobbs is following legal proceedings in The Hague. He has traveled to Srebrenica, Sarajevo and Belgrade, interviewed Mladic’s victims and associates, and is posting documents, video recordings, and intercepted phone calls that shed light on Mladic's personality.| Michael Dobbs |
Colum Lynch is Foreign Policy's award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. Lynch previously wrote Foreign Policy's Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He is also a recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Silver Prize for his coverage of the United Nations.
Before moving to Foreign Policy, Lynch reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. As the Washington Post's United Nations reporter, Lynch had been involved in the paper's diplomatic coverage of crises in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea. He also played a key part in the Post's diplomatic reporting on the Iraq war, the International Criminal Court, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and U.S. counterterrorism strategy. Lynch's enterprise reporting has explored the underside of international diplomacy. His investigations have uncovered a U.S. spying operation in Iraq, Dick Cheney's former company's financial links to Saddam Hussein, and documented numerous sexual misconduct and corruption scandals.
Lynch has appeared frequently on the Lehrer News Hour, MSNBC, NPR radio, and the BBC. He has also moderated public discussions on foreign policy, including interviews with Susan E. Rice, the U.S. National Security Advisor, Gerard Araud, France's U.N. ambassador, and other senior diplomatic leaders.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Lynch received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. He previously worked for the Boston Globe.| Turtle Bay |