Archive | 2:02 pm

An Open Letter to our Readers — Dr. Robert Zuber

12 Nov

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

For the past two years or more, we have provided you with real time (and through the blog) analysis of major events, discussions, resolutions and decisions that make up the work of today’s United Nations.

From ECOSOC and the Security Council to Treaty Bodies and GA Committees, we have attempted to communicate — within the limits of Twitter — key ideas and developments from UNHQ that continue to shape the world, often for good, sometimes for outcomes more ambiguous than that.

Soon parts of GAPW will go on a short hiatus, traveling to Hungary and Central Africa to participate in the Budapest Human Rights Forum as well as a series of workshops and events organized by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation in Cameroon.  Karin Perro (@KarinPerro) and others will remain in New York and we will all reach out when and where we can, but likely not at our normal levels of coverage until December 4.

It is vitally important to our work that we make these trips to consult with partners on issues and organizational matters, to be inspired by the important work occurring in places far removed from New York, even to have our own mission assessed and refreshed.   As many of you already know, it is hard to make honest assessments of our value — and our limitations – in places like this.  We ‘get away’ much less often than we used to, making those times when we can connect with diverse communities that much more precious.

In the interim, we would like to communicate three things to all of you.  First, to let you know how much we value your policy engagement.   Twitter is not to be confused with brain surgery, to be sure, but there is a skill to communicating important things in limited spaces, and we are enormously grateful that you value our communication and are so generous with your own.

Second, as some of you know we have welcomed many interns and fellows over the years, people who come to us to learn about the UN, conduct research, complete books, interview diplomats and much more.  As we move forward as an office, we welcome communication from others interested in sharing our hospitable and connected space.

Finally, as with your own work, ours doesn’t happen for free.   For the past 10 years, we have more or less lived on the edge, with modest budgets of $200,000 or less and uncertain cash flows.  Of course, this is how most of the world lives, and we didn’t get into this to occupy the high rises that now surround UNHQ.  Still, we have basic salaries to provide, office infrastructure to maintain, occasional trips to take, publications and policy analysis to complete, fellows and interns to support, and more.

If you can help us in any way, we would be grateful.   The easiest way to contribute would be to use the Just Donate button found on our homepage:

Donate Now

You can also send a check to GAPW, 866 UN Plaza, Suite 4050, New York, NY 10017.  Please feel free to pass on this message to others who might be able to help out or who would be interested in joining our policy discussions.

Thank you as always for staying in communication with us.  We promise never to abuse the privilege of your most welcome policy collaboration.

Warm regards to you,


Dr. Robert Zuber