Californian teenager Kale Ilac’s dream is to become a diplomat. The 16-year-old, who is battling cancer, is hopefully on the way, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, who arranged for Kale and his family to take a special tour of the UN in January, meeting senior diplomats and UN officials. On this episode of The Lid Is On, we follow Kale on his visit, which has inspired him to lead a life in service of others. Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Published 01/27/23
It is becoming increasingly clear that the climate crisis is having a major impact on migration flows, with millions forced to move from their homes as a result of a disaster, or because they have been affected by slower-moving environmental changes that leave their homes uninhabitable, such as desertification or sea-level rises. On today’s show, Conor Lennon speaks to Felipe González Morales, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, on the need for consistent policies to...
Published 01/27/23
UN News publishes stories in 10 languages, with the aim of ensuring that as many people as possible understand the impact of the United Nations, and in order to provide a reliable news source on a variety of platforms. On today’s show, Conor Lennon speaks to Mita Hosali, who is in overall charge of the UN’s news output, as Deputy Director of the News and Media Division at the UN. They discuss the ways in which the concepts of news, information, and truth are seemingly being questioned as...
Published 01/20/23
Published 01/20/23
On today’s episode of The Lid is On, Conor speaks to Melissa Fleming, the head of Global Communications at the United Nations, and host of award-winning podcast series, Awake at Night. They discuss the growing dangers of online disinformation, the global impact of the Ukraine war, and the importance of communicating effectively about the positive difference the UN makes to millions around the world. Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Published 01/13/23
In our first Lid Is On of 2023, we take a trip to Geneva, to meet our Palais des Nations correspondent Daniel Johnson, who gives us a virtual visit of the venerable building and its surroundings, and looks back at some of his favourite moments from 2022, in particular the interview that earned him a hug (a rare occurrence for journalists)! Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Published 01/06/23
For the last Lid Is On of the year, Conor Lennon invited some of his colleagues for a festive episode, to find out a bit more about them (discovering that one has even sung at Carnegie Hall), and how they wade through reports, studies and data, to tease out stories that demonstrate the real difference the UN makes to people’s lives every day. May Yaccoub, head of the Arabic Unit, Matt Wells, head of the English Unit, and climate specialist Laura Quinones, share the topics that made the...
Published 12/23/22
This is the fifth and final episode of Seeking Peace, a podcast from the Department of Peace Operations. In this episode, Melanne Verveer from Georgetown University’s Institute for Women Peace and Security, examines the challenges and complex realities that women uniformed peacekeepers face. We will hear from General Maureen O’Brien, who serves as the Deputy Chief of Military affairs at the UN, about her pioneering career.
Published 12/23/22
Today, we bring you the fourth episode of Seeking Peace, a podcast from the UN Department of Peace Operations. Melanne Verveer from Georgetown University’s Institute for Women Peace and Security, highlights the extraordinary women whose work defies expectations of traditional gender roles in peacekeeping. Interviewees on today’s episode are Téné Maimouna Zoungrana leads the rapid intervention activities in the Ngaragba Prison in the Central African Republic, and Colonel Stephanie Tutton,...
Published 12/22/22
In Episode 3 of Seeking Peace, a podcast from the UN Department of Peace Operations, Melanne Verveer from Georgetown University’s Institute for Women Peace and Security, focuses on women’s role in bringing about peace through politics. We will hear from Mireille Laurier Affa'A Mindzie, the Senior Gender Advisor for the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Beatrice Epaye, a politician and educator from the Central African Republic, and Jeta Xharra, the director of...
Published 12/21/22
In Episode 2 of Seeking Peace, a podcast from the Department of Peace Operations, Melanne Verveer from Georgetown University’s Institute for Women Peace and Security explores women’s roles in peace negotiations and the implementation of peace agreements. The interviewees in this episode are the UN Assistant Secretary General for Africa, Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Maïga Aziza from Mali, the first-ever Member of Parliament to represent Timbuktu, and South Sudanese activist Alokiir Malual, about...
Published 12/20/22
This week, The Lid Is On has partnered with the UN Department of Peace Operations, to bring you five episodes from the latest season of their podcast, Seeking Peace.   In this episode, Melanne Verveer, the Executive Director of the Georgetown University's Institute for Women Peace and Security, and former United States Ambassador for Global Women's Issues, introduces inspiring activists from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the divided island of Cyprus.
Published 12/19/22
On this week’s The Lid Is On, we’re introducing you to UNiting Against Hate, a new series from UN Podcasts. Katy Dartford talks to those who have encountered hate speech first-hand, as well as activists and experts from around the world about how they are trying to counter it. In this episode, she has an in-depth conversation with two organizations who monitor hate speech, and discusses with them the relationship between hate speech and disinformation. Like and subscribe wherever you get your...
