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Germany’s Plain-Speaking ‘Man in New York’ Had a Good Run at the U.N.

The United Nations diplomatic corps is about to say farewell to one of its best-known members. Christoph Heusgen, Germany’s permanent representative in New York since 2017, departs at the end of June. During his tenure, which included a stint on the Security Council in 2019 and 2020, Heusgen has impressed and sometimes infuriated other diplomats with his plain-speaking, principled brand of diplomacy. He will be missed.

A license to collect: Unraveling the obscure history of diplomatic plates

Presidential motorcades, huge monuments and noisy political protests are all part of the fabric of life in Washington, D.C. So are foreign diplomats and their license plates—which, like in any world capital, imply special perks like premium parking spaces and immunity from speeding tickets. But what about these so-called “diplo plates” as collectibles?

With Tokyo 2020 still up in the air, experts probe the politics of sports

It would be nothing short of a “catastrophe” for athletes and the world sporting community if Japan cancels the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo due to coronavirus concerns. That’s the unanimous view of three sports experts who spoke in a June 2 webinar organized by the Czech Embassy in Washington.

Saudi Arabia’s Reema bint Bandar: We can’t wait for change to happen

Daughter of an ambassador. CEO of a major corporation. Head of a multi-sports federation. Princess. Mother. Leading Global Thinker, according to Foreign Policy magazine.

Saudi Arabia’s Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud has indeed worn many hats in her life. But what’s it like to be her country’s first woman ambassador to the United States in Saudi history?

Amid outrage over sex abuse cases, #MeToo trend catches on in Kosovo

After the widespread circulation of a video earlier this month that appeared to show two seventh-grade boys forcing their genitals into the mouth of a girl in first grade, Shpresa Shala—education director for the municipality of Prishtinë, Kosovo’s capital—brushed off the incident as “games kids play.” That led even more people to join the street protests under the banner: “It’s not a game, it’s trauma.”

Czech Embassy’s ‘Ride for Gambia’ to help fund bikes for African kids

A distance of more than 3,000 miles separates the Czech capital of Prague from Banjul, capital of The Gambia—mainland Africa’s tiniest independent republic.

Yet cycling enthusiasts who’d like to bridge the gap, at least symbolically, can easily do that on June 3, which happens to be World Bicycle Day 2021.

African ambassadors ask diaspora to help promote 54-nation AfCFTA

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which took effect Jan. 1, involves more countries than any other trade bloc on Earth. Of the 55 member states of the African Union, 54—all but Eritrea—have signed on to the treaty, which aims to create a single market through the elimination of tariffs on 90% of all goods by 2022.

Serbia’s Marko Đurić urges ‘just solution’ to bitter Kosovo dispute

March 26, 2018, is a day Marko Đurić, Serbia’s new ambassador to the United States, will never forget. On that Monday, Đurić—at the time chief negotiator for Serbia’s Office for Kosovo and Metohija—was meeting with local Serbs in the town of North Mitrovica when he was violently detained for having crossed into Kosovar territory illegally.

Yemen conflict escalates as peace moves falter

With Saudi Arabia’s March 22 ceasefire offer collapsing within hours of being made, Yemen’s years-long conflict shows no signs of abating, as renewed U.N. peace efforts remain stymied and the specter of colossal humanitarian disaster looms large yet again.

The increasingly crowded field of vaccine diplomacy

As wealthy Western countries carefully guard their national stockpiles of COVID-19 vaccines, raising concerns about “vaccine nationalism,” China and Russia have moved aggressively in the opposite direction — toward vaccine diplomacy.