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Security Check: Confronting Today's Global Threats

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Security Check: Confronting Today's Global Threats

UN at 60: The Man in Charge

The 38th floor of the United Nations' headquarters in New York is like the Oval Office or 10 Downing Street. Here, the UN secretary-general and his staff pull on the creaky reins of the world's only global body with universal membership.

I first came to this office in 1989 to interview then Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. Security has increased considerably since then. This time, before even arriving on the 38th floor to interview Kofi Annan, Kristin McHugh and I had our equipment bags screened and sniffed by bomb-hunting dogs....

Security in America has taken on a whole new meaning since 9/11. Metal detectors aren't just for airports anymore; some of us have to pass through them these days just to get into the office.

But are we any safer?
Is safety even attainable?

We know that people, goods, and money move more freely around the world than ever before. But so do diseases, weapons, drugs, and other security threats. Look closely at any one of those threats and you start to see how they're connected to the others—diseases with poverty, poverty with terrorism, terrorism with organized crime, and distant wars with our own security here at home.

If the threats are all connected, which do we tackle first? If national borders can't contain them, whose job is it to take them on? And—call it selfish or call it practical—what does it all mean for us?

This one-hour radio documentary, hosted by David Brancaccio, host and editor of the PBS weekly series NOW, "Security Check: Confronting Today's Global Threats" answers these questions with expert insight and field reports illustrating some of the most dangerous threats facing the world today.

Released as part of the 2005 Public Radio Collaboration, the program was produced by Simon Marks, Kristin McHugh, and Keith Porter. It is a Stanley Foundation production in association with KQED Public Radio.

Civil Wars: How the World Suffers—Producer and correspondent Kristin McHugh reports from northern Uganda on why the country's civil war is a threat to American national security, and what both the United Nations and the United States are doing to combat the poverty, war, and the terrorist cells that exist.

Loose Nukes: The Race to Secure Nuclear Material—At the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow, Russia, officials admit their nuclear material could fall into the wrong hands. Producer and correspondent Simon Marks examines the danger of unsecured nuclear weapons and the threat such material could have if acquired by terrorists.

No Boundaries: Managing the HIV/AIDS Pandemic—The US government has classified the global HIV/AIDS pandemic as a national security threat. Because of this, the United States is helping countries like Thailand combat the disease by sponsoring vaccine trials and education programs. Correspondent Roxana Saberi reports from Bangkok.

Blood, Drugs, and Guns: Arms Trafficking Fuels Chaos—Nowhere is the threat posed by the illicit trade of small arms more clear than in Colombia. Correspondent Reese Erlich explores how these weapons not only threaten Colombia's stability but that of nearby countries and the United States.

In Larger Freedom: Making the Case That the UN Still Matters—In an exclusive interview, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan discusses his proposals for modernization of the global institution.

Borders Are Illusory: An Essay by David Brancaccio—Host David Brancaccio explores the interconnected nature of the threats we face and explains why cooperation, not fear, is the best way to secure our future.

For more information,
contact Ken Mills
Ken Mills Agency
763-513-1689 fax