• Barbara Crossette

    About Barbara Crossette

    Barbara Crossette is the senior consulting editor and writer for PassBlue, a fellow of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY, and the United Nations correspondent for The Nation. She is also a board member of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Previously, Crossette was the UN bureau chief for The New York Times from 1994 to 2001 and before that its chief correspondent in Southeast Asia and South Asia. She is the author of “So Close to Heaven: The Vanishing Buddhist Kingdoms of the Himalayas,” “The Great Hill Stations of Asia” and a Foreign Policy Association study, “India Changes Course,” in the Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions 2015.”

    Crossette won the George Polk award for her coverage in India of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and the 2010 Shorenstein Prize for her writing on Asia.

    In a World of Evolving UN Sanctions, an Emphasis on the Humanitarian Effects

    by  • January 13, 2018 • BOOKS, Nuclear Disarmament, Security Council • 

    Debates over how to deal with issues like North Korea’s nuclear weapons or the reliability of Iran to adhere to its role in a multiparty nuclear deal have brought questions about the value, design and human effects of sanctions to the fore at the United Nations and in national capitals. Are sanctions a tool...

    Read more →

    Zimbabwe Stuck With a Health Crisis Left by Mugabe Era

    by  • January 10, 2018 • Africa, Asia, Climate and Environment, Take a Look • 2 Comments

    Robert Mugabe, the only head of state that Zimbabwe had known since independence in 1980, was forced out of office by an unexpected coup in November 2017, and citizens of the economically battered country are now forced to tally the costs of his dictatorship. One of them is a health system in collapse. A...

    Read more →

    Tackling Sexual Violence in Humanitarian NGOs

    by  • December 31, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Humanitarian Aid, Take a Look • 

    Nearly three years ago, Megan Nobert, a humanitarian worker in South Sudan, was drugged and raped by an employee of a United Nations agency, according to her account, made public six months later. That was when Nobert decided to form the advocacy group Report the Abuse to encourage others to tell their stories and...

    Read more →

    David Miliband on Our Duty to the Strangers in Our Midst: Refugees

    by  • December 19, 2017 • Geopolitics, Poverty, Refugees • 

    David Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, has been president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee since 2013, overseeing both the agency’s humanitarian relief operations and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs in several American cities. The son of European refugees from Nazi Germany, he just published his first book, “Rescue: Refugees and...

    Read more →

    Is the US Going to Drop Out of the UN Human Rights Council?

    by  • December 17, 2017 • Geopolitics, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    Palestinian causes in the United Nations are gaining wider and more active support in the Arab and Islamic worlds in light of Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in defiance of global opinion and decades of UN resolutions. The move sets the scene for reigniting intense anti-UN activity in United States Congress....

    Read more →

    Girl, Disrupted: How a Boarding School Shifted the Life of One Young Woman

    by  • December 13, 2017 • Asia, India, Poverty • 

    Shilpa Raj is not a Bollywood name, though she has starred in a documentary. She is not a best-selling author — yet. But she has written a frank, soulful book that can contribute to important discussions about the human costs of a disrupted childhood, however well-intentioned, based on her own extraordinary story. At the...

    Read more →

    What a Stripped-Down State Department Bodes for the UN and Nikki Haley

    by  • November 26, 2017 • Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Nuclear Disarmament, US Foreign Relations • 

    In Washington, there is no question that the State Department is in a weakened position, a situation that the Trump White House — and the Trump family — seem to relish. To some in the understaffed, stripped-down Foreign Service and to commentators on United States foreign policy, this is a disgrace linked directly to...

    Read more →

    Americans Want an Active Role in the World, Contrary to Trump’s Actions, a Poll Finds

    by  • November 14, 2017 • Climate and Environment, Take a Look, US Foreign Relations • 

      In the first week of November, more than 200 Americans who had been the beneficiaries of Fulbright international exchanges over many years went to the United States Congress to lobby members from across the country. They were asking their state representatives and senators not to strip the iconic, but now endangered, program of...

    Read more →

    A Novel Idea: Putting Refugee Health Care Experts to Work

    by  • November 6, 2017 • Africa, Health and Population, Refugees • 

    With a record 65.6 million people displaced from their homes around the world — 22.5 million of them classified as refugees who have fled across borders — alarms are sounding about the health risks in overcrowded refugee settlements. Sanitation is soon overwhelmed, hygienic conditions rapidly deteriorate and malnutrition rises, contributing to the spread of...