Published 12/16/22
The world has never been more inter-connected, but this has made it easier than ever before to spread disinformation, hate speech, and information that divides, and causes fear and mistrust. Intercultural dialogue has been described as an antidote to rejection and violence. But can it really make a difference in a world where toxic language and conflict make headlines, generate more clicks and, or so it often seems, wins votes? On this episode of The Lid Is On, Conor Lennon talks to Karabo...
Published 12/09/22
We though it was all over…it is now, we promise! We gave you the instant reaction to the final COP27 plenary session on what we though was the last podcast on the event, but then we decided to get an expert perspective from Selwin Hart, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Climate, and friend of the podcast. Conor got to sit down with Selwin, and find out more about the progress that was made, where efforts need to be focused over the next 12 months, and why, despite the perilous...
Published 12/02/22
On this week's episode we're letting a new UN podcast take over! It's called amplifyHER, and it's a tribute to some of the best women artists, from around the world, working today.  Over the next 10 weeks, inspiring women musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds, talk to us from their homes and studios, about their challenges as women in a male-dominated industry, overcoming barriers, and what drives them to continue creating music. The first episode features Milli, the fearless teenage...
Published 11/25/22
UN Human Rights Council backs call for probe into Iran crisisNearly 40 million children ‘dangerously susceptible’ to growing measles threatRacial discrimination panel calls for Xinjiang rights violation probe
Published 11/24/22
COP27 officially ended on Friday, but no agreement was reached when Conor and Laura recorded their last podcast in Sharm El-Sheikh. But, despite the gloomy predictions of no deal, the COP27 outcome document was finally agreed, on Sunday morning. Back home in New York after a 25-hour journey, Conor goes solo, to pull together a final COP episode of The Lid Is On. You can find all the details on the outcome document here. Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Published 11/20/22
It’s officially the last day of COP27, and the UN podcast team have their bags packed, ready to return home. However, today did not see an outcome document agreed, and negotiating positions are reportedly still far apart on many issues. Laura and Conor report on the current state of play, and run through some of the main takeaways from this COP, before waving goodbye to Egypt. Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Published 11/18/22
UN Secretary-General António Guterres is back in Sharm El-Sheikh, in an attempt to nudge countries towards resolving their differences on contentious climate issues, and reaching an acceptable outcome to COP27. He boiled down the topics to three main areas: loss and damage, the emissions gap, and climate finance. Conor and Laura were on hand in Egypt to make sense of the negotiations, and the reaction from activists and representatives of some of the countries most vulnerable to the climate...
Published 11/17/22
With just a couple of days to go at COP27, agreement on an agreed text – committing countries to move forward on measures to tackle the climate crisis – seems a long way off. On today’s episode of The Lid Is On, Laura and Conor pick over some of the main areas of contention, and report on the highlights from Biodiversity Day. Guests include the British singer Ellie Goulding, who is calling for improved coral reef protection, and the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen,...
Published 11/16/22
The UN is leading calls for an end to fossil fuel use, but lobbying for gas has been a feature of this African COP, and there have been warnings that new gas and other fossil fuel projects are underway in many developing countries. On Energy Day, there were stark reminders of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also signs that the world is moving in the right direction when it comes to renewable energy. Conor and Laura sniff out the gas story, and speak to energy experts...
Published 11/15/22
The second half of COP27 has begun and there’s uncertainty in the air regarding the progress of negotiations in the packed conference venue.  Monday saw a focus on two main themes: water and gender. UN officials were at COP to prepare the ground and raise awareness for a major conference on water, due to take place next year, whilst senior leaders pointed out the inadequate representation of women in the climate action space. Conor and Laura dissect the main events on this busy day, and Mary...
Published 11/14/22
Saturday is a working day at COP, allowing negotiators just one day to catch their breath, before the really hard work of hammering out some kind of outcome document begins on Monday. The theme of the day is agriculture and adaptation. We hear from the UN agencies that focus on agriculture (FAO and IFAD), and Conor and Laura explore options for sustainable diets. Beans and bugs are on the menu! Subscribe to The Lid Is On on all major podcast platforms!Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Published 11/12/22
COPs are a marathon, not a sprint. During the first week, country negotiators set the parameters for the serious, and often exhausting, horse-trading that begins next week, when ministers fly in, with the aim of hammering out a consensus agreement by the end of the conference. On today’s show, Laura and Conor speak to Selwin Hart, the UN Secretary-General’s special advisor on climate, and Rueanna Haynes, a climate negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), about the progress...
Published 11/11/22