• Africa

    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...

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    Russia Blocks Egypt From Pushing for More Oversight of UN Sanctions

    by  • July 31, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Security Council • 

    Striving to leave an indelible mark as president of the United Nations Security Council in August, Egypt proposed that an informal working group, focused comprehensively on sanctions regimes, should be set up to advise the Council. But one powerful member of the Council, Russia, has said no to the idea, so it has been...

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    UN’s South Sudan Experts Criticized for Weapons Claims Amid Larger Problems

    by  • July 11, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Peace and Security, Security Council • 

    A hard-hitting report published in April 2017 by the United Nations Security Council sanctions panel monitoring South Sudan was potentially marred by weakly sourced allegations about arms sales from Egypt and elsewhere, according to a senior Egyptian diplomat and two former UN sanctions experts. The perceived flaws in the South Sudan panel’s work are...

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    The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali Escapes Trump’s Hatchet

    by  • June 30, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    After a month of contentious debate between the United Nations Security Council and UN budget committees, agreement has been reached for the UN to stay focused on Mali and the Sahel region, where terrorism is threatening to destabilize the area. The region extends across Africa from east to west in an arc right below...

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    Despite the Terrorist Attack on Our Beloved Malian Resort, We Will Come Back

    by  • June 24, 2017 • Africa, Peace and Security, Terrorism, UN Peacekeeping, WORLDVIEWS • 

    It always took me ages to hit the road to the Kangaba camp. Leaving downtown Bamako can be tricky, especially if your place is baco fé — on the far bank of the Niger River — as they say in Bambara, the local language. The traffic is a nightmare. On weekends, dozens of old yellow...

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    As the UN Chief Goes to Washington, He Reiterates Plight of Refugees

    by  • June 20, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Middle East, Refugees, Secretary-General, US-UN Relations • 

    Photo: UN Secretary-General António Guterres in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    On International Refugee Day, António Guterres reiterated the plight of refugees and displaced people worldwide — a phenomenal 65.5 million people — in his first media briefing at United Nations headquarters in months. He let drop that he is traveling to Washington, D.C., from June 27-29 to lobby Congressional members on UN budget matters....

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    Can the G5 Force Work Counterterrorism Magic in Africa’s Sahel Region?

    by  • June 15, 2017 • Africa, Terrorism, WORLDVIEWS • 

    Although the plan to deploy a West African troop contingent, called the G5 Sahel Joint Force, presents an opportunity to improve much-needed cooperation among the Sahel countries, it will not be a game-changer in the fight against the persistent security challenges in the region. Yet, without adequate financial and logistical support from the United...

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    Mass Tourism: Bad for Culture but Good for Women?

    by  • June 13, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Development, Human Rights, Unesco, Women • 

    FLORENCE, Italy — This month, Italy’s tourism season kicks into high gear. Florence, which receives more than 16 million tourists a year, is one of many cities to be marred by mass travel. In the famously picturesque Piazza della Signoria, groups plod through the cobblestoned square, shepherded by flag-waving guides. Vendors peddle selfie-sticks in...

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    The UN Formalizes Its Partnership With Sant’Egidio, the Rome-Based Mediator

    by  • June 9, 2017 • Africa, GOINGS-ON, Human Trafficking, International Justice, Libya, Migration, Peace and Security • 

    The United Nations has formalized its relationship with the Community of Sant’Egidio, the highly regarded Catholic membership organization based in Rome that has been focusing on conflict prevention and resolution, primarily in Africa, for 30 years. A community of 60,000 laypeople founded in 1968, Sant’Egidio has been working with the UN on mediation prospects...

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    Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Head Since 2011, Dies Suddenly at 68

    by  • June 5, 2017 • Africa, GOINGS-ON, Health and Population, UN Agencies • 

    The death on June 4 of Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, and a Nigerian, was not only a personal tragedy and a shock to the staff of the fund but also another blow for an agency that had recently lost all its United States financial support. Osotimehin, a...

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    The Debate on Trump’s Budget Ignores Serious Global Cuts

    by  • May 29, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Health and Population, Humanitarian Aid, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    When the White House sent its proposed 2018 budget to the United States Congress on May 23, it was apparent that not only would a hawkish, nationalistic focus on military expenditures come at the cost of international aid and support for the United Nations. Worse, the Trump plan would also sideline discussions on global...

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    Did Equatorial Guinea Bribe Its Way to a UN Security Council Seat?

    by  • May 23, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Human Rights, Poverty, Security Council • 1 Comment

    Amid the predominantly Francophone region in West Africa is tiny Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, a country blessed — or cursed — with vast oil reserves. For most of its independent life, the country has been ruled by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who has the distinction of being the longest-serving nonroyal head of state in...

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    Why Would Anyone Want This Job? The WHO Prepares to Elect a New Chief

    by  • April 24, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Health and Population, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Agencies, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations • 

    GENEVA — In late May by secret paper ballot, all 194 member states of the World Health Assembly that have paid their dues will cast their votes for one of three final candidates in the first-ever election of the planet’s top doctor: the director-general of the World Health Organization. The candidates are Tedros Adhanom...

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    Canada Is Still Wavering in Its Pledge to UN Peacekeeping

    by  • April 20, 2017 • Africa, Geopolitics, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, US-UN Relations • 

    Although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged in a splashy way right after his 2015 election to “renew Canada’s commitment to United Nations peace operations,” the country’s contribution to peacekeeping remains at an all-time low. Since Trudeau’s seemingly impetuous campaign promise a year and a half ago, allies and UN member states have anticipated a...

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    Trump’s Defunding of the UN Population Fund Will Punish Poor Women

    by  • April 6, 2017 • Africa, US Foreign Relations, US-UN Relations, WORLDVIEWS • 2 Comments

    I met Dr. Solomon Orero in 2008 at a ceremony where he was honored for his heroic work in reproductive health in Kenya by the Feminist Majority Foundation. I was heavily involved, since 2002, in 34 Million Friends of the United Nations Population Fund, which asked for one dollar from 34 million Americans to...

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    Broken Progress for Women in Politics; More Trafficking of Men; Diverse New York

    by  • March 28, 2017 • Africa, Asia, Gender-Based Violence, Human Trafficking, Take a Look • 

    New numbers from the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women show that progress of women in politics has stalled in parliaments and at executive levels of government or advanced marginally. The data form the basis of an elaborate Women in Politics 2017 map launched during the recent session at UN headquarters of the Commission on...

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    In South Sudan Camps, Radio Is a Powerful Tool

    by  • March 22, 2017 • Africa, Peace and Security, UN Peacekeeping • 

    Jess Engrebretson is a different kind of humanitarian-aid worker. As an American journalist and Thomas J. Watson Fellow, she has worked with local radio projects in Indonesia, Rwanda and Liberia on post-conflict resolution and human-rights reporting. From 2014 to 2015, Engrebretson helped develop radio infrastructure in a camp for displaced people near Malakal, South...

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    Can a Trusteeship Rescue South Sudan? Unlikely, Experts Say

    by  • February 22, 2017 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Geopolitics, Security Council, UN Peacekeeping, US Foreign Relations • 

    The intense civil conflict in South Sudan that broke out in December 2013 and has brought the world’s youngest nation to the edge of genocide has not subsided, with no solution in sight. Once more, the United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the newest status report from the UN Secretariat, as President...

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