    Read more →

    TB in India: Drug-Resistant Strains Are ‘Out of Control,’ New Report Says

    by  • October 27, 2017 • Asia, Health and Population, India • 

    Stephen Lewis is an outspoken and often impassioned Canadian diplomat and former United Nations official with a lot of experience in tracking health crises in Africa. Now he has turned his attention to tuberculosis in India, where he made a fact-finding trip in early October. He was shocked and disheartened by what he saw...

    Read more →

    Where the Hungriest People in the World Live

    by  • October 25, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Poverty, Take a Look • 

    The 2017 Global Hunger Index produced many sadly predictable findings but also worrying surprises. The report’s subtitle, “The Inequalities of Hunger,” suggests a reason. Naomi Hossain, the guest author of the report, looks at the power structures that can dictate every step of a food chain. “In food systems, power is exercised in a...

    Read more →

    A Guide to Trump’s Global Edicts on Women’s Reproductive Health

    by  • October 16, 2017 • Development, Health and Population, Take a Look • 

    The Trump administration, which announced early this year that it would curtail American-funded women’s health services around the world that may be involved in any way in abortion, has turned its attention to curbing family planning in the United States. Rules have been issued with immediate effect that American women can no longer obtain...

    Read more →

    Janet Benshoof, Legal Activist, Seeks Help for Burma Through the Global Court

    by  • October 8, 2017 • Asia, Geopolitics, Human Rights, International Justice • 

    Photo of Janet Benshoof, a lawyer-activist, leads the Global Justice Center in New York.

    Burma has long been a unique country not only for its otherworldly landscape of pagodas and gold-topped stupas but also, paradoxically, as an isolated country where a nationalistic military has given itself extraordinary constitutional powers. Generals, who have warped the country’s Buddhist heritage over half a century, can now attack the Muslim-majority Rohingya people...

    Read more →

    Political Will: The Missing Link to Ending Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping

    by  • September 24, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping • 

    It is not surprising that António Guterres, the first United Nations secretary-general to be rooted in a life of politics and the first to have been a head of government, would look for a political strategy to address one of the UN’s most self-inflicted wounds: persistent sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping missions. When...

    Read more →

    US Ambassador’s Ultimatum to the UN: Agree With Us or We Go It Alone

    by  • September 16, 2017 • Human Rights, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Nikki Haley Watch, Security Council, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    When Nikki Haley, now the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was questioned by senators at her confirmation hearing in January about how she would deal with Donald Trump’s dismissive view of internationalism, she said confidently, “I will show him that the UN matters.” She also said that she would show the world...

    Read more →

    Stopping Sex Abuse in UN Peacekeeping: Guterres’s Direct Call for Political Support

    by  • September 12, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Refugees, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, UNGA72 • 

    The United Nations’ top coordinator of a drive to end sexual exploitation and abuse in and around peacekeeping missions says the organization cannot succeed without more political support from member nations and cooperation from independent, civilian humanitarian and development agencies working with the UN. Jane Holl Lute, the special coordinator with the rank of...

    Read more →

    With US Funds Gone, UN Population Fund Faces Brutal Choices in Helping Women

    by  • August 27, 2017 • Development, Gender-Based Violence, Health and Population, Sustainable Development Goals, Take a Look, US Foreign Relations • 

    It will soon be two years since the United Nations adopted a new 15-year development policy encapsulated in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This sprawling, ambitious agenda was designed partly to address the shortcomings of the Millennium Goals, the most disheartening of which for women was the failure to meet promises of improved maternal...

    Read more →

    UN Chief Asks All Nations to Sign New Pact Protecting Women

    by  • August 21, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, General Assembly, Secretary-General, UN Peacekeeping, Women • 

    Haunted by accumulating reports of sexual exploitation and abuse of women and girls by United Nations peacekeepers and others attached to UN missions around the world, Secretary-General António Guterres is taking the bold, unprecedented step of asking all governments to sign a compact pledging to prevent and stop these violations. The compact is voluntary...

    Read more →

    Tunisia Acts on Violence Against Women, With Help From UN Women

    by  • August 6, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Poverty, Take a Look, US Foreign Relations • 

    • Prodded by Tunisian advocacy organizations and assisted by international legal experts, the Tunisian parliament passed a law in late July not only to curb violence against women but also to introduce measures to protect them and provide help to those who have suffered abuse. It is the first such law passed by Tunisian...

    Read more →

    Building a Case for Prosecuting the Genocide of Yazidi Women

    by  • August 1, 2017 • Gender-Based Violence, Middle East, Responsibility to Protect, Security Council, Terrorism, Women • 

    As the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq crumbles, assessments begin to emerge of the damage left in its wake by its cultural nihilism and harsh sectarian absolutism designed to remake an Arab society. The human costs have been high in Iraq — in deaths, maiming, displacement and the enslavement of girls and women....

    Read more →