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Conflicts and “disillusionment” hampering the UN, says distinguished former official

A growing number of conflicts, a lack of will by Member States to act together and political disillusionment are hampering the work of the United Nations, while much depends on the next Secretary-General being “someone outstanding.” That’s according to Dame Margaret Anstee, the first woman to be appointed UN Under Secretary-General in 1987, and the first female head of a military peacekeeping operation, in Angola, in the early 1990s. Having just celebrated her 90th birthday, Dame Margaret tells Daniel Johnson about the challenges facing the UN today, which include the Syrian conflict, and the significance of the UK vote to leave the European Union. But she begins by explaining the euphoria she felt as a young UN worker when she joined the organisation in 1952, the start of a career spanning more than 40 years.

Women in Zimbabwe. File Photo: UNFPA

“Economic and political empowerment” of women essential in Zimbabwe

The “economic and political empowerment” of women in Zimbabwe is essential for the development of the southern African country according to the UN’s most senior representative there. Zimbabwe has a good record in terms of the political representation of women but more needs to be done the UN Resident Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, has said. Daniel Dickinson has been speaking to Mr Parajuli and began by asking him what it’s like to be a woman in Zimbabwe.

Presenter: Dianne Penn
Production Assistant: Sandra Guy
Duration: 10’00″